Mt. Assiniboine!! I first came here in 2010, but it was a super quick in and out hike. I really wanted a few days to explore the area, so fast forward six years, here we are!
Often referred to as the Canadian Matterhorn (the resemblance is quite obvious), Mt. Assiniboine lies on the British Columbia side of the Canadian Rockies, but the grueling 26km hike actually starts in Alberta.
After a night drinking (and watching The Shining) in Canmore, Mark, Kylund, and myself were good to go for the next morning!
Ok, the hike in isn’t THAT grueling, but it is very long. 26km is quite the haul for one day, but we were smart and helicoptered most of our gear (and beer) in. It was f’n HOT!! Lots of water to cool us off though.
The hike in to the Bryant Creek Shelter is quite uneventful, but it does mark the approximate halfway point. So it’s a pretty good place to stop for lunch. Plus, the meadow is gorgeous.
We called an audible at that point to walk in via Assiniboine Pass instead of Wonder Pass, just because of the heat. It’s generally discouraged to go that way in a group smaller than 4 because of potential grizzly bear conflicts, but hey, surely three guys that spend a lot of time in the gym can fend for themselves! Didn’t see any bears, but we did stumble upon this squirrel (or is it a chipmunk?) who was willing to pose for a little while.
We were soon at the top of Assiniboine Pass, and on our way down to the Naiset Huts and the lodge. Almost there!!
Finally, we made it to the lodge! I think we were just shy of 7 hours. BEER TIME!! Oh, and something about this beautiful and serene view…..
We were smart enough to not plan any hikes today because we anticipated being physically exhausted from the hike in the previous day. And we were, but we actually wouldn’t have been able to get any good hiking in anyway. Why? Because it was torrential f’n rain! And stupid us, we didn’t really bring too much in the way of cold and wet weather gear. Hey, we’re pretty, not smart…
And it was August. Who plans for snow in August? I mean, really?!
The bulk of our day was spent in the communal cookhouse, just staying warm, drinking beer, eating food, playing card games, and meeting other hikers. During the breaks in the rain, we’d head on over to the lodge for more beer. (Hmmm, I’m sensing a pattern here) But they also had cake and tea at 4:00, so that had to happen. (Actually, every day it had to happen)
The weather still was far from GREAT, so we didn’t want to venture too far from our hut today, but we still wanted to get a nice day hike in. A hike around Lake Magog sounded like a fine idea!
The clouds were ominous, but it was relatively warm. Plus the lake wasn’t even close to busy!
We kept walking around the perimeter when Mark noticed something way off in the distance that looked like it might be a cave. We had nowhere to be that day, so why not go see what it is?
We made our way over, and as it turned out, we were actually ON the glacier. This was a glacial cave. How f’n cool?!
The rest of the way around Lake Magog was beautiful, and the weather even got a little better.
Didn’t do a whole lot for the rest of the evening (beer, perhaps) but I did haul my camera out after it got dark. Because, why not?! Also... Can ANYBODY tell me what the light floaty things are? They're not stars, I assure you!
FINALLY! A nice day! This would definitely be the day that we do the hike that I most wanted to do - The Nub!
After a good hearty breakfast (I generally stuck to oatmeal, whey protein isolate, and almond butter), we were off. A couple visitors first though!
We started a rather rapid ascent after leaving the meadow. The first viewpoint wasn't too far away at all. Isn't the view just f'n crazy??!
Back on the trail, we found this cute little guy.
Climbed a little higher, then we hit some muscle poses. I had to represent my #VNFT, ya know!
And even further up to the top!
The plan after this was to bushwack down the mountain to Elizabeth Lake, then cut over to Cerulean Lake and Sunburst Lake on the way back to Assiniboine Lodge. I tried scrambling down the mountain, but it was a little too sketchy for me. Or I'm a giant wuss, one of those two. I ran back down the "real" trail, then cut over to Elizabeth Lake, where I met up with mark and Kylund.
Cerulean Lake was next.
And finally, Sunburst Lake! This was probably my favorite out of the three.
Plus, there was a cool little cabin, which if I recall, used to be a tourist lodge.
Ahhhh, we're back at the meadow! Time to head back to the lodge, for.... you guess it! Beer! (And cake and tea, of course)
One of the main things I really wanted to do during my time at Assiniboine was to photograph the Milky Way. Mission accomplished!!
Sigh, our last full day. What to do? Think it's going to be another relatively easy day, as we definitely can't be burned out for the hike OUT! Plus, the weather didn't exactly look spectacular.
We headed off in the direction of Wonder Pass, but we only planned on going as far as Gog Meadows, and exploring that.
Afterwards, Kylund decided that he wanted to go for a swim in Lake Magog. Crazy mahfugga!
The rest of the day was downright strange, as far as the weather went. First, sun. We thought it was going to be a beautiful afternoon!
Oooooh, getting a little bit cloudy now.....
Wait, what?! Wind. Snow. Rainbow!!
Damn. Time to go. :(
On the plus side though, OMG, this may have been one of the nicest mornings I've ever been awake for. I loved the fog over Lake Magog.
Onward to Wonder Pass!
I love this part of the hike - the Continental Divide, that breaks up British Columbia and Alberta.
We kept going on towards Wonder Lake, which stretches on seemingly forever. Or at least, until near Bryant Creek Cabin, where we stopped for lunch again, and then retraced our steps back to the parking lot.
Such a sick week of hiking. I *HIGHLY* recommend a visit to Mt. Assiniboine! And don't be a wuss - hike in. ;)