Living and working in the Canadian Rockies is a dream come true for Erin Reade (30). The Aussie who grew up on Australia’s east coast is an expert skier who has skied around the world – in Japan, Austria, France, USA and Australia. Erin has lived in Canada for 3½ years and is still loving every minute of it (although she does have a regular supply of vegemite sent over). Here’s why Erin is living her dream in Jasper National Park and Marmot Basin Ski Resort:
A typical day
I arrive at 8am, update the website with snow information, do live and recorded snow reports on radio and catch up on emails. If there’s new snow, I go skiing to get photos. I also work on projects, social media interactions and posts. Each day’s work varies. There’s never a dull moment in my job as Sales and Marketing Executive for Marmot Basin Ski Resort.
I came here to ski! I fell in love with this country when I visited previously. Canada is foreign but also very similar to home, so very easy to assimilate and feel comfortable. The language is the same. But most ski resorts in Canada have steeper, deeper runs, better powder, pine trees, huge mountains and it’s FUN!
Why Marmot Basin?
I chose Marmot Basin because I wanted to be somewhere authentically Canadian (not a mini-Australia like Whistler or Big White). I wanted a fantastic mountain with lots of advanced and expert runs but not so huge that you spend half your day traversing to get anywhere. I wanted a place with a real town, where there was everything I needed and a real sense of community. Jasper and Marmot Basin Ski Resort have provided all of that – and more!
Best thing about my job is..
Getting to ski and take photos every powder day at Marmot Basin.
The challenges are…
Keeping working visas has been tough. I’m now trying to get permanent residency and that is proving difficult!
It’s also challenging to leave the mountain and go back into the office to do work – when the skiing is so great! A pay cut was also a little tough – but you get used to it.
My initial impression was in the fall, as I arrived a month before Marmot Basin opened for the winter season.
On my first day at work we drove right next to a MASSIVE grizzly bear (wow!), and I was so impressed with how pristine and beautiful the area was. Since then my impression hasn’t changed, it has grown. I appreciate so much about this place.
Best things about Marmot Basin Ski Resort are
I love that it’s protected in a National Park and that it will never get over developed. I love that it’s quiet, mid-week particularly (but all the time by Australian standards) you have the mountain to yourself. You never stand in a lift line!
Aussies will love..
The snow quality (never have I skied anything so dry and light as the champagne powder at Marmot Basin), the wilderness, the quietness and the beautiful quaint little town of Jasper, where elk roam the streets and wolves can be seen on your drive to the ski resort if you’re lucky.
Is it cold?
Jasper is a long way inland, and has a very dry climate. While it is cold, the lack of humidity makes it a very comfortable cold. You can dress for the conditions very easily.
Unless the temperature is below -20° (which happens only a couple of times each season), no Aussies should have a problem with the cold here. All the buildings are beautifully warm and you can always warm up indoors if you do get a little chilled.
Has your family visited you at Marmot Basin Ski Resort?
Yes! Twice and coming again this Christmas. We skied, hiked, snowshoed at the Jasper Skytram, did sightseeing, saw bears (they visited in April), biked around town, ate out in the great restaurants, and then lots more skiing.
What do you do in your free time?
I ski, fat bike, ice climb, back country ski tour, cross country ski, visit the local pub, cook dinners for friends and if there is any other time left, I do a little crocheting!
What else is there to do?
Try fat biking and ice climbing (with a guide) for sure! XC Skiing is great exercise. I personally love backcountry touring the most, but this is not for everyone, and you need a good level of avalanche knowledge before trying it.
My favourite places in Canada are
Tofino and Vancouver (I’ve been there 8 times already), Okanagan Valley, Banff (in summer and winter) and Revelstoke for more advanced skiing and backcountry touring. I’m planning on visiting Canada’s east coast soon too.
I’d take my family to
Three things I’ll miss about Canada
I don’t want to go home! But if I did I would miss the mountains, the people and the endless amount of activities I can do here!
Erin Reade works as a Sales and Marketing Executive for Marmot Basin Ski Resort
1-I love Jasper National Park at the end of March and April personally. The valley is free of snow and the lakes are thawed (they are a stunning blue/green), the bears are starting to wake up, you can hike, bike, visit the sky tram, start golfing, it’s quiet in town and the skiing is FANTASTIC!
2-Marmot Basin gets a lot of snow in March and April and two of the past three seasons, April was the best conditions of the season. The days are also longer, so you can ski and bike in one day, then have a fire at one of the lakes (sunset is around nine to ten pm).
There are plenty of places to experience a snowy holiday in Canada. For French flair, food and festivals, head to Quebec City or Montreal. And if you can time your holiday to go to one of these festivals you’re sure to have a blast.
The best skiing is in the west. Here are some amazing ski resorts to check out. But even if you’re not a skier or snowboarder, there’s plenty to do in Canada in winter. For more ideas on where to go in Canada in winter see Best of Canada.
Looking for a unique place to stay? Skoki Lodge is perfect for cross-country skiers.