Mark ended up getting some work and I was able to accompany him on the venture. The Robson Valley is a beautiful place and I don't think it's possible to take a bad picture. The Phoenix Ski Area died on Feb 6 due to poor snow conditions and global warming/climate change and it worked out for me to be able to join him since I was out of work.
Of course I was jonesing about skiing and I knew Marmot Basin was outside of Jasper, big mountains and snow on the ground. I decided to take the train and see how that went as there is direct service between McBride and Jasper. I've always wanted to take the train in the winter when the rates are low and the land snowy white, but this winter it's been brown and one of the warmest they've experienced for many years. When we showed up we needed mud boots.
We had a great view of Mt Robson on the way to Jasper. The tallest mountain in the Rockies Mtns.
Even rail cars are beautiful in Jasper. That's one reason why the homes here cost more than half million $. The second is that people are living in a National Park.
Needless to say, I had a nice time skiing. I hooked up with a friend of a friend who knew the area and I skied pretty hard all day and it was super fun. I hiked up to the top of Marmot Peak twice just for the beautiful view. The ski area itself was packed powder up high, but down low it was pretty obvious that they had the warm temps and rain since it was pretty icy. There were reports of people flying in from Whistler to take advantage of the conditions, but if I were that wealthy I think I would've just flown back east where the winter storms were really good.
Waiting for the $7 shuttle to get back down to Jasper I spotted this raven in the parking lot. I have to say it was a good experience for me to take the train. It was relaxing, great views, I could eat and go to the washroom, and it was fun talking to the few people on board. More people should know about the train but Via Rail doesn't really promote it. In fact when I was booking the ticket it said that I couldn't bring on skis as baggage. I guess that's because there was no baggage car. And how many skiers go to McBride to go skiing. Here it's mainly snowmachiners from Alberta.