Parks Canada has granted Ski Marmot Basin , located in Jasper National Park, approval to open the ‘Tres Hombre’ ski area to skiers and snowboarders beginning the 2017/18 ski season. Tres Hombres is a large north facing and treeless slope, some 22 acres (54 acres) in size within Marmot Basin’s leasehold which provides some of the very best off piste advanced and expert terrain in the Canadian Rockies. Tres Hombres has long been coveted by advance skiers and snowboarders who have anxiously been waiting for the day to come when the terrain would be made open to public skiing. Its’ powder filled bowls and chutes descend 367 vertical metres (1204 ft.) and is Marmot Basins longest, uninterrupted fall – line.
Marmot Basin has undertaken avalanche control work in Tres Hombres since 1987, although the area was never opened by Marmot Basin to the public for operational reasons. Opening the area to the public follows acceptance by Parks Canada of a comprehensive trail maintenance and operational plan developed by the ski area.
The plan was reviewed by Parks Canada to ensure it met with all regulatory and policy requirements. Parks Canada concluded that the ecological management parametres in the 2008 Marmot Basin Site Guidelines concerning caribou and mountain goats were properly addressed and, that with the implementation of identified mitigation measures, there are no significant environmental effects. The mitigation measures ensure that caribou recovery efforts and the protection of white bark pine – both species at risk in Jasper National Park –are not compromised.
Marmot Basin works with Parks Canada as a responsible environmental steward operating in one of Canada’s iconic National Parks. They have collaborated on the completion of a two year comprehensive caribou risk assessment and a three year goat study. The resorts proposal to open the Tres Hombres was informed by the results of these studies. The resort has also agreed to an 18% reduction in its leasehold in the Whistlers Creek area and volunteered to not advance a proposal for a ski lift in the Tres Hombres area. These measures in combination result in a substantial environmental gain for Jasper National Park.
Tres Hombres is accessed from the trop of Paradise quad chair and has an average slop angle of 62.8% with the steepest section at 100%. The 22 hectares that make up the Tres Hombres area is equivalent in size to 27 football fields, plenty of room to make tracks in some of the most magnificent terrain the Canadian Rockies has to offer.
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