It was a later start to the day as the couple got ready and packed up. We all had to put wet gear away and they needed to figure out what to do with all their canned food and garbage.
The start of the trail was generally easy with wide trails even though it was steep. Then it turned into a “proper” trail with rocky, uneven paths. We found grouse family along the way, which upset the mother who wanted to distract us from her little ones. We also startled a moose, which was far enough away and it ran into a lake to swim across to the other side. We had made enough noise to give it enough warning to make a departure from the area.
The climb became more challenging, but the trail brought us to some amazing snow-capped mountains and turquoise lakes. As we climbed, there was snow on the ground which was deeper as we reached the top of Wonder Pass. The Pass was spectacular and it was hard to believe I was standing on a trail, surrounded by snow. It is a indescribable feeling to stand on top of a mountain pass looking back at the ground you had covered, wondering how you managed to find yourself there.
There was no sign of Bruce the grizzly, even though people we passed had reported seeing him on the trail not long before we crossed through. There were plenty of signs of Bruce, with scat on the trail and plenty of mounds where he had dug up ground squirrels.
The path ended with a stretch of boardwalks leading to Mt Assiniboine Lodge. We had made it in time for Happy Hour at 4pm which campers and hikers could enjoy. We were 20 minutes early, so we sat around at the lodge and imagined what the view of Mt Assiniboine would have looked like if it wasn’t hidden behind the snow clouds. It was actively snowing and when Happy Hour started, we sat with tea and wine while we rested our tired feet
Magog Lake was busy. Many of the bear lockers were already full when we arrived, but there was room on the bear hang. This was the first campground that required campers to set up on the tent pads. Campsite 39 was close to the washrooms, and was in a corner away from the noise of the rest of the campers.
The night, I froze and put on as many layers as I could and stole Oliver’s quilt while he was at the cooking shelter playing board games with other hikers. Sadly, he took his quilt back when he returned to the tent.
GDT C – Day 5 – Magog Lake to Porcupine
GDT C – Day 6 – Porcupine to Sunshine Village
GDT C – Day 7 – Banff (Zero Day)
GDT C – Day 8 – Banff (Floe Lake Trailhead) to Floe Lake
GDT C – Day 9 – Floe Lake to Tumbling Creek
GDT C – Day 10 – Tumbling Creek to McArthur Creek
GDT C – Day 11 – McArthur Creek to Ottertail Trailhead