Monday, August 19, 2013

Solo Mission in remote Assiniboine

Magog Lake

Since the beginning of the summer, I have been thinking about heading to this very unique zone. It seems like summer is unfolding very quickly and seeing the window of opportunity becoming narrower as the weekend come and go, I decided not to let the lack of partner stop me from feeding my hunger to discover a new territory. The original plan was to run from Mt Shark to Sunshine but since the flood, the Sunshine road is still close so I came up with an alternative plan which was a great compromise.

I started the journey at Mt Shark Parking lot on the Mountain Bike with as small as of overnight pack as I could.  I left my bike in the forest 6 kms later at the limit of the Provincial Park then proceeded to run all the way to Assiniboine Pass and to Magog Lake Campground. In just over 3 hours, I was already in this very outstanding landscape. I quickly set up a very minimalist base camp and took a light running pack to pursuit the exploration. I ran up to Sunburst Lake and continued down to Elizabeth Lake. From there, I climbed up the Nublet and had to keep going to Nub Peak to get a 360 degrees view of the area... pretty breathtaking I have to admit.
Back down, I headed to the lodge just to meet the welcoming lodge manager Claude and Annick and visit the amazing facility.
Back at the campsite to my less luxurious shelter for the night, a crazy thunder storm rolled in. 15 minutes of down pouring rain later, I was hoping my stuff had stayed somewhat dry. People's tent were flipping, leaking... but amazingly, Integral Design keeps everything nice and dry!

When the morning came, the sunrise over the mountain was quite a wonderful and unique sight to start the day. After breaky and packing everything, I dropped my heavier bag at the Naiset Huts and went for a nice run to Og Lake and the Valley of Rocks. Backtracking staring right at Mt Assiniboine in an open Alpine Meadow made for a really enjoyable adventure. Back at Naiset, a quick lunch and off I was up Wonder Pass. The view down to Marvel Lake from that point just keeps on getting better and better and you approach the lake. The trail on a side hill just above the lake just kept on going and going all the way to Bryan Creek Trail. From there, it was 7 km of character building and weight training back to my lovely bicycle which I was very happy to find. The journey was not over yet as there was couple of steep steady climbs to gain the starting point but it was all part of the adventure.
What a mission and what a great feeling to cover  just over 75 km in such a beautiful setup. The distance does not register when you mind in just busy sinking in the beauty. This is certainly not the last trip up there!
Start of the journey... shaving weight
First sight, Assiniboine Pass
Sunburst Lake
Sunburst Lake
Magog Lake from Nub Peak

 Weather Rolling in from Nub Peak
Summit Views

That's what happen when you go light...
Good morning, Magog Lake

Og Lake coming from Valley of Rocks
Home of Grizzlies, Wonder Pass
Assiniboine from Wonder Pass
Marvel Lake
Marvel Lake backdrop

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