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.
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