Alex got up early this morning, and headed out to hike up the Nublet with a couple of others. I bravely guarded our tent from intruders in his absence.
This is the photo you can get if you hike up the Nublet for sunrise though:
We got going in a semi-organised kind of way, although the boy’s enthusiasm wasn’t high first thing in the morning.
He spent plenty of time sitting on the ground and complaining about tired legs for the first kilometre – we weren’t too concerned though, as they promptly got better and were good for running as soon as anything interesting happened.
We ended up taking it pretty easy that morning though. First there was a prolonged break to throw rocks at the majestic scenery.
Which turned into wandering around naked in the lake for those of us under the age of five.
That was followed by lots of running along boardwalks, and then watching fish swim up a stream. Alex tried going trout tickling, but failed to catch us one for dinner, despite some fairly amusing fish stalking attempts.
We were amazed by how beautiful the Wonder Pass trail was though, especially in comparison to Assiniboine Pass which we’d hiked over last time. We had gone that way because we thought it was shorter, but I’m not even sure it is shorter! And even if it is, a trail is much easier to hike along if you have wonderful things to stare at.
Speaking of wonderful things to stare at, a helicopter flew overhead at one point. The picture below captures the boy going “Wow! Coool!” as the helicopter went by. His excitement quickly transformed into terror as the helicopter kept flying back and forth, getting closer and closer to us. After that close call, we armed ourselves with sticks, just in case any other helicopters tried to get us.
The awesome scenery continued, as did the slow pace. But we had Lincoln with us this time, which helped keep the small person a little more entertained.
And there were lots of streams and bridges to stop at. Right towards the top of the pass we came across an enormously fat and content marmot. He hopped off one rock, then belly-flopped and wiggled his way onto another, before continuing to lazily sun himself. Marmots seem to have their life priorities sorted.
As we crested Wonder Pass, we found a nice breezy spot with a bit of shade to stop for lunch. Oops, we still had a long way to go, better pick up the pace!
Setting off after lunch, we realised that the others had lunched just a few hundred metres ahead of us. But we quickly lost them as we hiked down towards Marvel Lake.
There were some exciting snow patches to cross, and snow balls to be thrown.
But then the switchbacks began. Back and forth, back and forth, singing the Bear Hunt song again and again and again (“Uh oh, chocolate!… We can’t go round it. We can’t go under it. We’ll have to eat our way through it!”) The day got warmer, and the lake got tantilisingly closer.
Eventually the path stopped descending, and instead traversed along above the lake, taunting us with its glittering blue presence, so close yet so far.
Every stream crossing the trail became an opportunity for a break, and occasionally, for re-filling water containers.
But then we finally caught the others! And their tasty, tasty goldfish crackers.
From then on we hiked mostly as a group until we reached Marvel Lake.
The boy was thrilled to find a friend at this point, in the shape of a very sweet 9 year old girl who was out hiking with her parents. She very patiently listened to him enthuse about trains, and kept pace with him as we walked to the shores of Marvel Lake.
There we stopped to cook dinner, while the new friend kept going. There was much despair for some time, but food heals many issues in life.
Eventually we got up and hiked the final kilometre to the campground, and there was much joy as we set up our tent in the campsite next to the new friend, and went and visited her before going to bed for the night.
Hiking distance: 15.5km
Distance covered by small child: 15.5km plus additional running to and fro and general gallivanting metres
Free cookies: None :(
New friends for the small child: One very sweet nine year old girl from Calgary
The 2010 version: Here