Wednesday 17 August.
Mt. Assiniboine day 1
Another experience during my Mt. Assiniboine trail. I drove by car to the Parking at Sunshine Ski Area. In winters it will be crowded here with skiërs. At weekdays you can get a shuttlebus up to the start of my trail in stead of the gondola and you skip the first seven boring steep kms up. At 10.15 am I left at Sunshine Village for my 5-days trail. Unfortunately together with four Texan-American. Beuhhh, I didn’t want to walk together with them all the 14 kms to the first campground. I ask where they were heading today. Shit….the same campground as I had in mind. I really prefer walking on my own.
This was the main reason I upted my pace and get rid of them. I decided to pass my (their) planned campground, so I wouldn’t have to listen to their stupid jokes all evening. The consequence was another 9,5 kms to the next one. I had a tough time after the first 14kms. Pfff, I didn’t get a Texan-free-time for free. Their was no watersource on the way and I ran out of it. My first 3 weeks I constantly crossed creeks, rivers, lakes…loads of water all the time. And today: none! I felt myself in a desert, totally dehydrated. I start hallucinating…no kidding…but it was really a very very hard time. The scenery didn’t interest me much, no views..only messy wood and rocks…When I finally reached my campground Lake Og …..their was no watersource either!! Just the Lake Og itself down there…another stoney descent to go. I walked immediatly to this lake and filled my waterbottle. Not only with water but together with hunderds little red bugs…they were living very happily at the surface of this lake. I drank the water with eyes closed, not thinking about living creatures sliding down my throat, but focusing on the cool healing sense of fresh clear water. That is what you can do when you are thursty and too tired to care. I am so thankful for this personal caracteristic (eigenschap) , I really do not care when that is more convenient. (Als het me goed uitkomt kan het me geen donder schelen)
My body and specially my legs felt knackered, this 23 kms with 19kilo was in fact too much, bút no annoying men around me!
Thursday 18 August Day 2:
I got up at 6, totally clouded, went down to the lake again for more red little pieces of meat…. but the water was totally clear now, what a nice surprise, allthe bugs were still asleep at the bottom.
My destination today was campground Magog, only 7 kms away. This very populair campground is crázy. You cannot make reservations for the campgrounds here, you just have to be their in time in the morning to get a prepared spot for your tent, there are approx 30 spots. If all the spots are taken you use the “overflow”, which means go out in the wild and find a spot in the surrounding area. I was very lucky I found an empty spot for my first night, because in the morning people move from overflow into the official campground. I had nr 20, close to the shelter where people connect, cook their meals, chat, drink bear and wine… Huh??? All that bottles?? Such a crowded area! I understood quite soon that it is because of the helicopter! Ahaaa.
You can let drop your bags up here by a helicopter, filled with all the heavy bottles with alcohol. You can also let drop yourself here by this helicopter. That is why it is so crowded up here. Got it.
Shortly after the ritual of pitching tent and install basecamp it suddenly starts to rain for a few hours. I hide away in my sleepingbag, read and slept till the showers (also hagel) were over. Then went to this well known Lodge where the helicopter drops everybody who is a. to lazy to walk in and b. has the money to do this. At 4pm they have their teatime for campingpeople. I saw nobody drinking tea. It was better named “happy hour”. I met two really nice Chinese guys from spot nr.19 and they asked me to join them for a sunrisehike coming night. Yezzzzzz, sure!
Friday 19 August day 3 started at 03.00 am.
In the light of the full moon and the Petzls on our heads we left the campground for a 3 hour hike mountain up to Wonder Peak. It was freezing… and amazingly special. Henry (i think they gave themself another names) carried $15000 photogear up to shoot a prizewinner. He and Dave specially came to Mt. Assiniboine to do this…and I just joined them! I made coffee at the top of Wonder Peak while they were installing their stuff. We spend 2 hours up their to catch the perfect light…It was an astonishing view and experience. I had a great time with them, felt on top of this Canadian world again!
We had to rush after this because they had to catch their helicopterflight back at 11 from the lodge.
Around six it started to become very cold, temperature quickly goes down to …. maybe 5°… or 0°..or -2°…I was asleep at 7pm already.
Day4 Saturday 20 August
Packed and left at 9.30. Walked the boring Valley of the Rocks to campground Porcupine. A little campground but again many people in the overflow including me this time. I tried to find a bit horizontal piece of ground and succeeded, I slept well. Met a lot of Canadians again around a campfire (the only way to stay up in evenings without freezing, but open fires are almost everywhere forbidden, this campground was an exception) and listen the whole evening to all kind of Canadian stories; evacuation from the big fires in Alberta, shotguns to kill beavers on your acres….
Day 5 Sunday 21 August
Walking out means you hike your last day of the trail back to the Parking. So I did. I am tired! Only 15 kms but they feel much more. Entered the super ugly Sunshine Ski Village and ordered a white wine, salad and fries!! Yammieee!!
No buss on Sunday but the gondola down.
I’m heading of to my airbnb adres in Canmore for a bath, wifi and rest!!