GDT kms: 33.2
We were a bit nervous starting out today as it was the first time we were going over 30 km in a while and we had a long pass to do in the middle of the day. The main goal we set ourselves was to reach the Assiniboine Lodge (km 28 for the day) before 5pm so we could take advantage of their tea time.
We made very good time in the morning heading downhill on very nice trails and we reached Marvel Lake, the last water before the pass, just after 11am. Since we had the pass ahead of us, we took an early lunch at the lake and enjoyed its picture perfect reflections.
Wonder Pass was very pleasant, well graded with an appropriate number of switchbacks. The views were indeed “Wonder”ful at the top and we were pleased to find we made equally wonderful time as we reached the top around 2:30pm – with only 3 km to the Lodge, we were definitely going to make the 4 – 5pm tea time!
At the Lodge, we met up with Arisa again briefly – she had to leave before tea started though as she didn’t manage to book Magog or Og Lakes and needed to carry on to Porcupine. We also saw one of the trail maintenance volunteers and a pair of men who were section hiking the GDT.
Shortly before tea time, they started selling drinks, so I picked us both up a can of cider. We didn’t quite feel like we deserved it as this past section has been so easy, but there is nothing quite like enjoying a drink on a beautiful deck facing towering mountains after a day of hiking. When tea started, we unfortunately discovered they didn’t have any gluten free options, so we decided to just grab another cider each before continuing to Og Lake.
After far too much giggling on the deck at our own terrible jokes, we set out to finish the last 5 km both slightly tipsy. The trail was just as easy as the rest of the day had been and we quickly reached the lake.
There were already a number of other groups setup, so we picked the nicest looking of the remaining sites and then quickly made dinner so we could tuck ourselves in to bed. After making dinner (at lovely picnic tables again) we were surprised to see there was nothing in the food caches yet given the number of groups here. Being slightly concerned that no one knew about the food cache, I made the rounds to the other sites to point out there was a cache and of course all the groups were cooking directly by their tents – hopefully any actual or mini bears bug them and not us in the night.
Tomorrow we are off to brave the crowds in Banff!
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GDT Day 20 There's nothing quite like being able to enjoy a drink on a sunny deck with a beautiful view after a day of hiking – even if it felt like one of your easiest days so far and you aren't quite sure you've earned it. I highly highly recommend timing when you pass by Assiniboine Lodge to line up with when they are open! 📍 Traditional territories of Ktunaxa, Niitsitapi and Tsuu T'ina