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Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park - Hiking In/Out Option (6/23/2017)

PRE-REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. You will then make your payment for this event at the venue, NOT in advance to the EOC.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to read this page in its entirety before signing up. If you'd like to attend, we ask that you abide by our rules and procedures as a time/cost saving process (with an end result of keeping membership free and lower cost events).

The Basics:
Event Type:Overnight
Event Location: Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Jun 23 2017, Sat, Jun 24 2017, Sun, Jun 25 2017  7:00 AM  (Carpool Departure: N/A   *log in for location*)
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Jun 23 2017 12:00:00 PM
Event Duration:3 days, 2 nights
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Event Coordinator(s): Ryan
You must be logged in to get the Event Coordinator contact information.
Member Cost:$20.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 18 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:1
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 5 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes

Itinerary:
There is still space for more people to be added to this trip. However, please note that this trip is posted at a D6 (Advanced) difficulty rating specifically because we will be completing a very long (>25km) hike in the backcountry on two of the three days during this trip. If you are interested, you must provide me with information about your previous hiking experience - based on further discussion, I will determine whether to approve adding interested participants to this trip. This is not a trip that is appropriate for beginners.

A pre-trip meeting for this event is tentatively scheduled for the evening of June 15th.

Over a three-day weekend, our group will complete long hikes (25-30 km each way) on Friday and Sunday that will take us into and out of the core area of Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park. Because we will be hiking a considerable distance in and out of the park, everyone participating in this event must have significant recent backcountry experience, including the completion of prior backpacking trips. If you are interested in joining this event, please email me (Ryan) to discuss your prior experience.

If you do not have sufficient experience to complete the long trek into the park, or simply do not want to do the long hike in and out of the park, but would like to join us for camping and day hiking, another option you may wish to consider would be taking a helicopter flight into Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. Although the companion event that I have set up has been removed from the EOC calendar due to lack of interest, if anyone does make arrangements to take a helicopter flight into Mt Assiniboine Park during that weekend and is interested in joining the rest of the EOC group on June 24 for day hiking, please let me know.

Introduction

Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park in British Columbia is a magnificent place of shimmering alpine lakes, glacier-clad mountains, sky scraping peaks and alpine meadows filled with wildflowers and larch trees. World renowned Mount Assiniboine , reaching up to an elevation of 3,618 metres, is situated along the Continental Divide near the south east corner of the park and has defined mountain splendour in the Canadian Rockies for over 100 years. Mount Assiniboine, the “Matterhorn of the Rockies”, sits in beautiful isolation and soars above its neighbors.

Mount Assiniboine Park lies within the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa or Kootenai First Nations people.  Mount Assiniboine is named in honour of the Assiniboine people. Its name means “stone boiler”, a name that comes from the practice of putting hot rocks into animal pouches or holes filled with water in order to cook food. The Mount Assiniboine area was well known to the indigenous peoples of the foothill and mountain country.

Although it is close to Banff and Canmore and bordered by Banff and Kootenay National Parks, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is quite remote. There is no road access into the park; the only access is on foot or by helicopter. Mount Assiniboine itself cannot be observed from any roads. However, skiiers at the Sunshine Village skihill can see the distinctive shape of Mount Assiniboine in the distance from the top of the Standish chairlift.

Hiking In and Out of Mount Assiniboine Park 

Hiking In (Friday): We will be starting and ending our hike at the Mt. Shark trailhead, which is located within Spray Lakes Provincial Park (Alberta) along the Smith- Dorrien Trail road (Hwy 742) 36 km south of Canmore. From the Mt Shark trailhead, the trail gradually descends 65 m of elevation over the first 6 km until it reaches the Spray River. The trail then gradually climbs through the Bryant Creek valley. At the 14.2 km mark we’ll reach a junction in the trail that would lead us to Wonder Pass – we will follow this trail on our way out of Mt Assiniboine Park on the Sunday. We will continue along the trail towards Assiniboine Pass. The elevation gain between the Spray River (6 km from the Mt Shark trailhead) and Assiniboine Pass (23 km from the trailhead) is 465 m. Assiniboine Lodge is 2.1 km from Assiniboine Pass (after 15 m of further elevation gain). The Lake Magog campground will be reached after hiking a further 1.8 km.

Completing this hike in one day will be a challenge (typical hiking time is 8 hours). It will be possible to arrange for heavier gear (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, etc.) to be flown into the park by helicopter. We will meet at the Mt Shark trailhead for 7 AM. Those interested in the gear transportation option must make arrangements in advance with Mt Assiniboine Lodge, which operates the helicopter service – any gear to be flown in will be left at the helipad at Mt Shark.  I will coordinate who is bringing gear so that we can minimize everyone’s costs as much as possible. Assuming that 10-15 pounds of gear is flown in and out per person, gear transportation costs by helicopter would be $30-$50 per person for the trip in, and an equal amount if we choose to have our gear also flown out. An early start to our hike (8 AM) will enable us to complete the hike by late afternoon/early evening. 

Hike Out (Sunday):

Instead of taking the Assiniboine Pass route out, we will instead follow the scenic Wonder Pass trail. Both the Assiniboine Pass and the Wonder Pass trails depart from Mt Assiniboine Park and will lead us towards Mt Shark, meeting up at a trail junction located 14.2 km from the Mt Shark trailhead. The difference between these routes is that for the first portion of the Wonder Pass route we will be ascending, gaining 230 m of elevation over the first 4.5 km from the Lake Magog campground to the Wonder Pass. Once we crest Wonder Pass, we will have an incredible vista, looking down on the far side of the pass towards Marvel Lake, and looking in the other direction back towards the alpine meadows within Mt Assiniboine Park. Over the next 8.9 km the trail follows alongside Marvel Lake, gradually descending 515 m of elevation before meeting up with the trail that leads out of Mt Assiniboine Park over Assiniboine Pass. The final 14.2 km of the hike out will be following the same trail that we had followed to access Mt Assiniboine Park.

As for the hike into the park, we will also have the option of making arrangements to have gear flown out of the park. Gear to be flown will be dropped off at Mt Assiniboine Lodge on our way out of the park. One of the constraints is that any gear that is flown out will be brought to the Canmore Heliport, where it will be available for pickup between 4-6 PM -- if we are unable to complete our hike in time to reach Canmore before 6 PM, we will need to be prepared to have to remain in the Canmore area for the night so that we can retrieve gear on Monday morning.

More information about the hiking routes can be found here: http://assiniboinelodge.co m/genera l-info/hiking-and-assiniboine

Camping in Mt Assiniboine Park

We will be camping at the Lake Magog backcountry campground, located near Mt. Assiniboine, during our visit. A map of the core area in the interior of the park can be found at  http://assiniboinelodge.com/camping/wher e-are-they, which shows where the campground is in relation to other features in the park that are described below.

It is not possible to make reservations in advance for the Lake Magog campground. However, the campground is quite large, with space for 29 tents. There are also overflow areas available in case the primary campground is full. The Lake Magog campground is rather luxurious as far as backcountry campsites go, offering a semi-enclosed cooking shelter, an open-air cooking area, several food storage lockers, 2 grey water pits, 3 water taps and 5 outhouses. More information about the campground can be found here:  http://assiniboinelodge.com/camping

Everyone will require a BC Parks wilderness pass in order to camp within Mt Assiniboine Park. Wilderness passes can either be purchased up to two weeks in advance of the trip through BC Parks or purchased at the campground itself by submitting cash at a self-registration station inside the campground. Camping fees $10/person/night.

Please let me know if you have a tent and/or other equipment that can be shared with the group (e.g. backpacking stoves, water filter, etc.). As much as possible my aim is for everyone to share equipment so that we can minimize the amount of gear that needs to be flown in and out of the park for the group. 

Alternative accommodations are also available in the park. UPDATE (June 9): My understanding is that the Naiset Huts and Assiniboine Lodge are fully booked for the weekend for June 24-25. A group of five backcountry huts – the Naiset Huts, which cost $25/person/night – may also be available. Accommodation at the Naiset Huts can be reserved in advance through Assiniboine Lodge; any unreserved beds can also be claimed on arrival on a first-come basis. Assiniboine Lodge also offers accommodation in their private cabins and rooms. Accommodation at the Lodge is somewhat more expensive than either camping or staying at the Naiset Huts, costing more than $325/person/night.

Although the plan is for the EOC group to stay in the campground, we will be able to visit Assiniboine Lodge each day during their happy hour (between 4-5 PM). The Lodge offers afternoon tea at this time, which is open to everyone ($8 cash per person, which includes tea, lemonade and a selection of homemade baked goods), and also has beer and wine available for purchase. Make sure that you bring cash!

Saturday Day Hiking

There are a number of day hiking options in the Mount Assiniboine core area. On Saturday our goal will be to complete a spectacular hike to  The "Niblet" and "Nublet": (6 km return, 350 m elevation gain). The hike leads to a ridge called the "Niblet", from which we will get spectacular views, along one of the most iconic vistas in the Rockies. Continuing along this ridge will take us to the low summit of the "Nublet", from which we will get a spectacular view of Mt Assiniboine, as well as Sunburst, Cerulean, Elizabeth, Magog and Wedgewood Lakes.

Another hiking option which we may also complete is a trip to Sunburst, Cerulean and Elizabeth Lakes: 9 km return, 120 m elevation gain. This hike is described as an easy hike along the shorelines of the three alpine lakes. 

Travel Arrangements from Edmonton

A pre-trip meeting will be organized (date and time to be determined), at which logistical arrangements, including potential ride-sharing arrangements, will be discussed. Due to the early departure time on June 23rd for participants who will hike all the way into Mt Assiniboine, everyone doing so should plan on arriving in the Canmore region by the evening of June 22nd and staying overnight. Helicopter passengers will have more flexibility regarding their arrival time in Canmore, but must arrive at the Mt Shark trailhead by 12:30 PM to check in with the helicopter service provider prior to their flight.


Required Items to Bring:
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Backcountry permit (if pre-registered), or cash to purchase backcountry permit at Lake Magog campground
Food for the weekend
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
Tent
Water filter
Backcountry stove
Cash for Happy Hour at Mount Assiniboine Lodge

How to Get There:
Event Directions:To access Mt Shark trailhead from Canmore, follow the Smith-Dorrien Trail (Hwy 742) 36 km south to reach the trailhead.
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):850Km
Carpool Departure Time: N/A
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: The event coordinator(s) will help you to arrange a centralized carpool if you require it, but it's not guaranteed. Please DO NOT pay your driver en route. Passengers will pay the coordinator, and he/she will distribute the money to the carpool drivers. SO PLEASE BRING CASH!!! Approximate vehicle expense for this event is $195.50 (calculated at total Km * $0.23, effective Saturday, September 23, 2017). This is based on $0.09/Km for maintenance, plus current gas price divided by 9. This cost will be multiplied by the number of carpooled cars, and divided by the number of carpool participants.

Notes:

- We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines at all times while participating in EOC events.
- Please scroll through and read the entire online waiver when you sign up.
- Details of this event are subject to undergo a change at any point in time, with or without warning.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$20.00/Person
Cost Includes:This cost is for the backcountry camping fees for camping for two nights in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.

You may also consider making pre-arrangements with the helicopter service offered through Mount Assiniboine Lodge to have camping gear transported into the park (at a cost of $3+GST per pound of gear).
Make a Payment:Although there is a cost for this event, you do not pay through the EOC. Please review the event details carefully for information about how/where to make your payment.
 
Voluntary Donation:What is this?)
Suggested donation amount for this event is: $2.00/Person.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
Please review our Cancellation Policy carefully!