Friday, 8 March 2013

15th August 12 -6 days in Assiniboine and Egypt Lakes

View Assiniboine Egypt Lakes in a larger map

Day 1 15th Aug We planned on a 6 day loop backpack to see the famous Mt Assiniboine and the surrounding area. We left the car at sunshine meadows ski area. They run a bus service to the top car park which saves a couple of hours walking up a dirt track- we have done plenty of that before!  A lovely afternoon and evening hike along pleasant high meadows over Citadel Pass and a descent down into the valley took us to Porcupine Creek campground. Only one other tent here with no sign of people around. Martina worried there could be a dead body inside! 

Sunshine Meadows bus...

Porcupine Creek Campground

Day 2 16th Aug Frost this morning and the sun was slow to warm us. Thankfully though a friendly Japanese girl appeared from the other tent. We set off on a twisty, well maintained trail southwards towards Lake Magog. After a couple of hours we stopped to dry the tent in the now hot sun. Reached our campsite at Lake Magog mid afternoon and pitched the tent in an 'overflow' spot with good views of the mountains.

In the afternoon we hiked south off to 'Wonder Pass' with two eagles circling.  Managing a cooling swim in Gog Lake on the return
Lake Magog
Wonder Lookout

 Day 3 17th Aug Frosty again at camp and we set off carrying day packs to climb a nearby hill 'Nub Peak'. Fantastic views all round and we lazed on the summit enjoying the scenery...

Swam in a couple of lakes on the descent, this is the life! Back at the campground we packed the tent and headed out to camp at another lake- Og this time and had the by now obligatory swim in its cold waters!
Sunburst Lake

Views from Nub Peak

Cerulean Lake
 Day 4 18th Aug Today was another super hot day after a frosty start and a fairly long walk north of maybe 18 miles to Healy Camp. We set off early at 8am and were both flying along the pleasant trail. Plumes of smoke could be seen to the south west which looked like forest fires. Fierce horse flies took chunks out the skin when they bit. I think the heat must have made them hyperactive. We are both glad to make the Healy campground deep in a forested river valley and a little cooler. The flies are banging against the tent walls!
Forest Fire
Day 5 19th Aug Met some local hikers at the campground who told us that wolves had been heard from here but unfortunately no sounds last night. After a lazy breakfast we set off up valley to Healy Pass on a good trail at 9.30am. We camp in the Egypt Lakes area today at midday in hot, muggy conditions. We then head out for a fantastic circuit of the surrounding lakes and mounatins. First up to the stunning Scareb Lake and of course have to have another cold swim- with snowpatches in the background and the clear mountain water, it was beautiful. A short hike up to Mummy Lake and another dip with a osprey looking on from overhead.
We scrambled over boulders to a rocky pass then dropped down past some ptarmigans and lovely meadows to Talc Lake. Martina swam here with a big waterfall in the background. A short hike took us back to campsite again before some thunderstorms set in.
Lovely Scarab Lake
Egypt Lakes Area

Day 6 20th Aug A walk out from Egypt Lakes back to the car today in still steaming hot weather and skies hazy from forest fires. Witnessed an osprey catch a ground squirrel near Healy Pass. Reach the car and return to Banff for 'tea and medals' after a great hike- a smoothie, ice cream and a veggie meal.

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