It isn't the biggest, but with 3,000 feet of continuous vertical it's up there. It isn't the baddest, although the grins worn by the guys coming out of the bowls off Eagle East suggested otherwise. So what is Marmot Basin? For those of us who do most of our skiing in the East, it's heaven! Tons of snow, awesome terrain with enough variety to keep even the most skill-diverse group happy with all but one of the lifts serving novice through expert terrain, and an easy-to-navigate layout made for three days of pure pleasure. Much to our relief, Marmot's 1,600-plus acres easily swallowed up the busloads of riders and skiers disembarking as we arrived, leaving us to luxuriate in the vast snow fields and bowls that ring the upper mountain. The splendor of the setting, deep in the Jasper National park is awe-inspiring and the views over the Canadian Rockies from the tops of the Eagle and Caribou lifts are nothing short of spectacular. Beside the moronic ski instructor who told my wife, a novice, that she was doing everything wrong, the staff were friendly, helpful and even apologetic about the 3-minute line at the Eagle Express chair, the main lift to the upper mountain. If you're looking for a laid-back mountain in a setting of unparalleled beauty where skiing and riding, pure and simple, are what it's all about, Marmot's for you.