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Marmots Story

Here's the story of Marmot Basin, how it came to be, who was involved and what the major developments over the years have been. A lot has happened since those early days in the 1920's, however Marmot still retains that pristine uncluttered feel that makes it so special.

Marmots Story

The Beginning

Late 1920's

Joe Weiss names Marmot Basin and acted as guide to cross-country skiers from Whistler's Creek via Caribou Ridge.

The first trail was blazed from the Athabasca Valley in the 1930's. 1942 saw the the British army use Marmot Basin for alpine training manoeuvres requiring a crude trail for snowmobile and snow cat transportation of the troops.


Bill Ruddy and Tom McCready lobbied for a road to be built from the highway to Marmot Basin. Bill then ran a bombardier snow cat, transporting 15 passengers at a time to Marmot Basin.

The 1960's

In 1961 Toby Rayner took over the snow car concession and installed a 700m/2296ft long rope tow on Paradise, constructed from parts of an old British Army Truck. In 1964
Marmot Basin Ski-Lifts Ltd. was issued a 'Licence of Operation' by Parks Canada. 1964/65 The Upper Chalet was built, and the Yellow T-Bar was installed. The Red T-Bar was installed in 1965/66.


Nancy Greene and the Canadian National Team trained at Marmot Basin due to the early November opening. In 1968/69 10 sheltered runs were developed. The Lower Chalet was built. The Yellow Chair was installed. The Red T-Bar was relocated to the lower slopes.

The 1970's

In 1970 a modem access highway to Marmot Basin was completed. The Caribou Chair was installed from the 4th parking lot. The Knob Char was installed in the Upper Basin – the serviced vertical rise became 701m/2300ft in 1976

The 1980's

Runs were extended and developed in 1984. 1986 saw the Spillway T-Bar was installed. The Little Rascals Nursery was built. A modem sewer system was installed to connect the chalets and chalet renovations were completed. In 1987 a 2.2 million gallon sewage treatment lagoon was constructed. 1988/89 Marmot Basin Celebrates its 25th Anniversary.

The 1990's

This decade saw an incredible amount of change for the Mountain.

1990 saw the Eagle Express Quad Detachable Chair was installed. Ski runs were widened and developed. A 10,000 square food addition to Upper chalet was built. Lower Chalet renovations were completed. The Kiefer T-Bar (formally the Yellow T-Bar) was upgraded.

In 1991 the Paradise chalet was completed. Renovation of the Eagle chalet deck and the addition of a built-in barbecue area and patio seating in what used to be the snow pit area was completed. The Eagle Chalet (Old Upper Chalet) deck was connected to the Paradise Chalet patio by an overhead walkway.

1992 bought with it the lower chalet renovations and additional washroom facility completion. The Red T-Bar was renamed School House T-Bar. The Yellow Chair was renamed the Tranquilizer Chair.

1993 had general maintenance of lifts and chalets completed. The construction of a Snowboard Park in the lower lift area was also completed.

Widening of the lower portion of Spillway was completed in 1994. Parks Canada upgraded the road from the 93A turn-off to the leasehold and upgrades were made to the road up to the Lower Chalet area. Extensive preparations were made for the 1995 Canada Winter Games.

In 1995 The Handle Tow was installed. The access road to the Lower Chalet was paved.

Renovation of Eagle Chalet and washrooms was completed in 1996. The all new Eagle Dining and Club Lounges with fireplace were completed. A Ticket Booth was installed at third parking lot.

1997 saw Renovations of Lower Chalet and a 17,500 square foot new addition, named Caribou Chalet (encompassing a new dining room lounge, washrooms, ski shop, tickets, nursery, group sales, rental shop, and administration) completed. A new computerized ticketing system was installed.

Marmot Basin Celebrated its 35th Anniversary in 1998. Marmot Basin enters into a partnership with Canadian Pacific Hotels. The Jasper Park Lodge will manage all Food and Beverage Services at Marmot Basin.

In 1999 renovations of Rental/Repair Shop were completed. Renovations of the Caribou Chalet Cafeteria and kitchen were completed. Stairs from parking lot #3 to parking lot #4 were installed. An upgraded ticket computer system was installed in the 4th parking lot.

The 2000's

In 2001 the Eagle Ridge Quad Chair was installed opening up large area of terrain including lots of expert areas.

The Magic Carpet ski lift was installed in the learning area in 2003. A 1 million dollar complete renovation of the Guest Services area including the installation of a state-of-the-art rental shop complete with the most up to date equipment. Rental ski & snowboard equipment is kept up to date with one third of all equipment replaced annually. Two new high alpine bowls opened on Eagle East completing the 3 year Eagle Ridge Project.

In 2004 the Caribou Chalet interior was renovated and included the new Caribou Bar. The Jasper Sales Centre was located in downtown Jasper for advanced lift pass sales, ski lesson and rental equipment reservations. A new winch cat was purchased for improved grooming throughout the mountain in 2005. The Paradise Chalet underwent interior renovations. The Marmot Basin shuttle bus service was expanded. In 2006 a new 1.8 million dollar state-of-the-art snowmaking system was installed in lower area of the mountain ensuring good snow conditions from mid November to the end of April. 2007 came with a new 2,000 square foot Kokanee Glacier Sun Deck installed at the Caribou Chalet. The view down the Athabasca Valley and deep into the heart of the Rockies was chosen “The Best New View” of 2007 by Ski Canada. A communications tower was installed providing peak to parking lot Rogers Wireless cell service throughout the mountain. The reservoir capacity at lower mountain was increased for the snowmaking system.

2009-2010 Season

This season broungt about the The Canadian Rockies Express: This high speed quad chairlift began operating in the 2009-10 season. This is the longest high speed quad chair in the Canadian Rockies at 2.3 kilometers and whisks skiers and snowboarders up 1,955 vertical feet (596m) in under 8 minutes. It also saw the creation of the New and Improved Terrain Park: a completely new and much expanded terrain park was located on “Liftline” in the lower portion of the mountain meaning quicker laps, better safety in poor weather and more features for skiers and riders to hit.
2011-2012 Season

The Paradise Express: This high speed quad chairlift began operating in the 2011-2012 season and carries a whopping 2,400 people per hour, has a vertical rise of 410 m (1,345 ft), and will carry skiers 1,450 m (1.45 km) in only 4.6 minutes.

The Schoolhouse Chairlift and Learning Area: Installed for the 2011-2012 season, the schoolhouse triple chair replaced the old t-bar and provides easy access for beginners to the world class beginner terrain in the School House learning area.

The Marmot Town Store:Opened in Jasper at 611 Patricia street, the new town store means more convenience and services for visitors by offering tickets, lessons and rentals reservations in one easy location.

2012-2013 Season

The Magic Carpet: Over the summer the Magic Carpet was relocated to create a more flexible beginner area. This has effectively created two learning areas for either skiers and snowboards or for children and adults and will help to maintain a safer environment for all - particularly at busier times of the season.

2013-2014 Season

Marmot Basin celebrates its 50th Anniversary: This season marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary for Marmot Basin as well as the start of a number of notable anniversaries for the town of Jasper. The start of the 2013/14 season kicks off a year long celebration and we to invite you to join us in celebrating this most special occasion.

We're Green Year Round.... Environmentally That Is

Protecting and enhancing the environment remains at the forefront of our corporate objectives.

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