Ski Season Work & Holidays in Marmot Basin, Jasper
Discover information on working a ski season in Marmot Basin and browse winter jobs.Canada Marmot Basin
Located deep in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Marmot Basin is one of the premier ski resorts in Canada. Jasper is world renowned for its natural beauty with Marmot Basin catering for both a domestic and international ski audience. Learn more about the resort, the terrain and how to get a seasonal job in Jasper below.
As with many resorts in the western region, the season typically starts in early November, and will run until the end of April, or beginning of May. This varies from season to season depending on conditions, so it’s always recommended to check the official resort website. The majority of seasonal workers will arrive early November to secure work, and after the season finishes take advantage of travel opportunities in the region.
Average Seasonal snowfall
Alberta isn’t particularly known for it’s quantity of snowfall, but the quality is predominantly light and dry. Each winter the resort expects over 450cms of snow to fall. As with other Northern Hemisphere resorts, the majority of this snowfall is likely to happen in January, February and March. However, it is not uncommon to see large storm cycles outside of these times.
How to Get a Job for the Season in Banff
Depending on your holiday type, the best time to visit Marmot Basin Ski Resort will vary. Naturally, December is the busiest month of the year, with the resort filled with foreign travellers hoping to experience a white Christmas. February also tends to be a fairly busy period, driven by school holidays and reliable snow conditions.
The top and tail of the season (November and April) are generally much quieter for obvious reasons. However, as November moves into December more holiday makers and seasonaires will arrive, bringing the resort to life.
The nearby Banff resorts of Lake Louise and Sunshine Village do tend to attract a larger audience. With Marmot Basin seen as a place to escape the crowds and experience a more authentic Canadian ski experience, without the inflated prices. The travel time between the area’s resorts is relatively short (approx 3 hours), so many will use the weekend to find some peace and quiet in Marmot Basin.
Mountain And Terrain
Marmot Basin has been used as a ski resort since 1930, and since then has developed and grown with a great variety for skiers and snowboarders. The resort is home to 7 lifts (Six of which are chairs, one a magic carpet), that provide access to 1,720 acres over 5 different mountain faces. This equates to 91 alpine trails with the longest running for almost 6kms top to bottom.
The resort is seen as highly snow sure, a result of having the highest base altitude (1,698m) in the whole of Canada. The summit altitude is 2,612m, giving it a total vertical drop of just over 900 metres. This may be significantly less than some of the largest resorts in North America, but is still enough to keep the stoke levels high and give you a decent run before you need to catch the lift again.
The terrain is evenly split for different types of skiers and boarders, with around 30% aimed at novice or beginners, 30% aimed at intermediate riders, and 20% each for advanced and expert level. While this may not be a huge offering for the more experienced visitors, the quieter trails and areas mean there is actually more to enjoy that it appears.
Snow making capability
Despite the reliable snow conditions, a robust snowmaking infrastructure is available at the resort to help lengthen the season and keep trail quality high. This covers 50% of the resort’s 91 trails, which is above average for Canadian resorts. The system doesn’t use the newest in snowmaking technology, but is constantly being improved.
Aside from the trails available at Marmot Basin, there are also 3 terrain parks dotted across the resort. These are well built and maintained, and have features ranging from small to very large. Each season the crew will change the layouts and you can expect jumps, rails, boxes and jibs. The mini terrain park creates a great opportunity for less experienced riders to get used to boxes and small jumps in a safe, quiet environment.
Backcountry travel in Marmot Basin is allowed and highly popular. Within the resort boundaries there is some great ‘off-piste’ terrain. However, always ensure you come fully prepared for backcountry skiing as there are real dangers to be encountered. If you are staying within the boundary, Eagle East and Tres Hombres are two areas which offer a great selection of advanced terrain including chutes, bowls and tree runs.
Marmot Basin Ski School
Marmot Basin Ski School is home to around 60 instructors each winter. These range from entry level (level 1) instructors through to senior trainers and instructors, many of whom represent CASI/CSIA.
The team, made up of ski instructors and snowboard instructors has a diverse background, with a mixture of local Canadians, and international instructors.
There are over 15 different types of lessons taught by the ski school, fees start from around $53 CAD p/h.
Instructors looking to work within the ski school will require at least a level 1 certification, with competition for jobs high. More qualified and experienced instructors have a better chance of securing employment.
For information on jobs and working within the ski school, please refer to the bottom of the article.
Jasper is the closest town to Marmot Basin, and home to many of the seasonal workers and ski tourists throughout the season. The town has a permanent resident population of around 4,000, but this increases in winter months as seasonal workers arrive. When not on the snow, it is likely a lot of your time will be spent in the township.
Restaurants and Dining
When it comes to food, Jasper has a lot to offer people no matter the budget. There are Korean, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Greek, North American and French restaurants in the town.
If you’re looking for something cost effective and hearty, you should be able to get a decent portion of takeaway poutine for under $9.00, or a pizza for around $20.00. Northface Pizza is a popular local hangout.
There are also community dinners held at the activity centre every Sunday from January to March (by donation), this can be a chance to meet new people in the area.
Jasper is not a party town, but it does have some great pubs for an evening beer or a weekend session. Wednesdays and ‘Sin Sundays’ are the locals night in town, offering a more upbeat, ‘club type’ setting, expect other workers to hit town on those nights.
O’Shea’s traditional pub is a good place to watch live sport, and the De’d Dog Bar & Grill is also a popular spot which stays open until at least 1am.
Jasper has a twin screen cinema called Chaba Theatre, a local museum, several art galleries and an activity and aquatic centre.
Ski shop and workshop
There are various ski shops in town offering rental gear, hard/soft goods, and equipment tuning. Many of these places will employ seasonal staff each winter. The main shops are Totem Ski Shop, Edge Control, Gravity Gear and Everest Outdoor. None of these stores are huge, but the selection is good enough for most customers.
Other shopping and groceries
You can purchase groceries in Jasper from two grocery stores, Nesters Market or TGP. If you’re working for the resort, you can purchase groceries in Hinton when the mountain does a bi-weekly staff trip. Stores are open in the evening until around 8pm.
Local sports, gyms and other activities
There are various local sports clubs as well as an indoor activity centre including a 25m swimming pool with 6 lanes, a climbing/bouldering wall, and gym. The gym is well equipped and includes a spin studio and stretch room. There are also hot tubs and stream rooms to relax the muscles after a day on the slopes!
You can find more information here.
Other points of interest
Jasper is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, outside of Marmot Basin there is a huge variety of activities to enjoy such as: cross country skiing, backcountry skiing, the Maligne Canyon ice walk, ice climbing, ice skating, sleigh rides, heli-skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and fat biking.
On the east side of Jasper is a town called Hinton, offering shops and other outdoor activities. On the west side of Jasper is the British Columbia border and access to a wide variety of mountain ranges.
All accommodation options are located in the Jasper township, hosting both seasonal workers and tourists. Travelers come from all over the world, but there is often a strong contingency of British (UK) and Dutch (Netherlands). Aside from international travelers, there are many regional visitors that come from around Alberta, and nearby cities and towns across the border of British Columbia.
Jasper is home to a range of accommodation options, including hostels, hotels and private accommodations. A seasonal worker may expect to pay between $700-900 CAD per/month for accommodation.
Candidates can apply for staff accommodation upon successfully accepting a job offered with the resort, and the hiring managers will be able to offer advice on housing.
If securing private accommodation, word of mouth and Facebook groups are a good place to start, here are some of the main groups for the local area. Posting in here usually gets a helpful response.
For tourists, you can find some popular resort accommodation options on the main resort website.
Types of Visitors
Marmot Basin is the local ski resort for Jasper, but does also rely heavily on international and regional visitors. The resort caters for all types of people, individuals, couples, large groups and families. In fact, Marmot’s motto is to be a “fun and friendly place for all”. Guests range from infants to elderly skiers, but most seasonal workers will be in their twenties and thirties.
Getting to Marmot Basin
By Airport – Edmonton and Calgary are the primary airport gateways to the Canadian Rockies. The international airports provide direct flights from Vancouver and some US locations.
Edmonton International ( YEG) – The closest airport to the resort is Edmonton International. While it is a 4-hour drive from the resort, there are plenty of towns to stop for a snack and stretch your legs. The road is straight and flat until Hinton when the Rocky Mountains become more apparent and the road starts to move with the terrain.
Calgary Airport (YYC) – Calgary is the alternative airport depending on where you are coming from. The drive to resort is around five and a half hours and is equally scenic.
By Train/Rail – Via Rail (https://www.viarail.ca/en) offers departures from various cities to Jasper township, it is best to visit their website for up to date departures and planning. The Rocky Mountaineer (https://www.rockymountaineer.com/) also provides options for train travel.
By Bus – There are several coach and bus providers which can help you get to Jasper from major metro areas and airports. Sun Dog Tours (www.sundogtours.com ) provides an airporter shuttle service between Edmonton and Jasper and also operates between Calgary, Banff and Jasper. Cold Shot Bus Service (https://coldshot.ca/) also provides a shuttle service between Edmonton and Jasper.
Car/Driving – Jasper and Marmot are accessible by car from any surrounding area granted the highways are open. If you are lucky enough to be travelling by car, the area’s natural beauty will not disappoint.
Marmot Basin has a large list of potential roles and jobs available each winter, the following are the most commonly available within the resort.
- Lift Operator
- Rental Attendant
- Ticket Control Agent
- Transportation Parking Attendant
- Retail Sales Associate
- Snow Farmer
There will also be job opportunities within Jasper and the surrounding area. It is best to keep an eye on jobs posted on Snow Season Central or local Facebook groups.
Marmot Basin’s job openings usually start to appear in August, with the majority of applications being submitted by September. Due to competition for jobs, they usually expect job positions to be full by late September or early October for certain types of work. It is unlikely that you will find resort work once winter has begun, but it may be possible in Jasper.
Job opportunities can be found here.
Marmot Basin welcomes international workers with the correct work permits and skills, but make sure you have these planned out and arranged before applying.
After applying, candidates will be contacted to arrange a suitable interview date and time. Successful candidates will then be sent an Offer of Employment electronically, meaning the job can be secured before arriving in resort.
The hourly wage for jobs with Marmot Basin is fairly consistent with the region, expect to be paid between $15.00 – $16.50 depending on experience and job type.
Staff perks/discounts offered
Staff accommodation is provided/offered for all resort roles, but may need to be arranged for other employers in the area – it is an important question to ask in the interview process.
Staff accommodation for the resort is largely structured as 2 people/unit or 1 person/bedroom, with a shared living space in a house. The cost of accommodation is fairly low, ranging between $15.50 – $17.00 per day depending on which accommodation facility you are based in .
Seasonal Jobs available at Marmot Basin will be listed below, or visit our job finder page to view other jobs available for winter.