Writer Jason Hills Recently spoke with some locals about their experience in Marmot's New Terrain, Tres Hombres. Here is what they had to say:
Tanya Desjardins has never considered herself an expert skier.
The Jasper resident has been hitting the slopes for years, and while she’s up for a challenge, she tended to stick to terrain she’s comfortable with.
“I learned to ski out East, where black diamonds and double-black diamonds are a bit easier than they are out here,” she says. “I don’t usually ski double-black diamond runs.”
But that changed this year, when Marmot Basin opened Tres Hombres, it’s brand new expert-level terrain, on Dec. 1, 2017, giving skiers and snowboarders the chance for a new adrenaline rush.
Tanya Desjardins (second from the right) and her Double Black Diamond group standing in the shadow of Tres hombres, right after successfully skiing the slope for the first time.
“This is something that locals have been coveting for years. They know that this piece of terrain has existed but haven’t been able to get in there,” says Erin Reade, who works in marketing for Marmot Basin, and is an avid skier herself.
Tres Hombres adds 367 vertical metres of expert terrain to the mountain, split into five black- and double-black diamond runs. It takes approximately 30 minutes for a round-trip through the large, mostly treeless bowl which sits on the north face of the mountain and is accessible from the Paradise Chair. This kind of wide-open terrain is unique to ski runs in the Canadian Rockies, says Reade. “Other areas tend to have more tree-filled runs, but Marmot Basin also has these high, wide-open alpine bowls which you don’t find at many other places outside of the Rockies.”
This makes Tres Hombres highly coveted by powder-loving skiers like Manu Loir Mongazon, co-manager of Jasper’s Totem Ski Shop.
“It’s a whole new part of the mountain that we get to ski now, and it totally changes my day at the hill,” he says. “I ski Marmot usually 50 times a season, and I’ve spent almost my whole time on Tres Hombres.
“It’s like one big giant playground with so much fresh powder.
“I love the steepness of it. The different views, and it’s just so much fun trying to find the best flows. You get to experience so much new terrain. I knew it was something I would want to ski often. There is so much unknown to it and I fell in love with it right away.”
Tres Hombres isn’t for the faint of heart, but the views and landscape are truly breathtaking.
“It’s a view you don’t get to see anywhere else on the mountain. Even before we got to the top, we had to stop and just take it all in,” Desjardins says.
“I had this feeling like, ‘Wow, I’m actually doing something I never thought I could do, and I get to see this absolutely scenic view.’”
Victor Vassallo, who co-manages Totem Ski Shop with Loir-Mongazon and has been skiing at Marmot for over two decades, was thrilled with the experience of the new terrain.
“Skiers who want that challenge now have a really exciting spot at Marmot to test themselves on,” says Vassallo.
“It’s going to be a valuable addition to Marmot’s terrain. It’s the type of ski run people will be able to put on their checklist of ski hills. It’s the most exciting terrain I’ve ever experienced at Marmot.”
Whether you’re a more advanced skier who can charge down Tres Hombres, or at a more intermediate level, Marmot’s newest addition has been a big hit.
Marmot Basin is offering tours of the new terrain, giving brave intermediate-level skiers the chance to try out Tres Hombres in the company of an instructor who offers tips, advice and guidance to skiers looking to challenge themselves.
Desjardins worked up the courage to give the tour a try, and now she’s not looking back.
“The tour was an amazing experience,” she says. “The instructors help you every step of the way. It just gives you so much more confidence as a skier and I’m proud of myself.”
To learn more about Tres Hombres, visit skimarmot.com