Magog Lake

Elevation: 2205 m
Distance: 29 km
My Ascents:
August 17 2011

For years now, I’ve wanted to take the time to hike into Magog Lake to see majestic Mount Assiniboine up close! The problem is, finding someone else willing to take on a heavy pack with me for 29 km…enter Brianne. After kicking around the idea for a bit, she seemed surprisingly gung-ho to do it (that’s why I love her) despite the fact that she’d never been back-packing before. With the luxury of having the whole summer off, I was in no rush, so we set aside a week for the trip and booked our spots on the bus up to Sunshine Village hoping that the weather would cooperate and that we might even be able to bag a couple peaks!

Calvin the cat trying to sneak along for the ride to Assiniboine. Sorry bud, pack was heavy enough as is!

Gorgeous early morning views from the Sunshine Meadows. We opted to take the slightly longer Sunshine Meadows approach since it would surround us with alpine views for longer than the alternative Bryant Creek approach.

Wildflower season in full swing in the meadows.

My poor Breezy goat suffering under a heavy load. Turns out a 29 km trek with a bag packed for 7 days may have been a poor choice for her first backpacking trip!

A couple km in, arriving at Quartz Hill. Still managing a smile! With views like this, it’s hard not to! Sunshine ski area behind her.

Mount Howard Douglas. Better known as Sunshine’s “Great Divide”.

Who knew that you could see Cascade Mountain over Banff from the Sunshine area?

Howard Douglas Lake in front of Citadel Peak. Mount Assiniboine still a LONG ways away and in the clouds.

Not her diggings...guess this is bear territory!

Citadel Peak from Citadel Pass. 9 km down, 20 to go!

Stretching out those poor spasm-ing shoulders.

Furry friend atop Citadel Peak.

The view towards Assiniboine from Citadel Pass. The 'Boine still lurking above the clouds (funny how often it does that).

Beginning the rather steep descent from Citadel Pass. This lengthy descent made us realize that the hike back out in a week would be thoroughly unpleasant! We only hoped that our packs would be much lighter then!

After the descent, we were 'treated' to a long, generally boring and dry 5.5 km in the aptly named Valley of the Rocks.

Exhaustion setting in in the Valley of the Rocks. At this point, we started taking things out of her pack and putting them in mine to try to spare her poor shoulders.

Brianne: "Are we there yet?"
Matt: "The lake is just over the next rise there, I swear."
Repeat x 1 million.
Sorry Brianne!

Finally, a welcome sight! Og Lake, 22.5 km from our starting point, was our destination for day 1. Assiniboine within striking distance now!

The next morning: a very still Og Lake. Only 7 more km to Magog and the base of mighty Mount Assiniboine!

Mount Magog beyond the meadows. After 22.5 km the previous day, the hike from Og Lake to Magog Lake was downright pleasant (or, at least I thought so).

Still forcing a smile (for pictures at least)!

Getting close to Magog Lake campground...or so we thought. We grew skeptical after 3 consecutive trail signs over the span of 1.5 km told us that the campground was 2.0 km away. Will the approach never end?!

Home for the next 3 nights! If only the view from my balcony was this beautiful!

Better still, an outhouse with a view!

The view from the shitter.

After setting up camp, we took a quick walk to Magog Lake to filter and collect drinking water (useful for diluting Finnish vodka amongst other things) and were greeted with this breath-taking view!

This lake is most definitely glacier-fed!

A perfectly Canadian way to finish our trip into Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park - listening to the soothing call of a loon on Magog Lake. Now that the approach is done, on with the scrambling!