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The Back Door to Assiniboine # 9736

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Date: 1998.09.13
Vantage Point: From the summit of Centurion Peak

Caption: The Assiniboine Creek valley, Assiniboine and Lunette, and Strom and Wedgewood

PhotoDescr: Most alpinists climb Assiniboine by the tourist route from Lake Magog, generally overnighting at the Hind Hut, gained by zig-zagging up the Headwall.

However, in recent years there has been considerably increased interest in ascending Assiniboine via a less well-traveled, less populous, and less dangerous (from rock-fall) route; hence, the increase in climbers accessing this peak by way Assiniboine Creek, with a bivy at or above Lunette Lake: the west face, although perhaps even looser than the standard route, is less exposed and therefore less technical; it also gives good access to Lunette.

There is yet another reason for hiking for three hours to Assiniboine Lake: another three hours up the usually dry glacier (crampons recommended) in the photo takes one to the col west of the Hind Hut; it is then only a few hundred feet and perhaps a kilometer down through the scree to the shelter and the start of the normal route. Although there is more driving involved to get from Calgary involved to the staging area for Assiniboine Lake, the approach time by foot to the Hind Hut is nearly half what most parties take to cover the 26 km from Shark Mountain parking to Magog Lake; and it's another couple of serious hours up the Headwall to the hut . . . a long day.

One advantage of staying at the Hind Hut is the ability for parties to take a rest day following their approach, during which easy ascents of both Strom and Wedgewood are possible.

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