Here is a short video from our trip to Jasper, that Peter put together. Enjoy :)
Marmot Basin was our 2013 snowboarding destination. We got there in the first week of December. It was very early in the season and unfortunately we were not too lucky with the snow. The cover was still very low and only part of the mountain was open.
In addition the first three days were extremely cold, with temperatures holding steady below -25° C, reaching up to -40° C with a wind chill. But thanks to that we were among about 20 people skiing or snowboarding on the entire mountain. We had not seen a line up to a lift for entire week. It was quite nice to have the runs just to ourselves.
Last three days were a bit softer in terms of snow and temperatures. We got some fresh powder which was much needed. I didn't get to enjoy the snowboarding in it, because of my injury on the third day, but I got to enjoy the views. I love snowy days; they bring the true magic of winter.
We were lucky to see both the sunrises and the sunsets from the mountain. The base elevation of the ski area and location of the main lodge is 1,700 meters. It was a perfect spot to watch the beautiful views while enjoying my morning coffee. These must be some of my favorite moments of the trip. And I’m afraid the pictures don’t do it justice.
Town of Jasper is the heart of Jasper National Park, located in the Canadian Rockies in the Athabasca River valley. It is approximately 360 kilometres west of Edmonton. We arrived from Edmonton airport by a local shuttle bus. The trip was about 5 hours.
From the first conversation with the driver we knew we are heading to a special place. He moved to Jasper twenty some years ago and loves the place he lives in. Throughout our stay we heard similar stories over and over again. People moved to Jasper at some point of their life, from different corners of Canada, some just came for the season, but they all stayed and don't even think about moving anywhere else. What they all have in common is their love for the mountains and the great outdoors. They are all very in tune with nature and love sharing this beautiful corner of Canada with tourists. Thanks to the locals we got to see some amazing wildlife and eat the best steak ever, at the best price as well.
Because the city is surrounded by the national park there is a lot of wildlife around. It is fairly common to spot bears, coyotes, elks, moos, deer, wolves and other animals around the town or in the town itself. We were lucky to see elks on multiple occasions. They were coming to town every evening to have some of the soft and juicy grass. We saw them feeding on the soccer field, in the front yards and city lawns. They didn't really mind passing cars or people walking by as long as no one bothered them and kept their distance. It is pretty amazing to see how people and the animals live in symbiosis and do not really mind each other, maybe beside the fact that all houses were fully fenced to save the vegetable gardens.
The city has a great choice of good restaurants, bars with live local music, souvenir and specialty stores and various options for outdoor adventures. It is located in one of the most picturesque locations in Canada and is definitely worth visiting. One thing to consider is the time of the year. I can imagine it must be absolutely beautiful here anytime during spring, summer or fall. However winter, which is my favourite season, might be very chilly. We have experienced temperatures between - 26 to - 40 degrees Celsius three days in a row and all ended with frostbites on our noses. Days are also very short, especially in December, which doesn't leave much time for sightseeing (9:00 am - 4:30 pm). I would recommend coming here towards the end of the winter in February or March, when there is plenty of snow for all types of winter activities and days are longer. We are planning to come back to Jasper during spring or summer months to see the green side of this beautiful and charming place. See you soon Jasper!