We had a fantastic weekend! Great and strong and fun group, fabulous weather, and two peaks (for some of us) on Canada Day.
S is for Susan Setting out from Sunshine
It was quite stormy over the whole area on Friday, and when we set out it seemed that we would be in for at least some stormy weather. --invalid photo5943--
We were also worried about how much snow there would be on the trail. There was still quite a bit in Sunshine Village. But while we probably crossed about a kilometre of snow over the shoulder of Quartz Hill and Citadel Pass, it was mostly quite firm and didn't really pose any problems.
D is for Dee at Dallying at Howard Douglas Lake
C is for Carl at Citadel Pass
Entering Assiniboine Park from Citadel Pass
In fact we encountered no rain at all and by the time we stopped for lunch in Golden Valley the clouds were gone and we had sunny skies with occasional clouds for the rest of the weekend.
G is for Greg in Golden Valley
Descending towards Og Lake (Assiniboine in the background)
We arrived at the Naiset cabins a little before 7:00 pm.
J is for John at Jonesy's cabin
There is now a very nice cook shelter between the cabins complete with four burners (supplied with propane) and lots of stainless steel work space as well as two large tables. An amazing array of appetizers, dinners, desserts and wines made their way out of the packs and into our tummies.
The original plan for Canada Day was to do Ely's Dome and Nub Peak. It was clear already on the way in that Ely's Dome was quite snowbound. We discussed a traverse of Cave Mtn, but ended up deciding to "bag" Mt. Cautley which is actually higher than Ely's Dome or Cave Mtn, but was fairly snow free. On Sunday morning we all set out at 9:15. Ascent was straight forward, each of us could frequently choose beteen climbing snow or good scree.
Ascending to Mt Cautley
The last of the group summitted within two hours of the start.
All of us on Mt. Cautley
On the way down, the snow field provided great opportunities to glissade (or slide on bums and backs).
Glissading down Mt. Cautley
We were back at the cabins for lunch and then split into two groups: serious hikers and slackers/lazy-bones/wusses. The first group set out to go to the Nublet and Nub Peak. This scribe isn't quite sure how the others actually spent their afternoon.
A is for Alicja and Mt. Assiniboine
Nub Peak from the Nublet
Second Summiters John, Susan, Alicja, Carl and Bob on Nub Peak (slackers will remain nameless)
B is for Bob drinking a Big Rock Brew
There was much discussion at the lodge and in the Naiset cabins about the condition of Wonder Pass. At least one party who had come through described it as "unpassable" (which must be a kind of oxymoron). In fact there was a fair amount of snow that had to be crossed but we set out early and did very little postholing.
Ascending to Wonder Pass (Nub Peak in the right background)
At Wonder Pass
M is for Marietta at Marvel Lake
I and P are for Ivan Pull and Indian Paintbrush (Aren't they beautiful?)
K is for Krazy Kim Kicking out and Killing time at Bryant Kabin
Four of us headed back from Bryant Creek in order to get the cars from Sunshine. We thought that we travelled quickly but in fact weren't much faster than the others who had to wait quite a while for the shuttle. All but one finished the weekend with a stop at the Drake in Canmore.
Saturday: Sunshine Village to Lake Magog about 29 km with 700 m of climb
Sunday: Mt Cautley 8 km with 640 m of climb, Nub Peak 10 km with 520 m of climb
Monday: Lake Magog to Shark Mtn parking lot via Wonder Pass about 28 km with 250 m of climb
We saw moose, deer, sheep and coyote, but all only from the car! No game seen in the course of our long trek.
A million thanks to Ivan for calling and coordinating this fabulous tour, from participants Alicja, Dee, Kim, Marietta, Susan, Bob, Greg, John and Carl (scribe). Thanks also to John and Bob for planting the shuttle car at Shark Mountain parking lot on Friday.