A new slope set to open at Marmot Basin this winter is steep, deep, wide open, and not for the faint of heart.
The area, known as Tres Hombres, is not for skiers who haven’t mastered much beyond the pizza — the north-facing, treeless slope features five expert runs, more than 1,200 vertical feet and has the resort’s longest uninterrupted fall-line.
“Your legs are gonna be sore by the time you get to the bottom, let’s put it that way,” skier Ryan Titchener told CBC Edmonton’s Radio Active.
The new area is undergoing safety checks by avalanche control teams, but is expected to open soon. It has some of the Jasper ski resort’s steepest terrain, and is accessible from the Paradise quad chair, so there’s no hiking or scrambling necessary to drop in.
Titchener has skied Marmot hundreds of times and worked as an avalanche technician on the mountain. Tres Hombres is three times the length of Charlie’s Bowl and will give skiers and boarders more of a backcountry feel, he said.
“It’s a big run. You’re going to need a little bit of time to rest afterwards, take the chair back up. If you’re lapping that thing all day you’re going to have quads of steel, for sure,” he said.
“You’re going to be putting in 50, 60, 70 turns, and if you can make it down to the bottom without stopping, good on ya.”
The runs have an average slope of 32 degrees, with the steepest being 45 degrees. They end at a short trail that leads back to the base of the Paradise chair. It’s about a 30-minute round trip — depending how fast you ski, of course.
Titchener uses a sit ski and says he’s anxious to be the first sit ski on the new slope.
Marmot Basin opened for the season on Nov. 10. Titchener says early-season skiing is looking great, and snow continued to fall on the mountain Monday.
“The whole season right now is shaping up to be a really good, positive one,” he says.
“Hopefully, the snow gods like us this year and they just keep bringing it, because they’ve already brought it. It’s go time.”