Marmot Ski Improvement, January 23 – 27, 2011

Submitted by Tour Hosts, Jim and Donna Vine

Jasper in January was fabulous this year!!  We lucked out with the weather, with temperatures hovering around zero, and a bit of new snow almost every day.  Although sunshine was somewhat evasive, conditions were great, delighting the powder hounds, the glade and tree teasers, the mogul mashers, the racers, and the cruisers.  We kids at heart can’t get enough of playing in the snow!

As always, the opportunity to get together with old friends and meet new ones made the week a lot of fun, starting with the Welcome Party at Jasper Inn.  The snack buffet of buns, cold cuts, cheese and fresh fruits and veggies got us off to a healthy start, although the wine and beer probably brought the healthy part down a notch.  Accommodations were great, and the bottle of wine in each room, compliments of Jasper Inn, was a nice touch.

We heard many positive comments about the lessons this year; excellent instructors with small classes and lots of one-on-one feedback.  One of our own RMSSC members, Milt Gilmour from Jasper, was one of the instructors, and another member, Ruth Mathes, is a Marmot Basin snow host who is always happy to share her favorite ski areas.    Unfortunately, we did have 1 injury early in the week, but the Marmot Basin patrollers and staff efficiently assisted the injured person.

Twelve members found energy on Tuesday evening to take the Maligne Canyon Icewalk.  Jasper Adventure Centre provided transportation, boots, cleats and headlamps. Despite the long and tiring day, everyone seemed to be glad they experienced this “must do once in a lifetime” adventure.

Kathy Robinson coordinated the Fun Race on Wednesday afternoon, and used her powers of persuasion to register 28 racers (see Kathy’s report).  There was some good-natured competition going on among the racers, which added to the fun and the laughs!

The atmosphere at our Club dinner on Wednesday evening reflected 3 wonderful days of skiing together.  It was a lively evening full of camaraderie.  Skiers shared tales of spectacular spills, knee-deep powder, close calls, and of course the Fun Race.  The stories got bigger and better as the evening wore on!   Robbie Steen presented Brian Colgan with an unofficial prize for the best face-plant, but word was that there were other contenders!  The Jasper Inn Restaurant served our hungry group a delicious meal, topped off with decadent cheesecake or black bottom pie.

Special thanks goes to Shirley Powell, Ursula Maydell, George and Mary Binette for helping with ticket sales on Sunday, and the RMSSC executive for their organization and support.  Kudos to staff at Jasper Inn and Restaurant, and Marmot Basin for their efforts to make our week a great success.  As Tour Hosts, we thank everyone for making our job a lot of fun.  It was a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know members better.

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