Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, Marmot Basin is one of Alberta's 6 major downhill resorts. Flanked by the mountains of British Columbia to the west, the prairies of Saskatchewan to the east and the State of Montana to the south, Alberta is the fourth largest province in Canada with a population of 3 million. Its larger in size than most US states and is 3 times larger than the UK. Known throughout the world for its excellent skiing facilities, deep dry powder, miles and miles of runs and bright sunny days, Alberta is a skiers' paradise. Marmot Basin is known as "The Big Friendly" and it lives up to its reputation for being a family-friendly resort with an easy, laid back atmosphere and some of the best glade skiing the Rockies have to offer. In common with many ski resorts, Marmot Basin's first wintersports enthusiasts practised cross-country and the resort was named by Joe Weiss who acted as a guide for cross-country skiers from Whistler's Creek via Caribou Ridge. During WW2 British soldiers carried out alpine training here but it was'nt until the 1950's that the first road was built to connect the highway with Marmot Basin. By 1961 Marmot's first rope tow, constructed from the remains of an old army truck, was installed on Paradise run and developments seemed to take off with the resort gaining a licence to operate and more facilities being added yearly. Marmot Basin's nearest town is Jasper, in the heart of the Jasper National Park. Established in 1907, its the largest and wildest of Canada's mountain parks and contains a superb backcountry trail system as well as 10,878 acres of mountain wilderness and the Columbia Icefields, one of the only icefields in the world accessible by road. Internationally renowned for wildlife viewing, it is home to some of North America's rarest animals, including healthy populations of grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolves. Jasper is one of many communities which can trace it's history back to David Thompson's explorations. In January 1811 he made an epic winter crossing of the Athabasca Pass, the first recorded trip by a European through the Jasper area. This expedition established the fur trade route, subsequently used for decades as the most practical passage overland to the Pacific. The first ever sighting by a white man of a Bigfoot, or "Sasquatch" as they are known locally, was in Jasper. Bigfoot are to the Rockies what the Yeti are to the Himalayas with several mentions of them in Native American folklore. On his travels in this area David Thompson was recorded to have found some strange footprints, fourteen inches long and 8 inches wide, with 4 toes!
Heaven on earth for lovers of unpretentious, untamed skiing with piste borders kept to a minimum, backed up by excellent accommodation and other essential resort amenities, with all the facilities of the town of Jasper nearby. It's possible to hike up to the summit for about 200 vertical metres from the top of Knob chair to 2601m to ski the full 914m vertrical.