canada general hiking

Mount Assiniboine hike: Day Two

Overnight rain made the tent seem warm and snug, although I definitely need to work on my 34 weeks pregnant tent-sleeping system. A thicker Thermarest would have been a good start, and it was really hard to manage without the standard side-body pillow – piles of clothes had an annoying tendency to not stay where they were put. I didn’t even bother trying to sleep inside a sleeping bag (that had been tricky enough a couple of months ago), and rather just used my comfy stretchy liner with a sleeping bag unzipped on top.


Through the endless Golden Valley


A bowl of porridge and some more snacking later, and we were hiking along Golden Valley, away from the campground. Golden Valley seemed to last forever though, with constant uphills that just turned and went downhill again. Although, at around the point when I was thinking that maybe we were just trapped in the valley forever, we came across a swampy lake, WITH A MOOSE IN IT! The moose thrashed about and thundered off into the undergrowth ahead of us, but we never caught another glimpse of it. Still, my first local moose sighting.


Valley of the Rocks


Not too long afterwards, we climbed out of the valley and into the Valley of the Rocks. There were rocks. It’s a dry and barren place, and can feel quite exposed with the ridge on the left feeling like it should harbour people waiting to ambush you. The rocks feel like they should have hoards of small furry creatures living in them too, but we saw hardly any – one chipmunk, perhaps a tree squirrel.




We did however, see a porcupine. It galloped up into a tree when it saw us walking past, so we could wander over to have a closer look (gratefully avoiding finding out personally just how far a porcupine can throw its spines).


Path flowers


Eight and a half kilometres of mostly flat walking later, and we arrived at Og Lake for lunch. Here the terrain opened up, we could see Mount Assiniboine again, and the ground squirrels returned!


Views of Assiniboine again as we get close to Lake Og


After a lunch at Og Lake (spent watching ground squirrels) we walked on through the Og Meadows. By Og Creek. The reappearance of the ground squirrels made everything more entertaining, and the trail here was easier walking again – a lot less up and down and roots and rocks.


The Slog of Og


A short walk later (and a short being rained on, and standing on top of a rock because we could) and we were entering the trees, and the network of trails that surround Mount Assiniboine Lodge. Tantalisingly close to Lake Magog now, we kept coming across trail junctions with helpful signs telling us we were now 500 metres closer than we had been 500 metres ago. They were preferable to the ones that told us we were no closer, despite having walking 500 metres.

My feet began to protest, my legs threatened to fall off, but we finally made it to the Lake Magog campground – where we found all of the campsites were miles away up an enormous hill (on going down the hill the next morning, we found they were strangely close).


Camp at the Lake Magog campground – none of the tent sites had good views of the lake


After a brief collapse and lathering with mosquito repellent (there were hoards of them!) we wandered down to the shore of the lake. Well, Brendan wandered down, I had to spend some time convincing my legs that they could still carry the weight of me, and then Alex and I headed down after him.


Assiniboine (stolen from Alex) (I was kicking myself for just taking my 50mm lens instead of my wide angle – yes it weighs much less, but I could only photograph this view a fragment at a time)


We sat by the lakeside, throwing rocks at it and eyeing off the totally improbably looking approach to Hind Hut, that sits under Mount Assiniboine (up those cliffs below its right shoulder).


Beached whale?


Dinner in the fancy cooking shelter followed (for both us and the swarms of mosquitoes that live there) before a couple of games of Monopoly cards and then escape into the tent to read.

Days total hiking distance: 16km


Map of Day Two (click to embiggen)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.