School House rocks at Marmot Basin

School House rocks at Marmot Basin

Originally posted in 2012

Marmot Basin's beginning area chairlift makes learning even easier

Learning to ski at Marmot Basin, Jasper, Alberta

There are few things cooler on a ski hill than watching a kid absolutely rip it up.
Photo by DOC POW


Learning to ski at Marmot Basin, Jasper, Alberta

The School House Triple Chair makes a day learning on the slopes that much more fun for parents and their kids.
Photo by DOC POW


JASPER, ALTA. — The day your child takes to the slopes is a source of pride for any parent.

But Jeremy Derksen’s latest trip to Marmot Basin was one of his proudest, as he was joined by not one of his children, but both of them: five-year-old son Aiden, and two-and-a-half year old daughter Sierra, who was conquering the mountain for the first time. 

Being a part of his children’s efforts at learning to ski has transformed papa Derksen’s days on the slopes. “My days used to be about skiing big lines and finding even bigger lines. Who knew you could still find amazing experiences hanging out on the bunny hill all day?” Derksen said. “Nothing is more rewarding than watching them embrace the sport.” 

Yet another reason to pick up the sport

With Marmot’s latest infrastructure improvements (the addition of the new Paradise chair, as well as the new School House chair), things couldn’t be easier for any family or beginner to take to the slopes.

Marmot Basin’s continued commitment to quality has made the mountain an even greater place to learn to ski and ride. The destination showed how important this was by making yet another sizeable investment with the removal of the School House T-Bar. In exchange, they now have the School House Triple Chair that services Marmot Basin’s learning area. 

“When learning to ski, riding a t-bar can be one extra challenge,” said Marmot’s GM Dave Gibson. “This new lift provides a great opportunity for people to pick up the sport with one less barrier.” 

Out of the mouths of babes

Learning to ski at Marmot Basin, Jasper, Alberta

Aiden Derksen wasn't taking his helmet off for anything. Not even a bite to eat. Being helmet-less just means you're one more step away from the slopes.
Photo by DOC POW

Over the past nine years Marmot has invested over $25 million into new lifts on the mountain to make it friendlier for all of us. It’s become so accommodating that some of the newest skiers don’t want to leave.

“I can’t drag Aidan off the hill,” said Derksen. As pictured in this story, the kid’s a diehard already, to the point where he won’t even take off his helmet for lunch because that would just take too much time. Marmot’s helping to feed this new fire with more than just lift improvements. “I got a free birthday lift ticket yesterday. Nobody ever gets to go skiing for free, but I did,” piped Aiden, thrilled to be a benefactor of Marmot’s birthday program where you ski free on your birthday (running all season). 

And as I experienced it, skiing with father and son wasn’t just a free ticket and lots of vertical, it also packed a life lesson in negotiation. Near the end of the day, Jeremy was informing his son that it was time to head home, when Aiden pleaded, “But dad, just one more run…OK, maybe two more runs.” 

Spoken with just the right tone and correct amount of energy, Aiden had us back in the queue for another ride up the School House. Who knew that in addition to learning how to ski with a little one, you can also pick up the art of negotiation! 

Learn to ski or ride at Marmot Basin

If you’re looking to learn or want to get your kids into the action, you couldn’t pick a better place. Sign your kids up at the Kids Snow School and they'll learn from great instructors, and Kids camps are now available for booking.

For more stories and detail on Jasper check out our SnowSeekers' destination page.