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Assiniboine - Approach and Various Routes
Timestamp Free: 2019.04.23 - 10:42:45
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
Describes route from parking lot to Magog Lake, then to Hind Hut, and then two climbing routes.
Although not over twelve-thousand feet, Assiniboine is, nevertheless, the tallest of the eighteen peaks that comprise the southern component of the group of fifty-two eleven-thousand-plus summits of the Rocky Mountains. As well, it is usually considered the queen of the southern Rockies, partly because of its height which causes it to tower above its surroundings, but also because of its aesthetically symmetrical and pyramidal shape, as well as its inspring location. For all these reasons, it is a peak frequently visited, often ranking in the estimation of the non-local climber up with Robson and even Alberta. Although not a difficult climb, Assiniboine poses its own set of intriguing problems, perhaps the foremost being weather. Being as large and dominant in the area as it is, the peak often attracts, creates, and holds inclement weather -- and this is not a peak where one wants to be trapped during a full-bore August blizzard. It took me three attempts (1974, 1976, and 1983) before I finally stood on its summit in 1985, and each of those earlier attempts was thwarted by bad weather.
So much has been written about Assiniboine and the magnificence of the surrounding Lake Magog area, that I will confine my remarks to what I consider to be a few helpful notes, rather than providing a complete route description:
1. The Approach: the usual route in to the Magog Lake campground starts at the Shark Mt. parking area, which itself is at the end of the road that turns off the Smith-Dorien highway (which joins Canmore and the Kananaskis Lakes) at Engadine Lodge. It's a long way with a full pack up this trail -- some 26-27 km, and roughly half of it is in trees and therefore offers very few views. -- it is no longer permissible to use mountain bikes after the first 5 km;...
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