Marmot Ski Improvement, Jan 27 – 31, 2013

When all was said and done, we had 91 keen skiers join the tour to Jasper, plus an additional number of members who participated only in the social activities or lessons. Almost half of the tour participants registered for lessons—proving that this group does not believe in the “…old dogs, new tricks….” adage.

Dry roads, little traffic and sunshine made the trip up pleasant and uneventful. Our evereager group started pouring in to the Best Western promptly at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday to check-in and buy dinner tickets. The welcome party at “Upstairs in The Inn” was the usual chaotic buzz of a large number of people in a smallish space chatting, drinking, eating, laughing and having a good time. It was here that Robbie Steen started his pitch for the fun-spirited and fearless among us to don costumes and hurl themselves through the gates (Norm Twitchell excepted) in the annual Fun Race held on Day 3.

Snow conditions were good with a light snowfall most nights that helped maintain the runs for the entire four days. The sun was a bit reluctant to come out but when it did, it was delightful–except for the “OMG, I can’t see” experience of skiing from sun to shade. The temperatures on Day 2 of -20º gave some participants the excuse to take a half or full day off to enjoy walking about and enjoying the pleasures of Jasper townsite and the National Park.

We discovered at least one member in our midst with a weakness for the local bakery’s bear claws. Richard Barham, confessed his weakness and even took orders, faithfully bringing back yummie treats for his tour mates to share in this little indulgence back in their rooms. Speaking of food, just a word to Kris Fisher: Keep those cheesecakes coming!

Thanks goes to Robbie Steen for the tremendous job he did in organizing and introducing the fun back into the Fun Race. No doubt, he has set the stage for an event that will grow in participation and creativity in the years to come. (See Robbie’s report)

At the tour’s end, returning to Edmonton wasn’t quite the same pleasant experience as traveling to Jasper the previous Sunday. Wet roads, freezing rain and icy conditions made the trip a bit stressful, especially for those who weren’t prepared to give up that last ½ day of skiing to set out early.

Tour host, Elaine Carswell and Sylvia Moysa, would like to thank those who helped us in this, our first experience as tour hosts: Bill and Pat Campbell, our Tour Coordinators who responded with patience and helpfulness to our questions; Susan Hall, who took your money for the dinner withcalmness and competence; Kathy Robinson, who printed the dinner tickets for us; Milt Gilmore, who helped tremendously in sorting through the hiccups with the lesson scheduling; Rosalyn Ruptash, James Donelon and Byron Jonah (and possibly others) who took pictures and made them available for our collective enjoyment.  Acting as tour hosts was a mind-expanding experience for us in that it opened our eyes to the tremendous amount of organization and support provided by the club executive. Kudos to them for providing the administrative structure and lines of communication that allow rookie tour hosts to be successful. We encourage other members who have not yet hosted a tour or served on the club executive to get involved—it’s very rewarding in many ways.

Submitted by tour hosts Elaine Carswell and Sylvia Moysa

Click here for photos of this tour

Click here for photos of the Fun Race

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