GDT kms: 19.1 + 1.8 on the second half of the Sunshine Village alternate
We woke up very excited to be able to finally leave Banff and get back on the trail and away from people (sorta). We grabbed the buffet breakfast at our hotel before catching a 5 min cab ride to another hotel where we’d be able to catch the shuttle to Sunshine Village. Since it was the weekend, we’d be able to take the gondola up to the trail rather than the bus we had to take down a few days ago. It was a pretty standard gondola ride, although a bit longer than we were expecting.
Once we got on the trail, despite the gentle grade, we were both quite slow after two days of minimal movement. It took probably two hours for us to really get in the zone again, at which point it was almost lunch. Unfortunately, all the points that looked like good lunch spots were already occupied by lots of hikers, so we decided to press on to Egypt Lake.
At the lake, we went into the shelter for a lunch experience with fewer bugs. There were four hikers already in the shelter, but they left shortly after and we got to enjoy our lunch by ourselves for a bit. We then set off to climb Whistling Pass. The climb was nice and easy and offered great views at the top.
We reached our campsite a bit before 6 pm and found that 2/5 sites were already occupied. We quickly snagged one and within 15 minutes another two groups arrived and occupied the remaining sites. Dinner was also a group affair, but it was nice to be able to sit and eat even if we didn’t get the solitude we have gotten used to on the trail. It seems like the next few days will be equally busy as we’ll be on the Rockwall Trail, so hopefully we acclimatize to our new normal soon!