As I mentioned in my previous post, Andy and I decided to become ‘highlight hikers’ through Montana, hitting sections no where near the CDT, and some sections of the CDT.  One section we didn’t want to miss was the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  We had heard many good things, especially about the Chinese Wall.

Going Northbound on the CDT, the trail takes you under the Chinese wall for nine miles. After a mile or two, we saw a goat path and a weakness in the wall.  We decided to go for it, as we already were getting tired of just walking under it. On mountains, not under and around.  With a few easy moves we were on the top of the wall, and were greeted with amazing views into the swan mountains and beyond.  The rocks were beautiful, and staying on the walls ridge was really a lot of fun.

Had to throw in this picture. Andy sewing my shorts. Thanks Handy Andy, you're a real pal!

Had to throw in this picture. Andy sewing my shorts. Thanks Handy Andy, you’re a real pal!

Some of the climbing to get up to the wall. I think this makes it look a bit harder than it actually was. It's pretty easy to get up to.

Some of the climbing to get up to the wall. I think this makes it look a bit harder than it actually was. It’s pretty easy to get up to.

Some views on the wall. In my opinion, much more interesting than being underneath it!

Some views on the wall. In my opinion, much more interesting than being underneath it!

The Chinese Wall

The Chinese Wall

Hiker Meng on the Wall

Hiker Meng on the Wall

On the wall

On the wall

Dean Lake

Dean Lake

Dean Lake

Dean Lake

After the Chinese Wall, we reached Dean Lake, which was really quite spectacular, with Pentagon Peak above.  After this, the trail took us down several valleys and kept us low, in the woods.  We were sad, so we smashed some ~40 mile days to get to Glacier National Park.  However, on our way out of the Bob, we passed two backcountry rangers.  We told them where we had come from, and they informed us that those areas were now closing up as several fires were springing up in those areas.  We were not surprised, as the previous day or two had been increasingly smoky.  We didn’t attempt any peaks as it was so smoky and hazy that it hurt your lungs going up.  The rangers seemed skeptical of where we came from, and I can see why, it got really, really nasty.  To the point where you could hardly see the mountains you were under.  They told us the fires in Glacier were unfortunately getting worse, bigger, and more of them. Shoot!

We hustled to glacier, and realized we could barely see anything in there.  At the backcountry office we were told that we would not be able to hike through the park, nearly all of the trails were closed.  Awesome.  We could hike the road to one of the border patrol areas. Nope, if we’re not connecting a footpath, theres no way we’re doing roads.  So we went with plan B, and rented a car for 5 days and headed up to the Canadian Rockies. A terrible option, I know.  But it was either that or sit on our hands in a fire…

I could go on, and on, and on about the Canadian Rockies.  I’ve heard from so many people that they’re the most beautiful mountains in North America. That’s all opinion, but still, they must be nice.  And hot damn, were they ever!  Rather than rattle off about them, I’ll simply tell you what we did, and let the pictures do the talking.

Day 1. Tourists to Upper Falls, Moraine Lake, and Lake Louise.  Drive to Wilson Creek Trailhead in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

Day 2. Hike into Mount Assiniboine Lodge, circle lake Magog, socialize with others in the area

Day 3. Climb Nub Mountain, Circle around the large Assiniboine Cluster back to our car, completing the Mount Assiniboine Circuit

Day 4. Climb Mount Temple above Moraine Lake. Hang out with Hiker trash friends who live in Banff and graciously take us in for a night.  We ride Tandems bikes, get ice cream, and learn much about the area.

Day 5. Drive home

Pictures:

Morning Mist.  Lake Magog and Mt. Assiniboine

Morning Mist. Lake Magog and Mt. Assiniboine

Reflections of Assiniboine in Lake Magog

Reflections of Assiniboine in Lake Magog

A beautiful lake on the Assiniboine Circuit.

A beautiful lake on the Assiniboine Circuit.

More mountains and beautiful Valleys on the Assiniboine Circuit

More mountains and beautiful Valleys on the Assiniboine Circuit

Assiniboine Circuit

Assiniboine Circuit

Sunburst Lake

Sunburst Lake

Climbing the Nub, views back of Sunburst & Magog Lakes, and Assiniboine

Climbing the Nub, views back of Sunburst & Magog Lakes, and Assiniboine

Andy got this photo of me with Mt. Assiniboine on Sunburst Lake

Andy got this photo of me with Mt. Assiniboine on Sunburst Lake

Wildflowers, Lake Magog, Assiniboine

Wildflowers, Lake Magog, Assiniboine

Handy Andy in the morning with Lake Magog and Assiniboine

Handy Andy in the morning with Lake Magog and Assiniboine

Standing tall on the way down from Nub Peak.  This view was my favorite of the entire trip.  I couldn't help but feel so lucky to be here.

Standing tall on the way down from Nub Peak. This view was my favorite of the entire trip. I couldn’t help but feel so lucky to be here.

On the way up Temple Peak.

On the way up Temple Peak.

On the way up Temple Peak.

On the way up Temple Peak.

On the way up Temple Peak.

On the way up Temple Peak.

Yeah, we rode this around town :)

Yeah, we rode this around town 🙂

Huge shout out to Keith, Leslie and Jan.  We had such a blast in Banff with Y'all!

Huge shout out to Keith, Leslie and Jan. We had such a blast in Banff with Y’all!

Andy on the way up Mount Temple

Andy on the way up Mount Temple

The nice cliffs on Mount Temple.  Moraine Lake Below

The nice cliffs on Mount Temple. Moraine Lake Below

Moraine Lake from Mount Temple

Moraine Lake from Mount Temple

Andy going down Mount Temple

Andy going down Mount Temple

Buds

Buds

Best Buds!

Best Buds!

Andy on the way up Mount Temple

Andy on the way up Mount Temple

Being a creep in the tunnel.  We don't look, or smell, like normal tourists

Being a creep in the tunnel. We don’t look, or smell, like normal tourists

Castle Peaks

Castle Peaks

Lower Falls

Lower Falls

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Lake Louise.

Lake Louise.

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake