canada general hiking moosling trip reports

Mount Assiniboine Redux: Day Four

Day Four dawned, another clear day with warm weather. Marvel Lake campground is a little dark and claustrophobic, so I didn’t mind escaping it. The boy was very unimpressed with the fact he had to leave his friend behind though.

He did cheer up a little when he discovered all trail signs had a chocolate button at the top though. You get someone (Lincoln) to lift you up so you can push the button, and then you get chocolate! Hurrah!

The trail widened to double track in to time, and we started working the child entertainment mojo. With some good trail breaks in there to keep everyone happy. It was blissfully cloudy for some time, for which we were all thankful, but still pretty warm.

At one point, the boy discovered that my backpack had a turbo button. Press it, and I had to (reluctantly, and with flailing arms) run for 10 – 15 metres. He took to this with great relish. Everyone else seemed to have some sort of turbo button as well – although they worked with varying degrees of effectiveness.

The boy stole a flower flicker and claimed it as his own though, beginning to pore over it with great interest.

When you’re hiking in this sort of weather, every lake is for swimming. We discovered just how shallow Watridge Lake is though, it’s possible to walk across the entire thing. And there’s so little current that footprints of others remain for some time.

It was at Watridge Lake that we were finally caught by the boy’s friend, and he enthusiastically joined her in identifying flowers for the final walk out to the car park – hurrah!

The final section was, as always, a bit of a slog. And, as always, raised many questions as to why the signage does nothing more than tell you that you’re on a road. We know that we’re on a road! It’s a large straight road! It’s blindingly obvious! What we would quite like to know, is how far it is to the carpark. Or the lake. Or both.

But we did it! And the boy did it! And none of us went mad and strangled any of the others after the three hundredth rendition of the bear hunt song! The weather and views and company were wonderful, even if the mosquitos were not. And although I wouldn’t recommend a 3.5 year old as a hiking partner to anyone planning to cover long distances, I was pretty pleased we managed to cover our 15 kilometres a day. Next time, I won’t underestimate just how much tasty bribery food would be ideal though.

Hiking distance: 14.5km
Distance covered by small child: 14.5km plus additional running to and fro and general gallivanting metres
Flowers species identified: 23
The 2010 version: Here

canada general moosling snow trip reports

Return to Watridge Lake

The last time I passed by Watridge Lake I was 34 weeks pregnant, feeling too warm, with sore feet, and generally feeling as if I’d hiked far enough. We’d hiked through from Sunshine Meadows to Mount Assiniboine, and I’d already travelled 19-20km that day. I was kind of hoping for a travelator to take me home. Or a small helicopter. Perhaps a tame and friendly moose.

This time I returned with a baby on the outside, and a tame snow-shoer to pull along the Chariot.



It took us less than an hour to reach the lake! I was flabbergasted.


Watridge Lake



A happy moosling in his Chariot


After having lunch on the far side, we returned home.


I remember these signs all too well. Six months ago, they kept promising me that I was really near the end. “The car is this way”, they would say. But no mention of distance. It seemed to take forever. Obviously I’m not the only one to have felt this way.


On the drive back to Canmore we came across some moose! They were standing on the road, and weren’t entirely sure what to do as I drove slowly up to them. After running along the road for a while, in a remarkably sheep-like fashion, they worked out how to dive off into the trees (where they glared at us balefully).


Spray Lakes Road Moose