Nov. 14, 2017

10 Glorious Black & White Ski Photos From Marmot Basin's Early Days

Though the days of impractical ski getups, bear trap bindings and leather lace-up ski boots are long gone, the nostalgia of Jasper’s skiing past remains.

Jasper’s slopes have long been a place for admirers of winter sport to glide their way through deep snow, show off their latest outerwear and sharpen their skiing skill set. Here are 10 vintage ski photos to take you back to the glory days:


Marmot Basin

Did you know that the hill's first tow rope was built in 1961 out of spare parts from an old British Army truck? After cobbling the tow together, then-operator Toby Rayner eventually secured an operating license from Parks Canada in 1964, making Marmot officially open for business. 



Ski style - especially for women - has changed significantly through the years. Trousers for women on the slopes were considered acceptable far earlier than within general society, and were a marked improvement on the long thick skirts that garbed turn-of-the-century female skiers. 


Marmot Basin

Starting in the late 1960's, Parks Canada relinquished the grooming and ski patrol duties to Marmot Basin. 



Above, a ski jumper kisses sky at the February 1959 Jasper Ski Meet in Jasper National Park.


Marmot Basin

As skiing became more accessible to the general populace, style shifted away from woolen jumpsuits to more synthetic fabrics.


Marmot Basin

In 1992, the Red T-Bar was renamed School House T-Bar (eventually it was replaced with a triple chairlift), where instructors (like above) helped beginners on world class learning terrain.


Marmot Basin

Over the years, much of the upper mountain has become more accessible by ski chairs. From 1968 through the 70s, various lifts were installed, including the Tranquilizer chair, the Caribou Chair, the Kiefer T-bar, and the Knob Chair. The following two decades didn't see too much development, but in 1990, Marmot Basin installed its first high speed detachable quad chairlift, The Eagle Express.


Jasper Yellowhead Museum & Archives

A girl stands with the iconic (and somewhat unnerving, in its early iterations) Jasper the Bear.


Jasper Yellowhead Museum & Archives

An army bus rolls into Marmot in the 1940's. The British army used the hill for alpine training maneuvres. 


Marmot Basin

Much has changed at Marmot Basin since the early days - ski style and accessible developments among them -  but one important factor seems to have stayed true throughout the years: Jasper's ski hub retains a genuine, uncluttered feel that fosters unique adventures for each visitor.

Jasper Yellowhead Museum & Archives

400 Bonhomme St
Local tip: Bring a food bank item on Wednesdays ,and get into the museum for free!

The Jasper Yellowhead Museum & Archives is dedicated to collect, preserve and make available for research and exhibition documents and artifacts which illustrate the human history of Jasper National Park and the Yellowhead Corridor. For more information, visit their website at:

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