Me and my family on “the niblet” with Mt. Assiniboine making an indelible impression on our souls
It was my great pleasure to talk about Mt. Assiniboine Lodge for my August Column on Alberta at Noon. You can listen to the podcast here. I’m at the 15:10 to 18:45 mark in the tape.
The recipes and links from that piece are here.
Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park
Mt. Assiniboine Lodge opened in 1928. It was the first ski-touring lodge in North America. It seems that the people who have worked there have fallen so deeply in love with it that they have spent most of their lives devoted to it.
This blog will give some of the history, talk about current and past owners and use pictures to show you what a few days of living and hiking at the lodge is like. I’ve described the wildflowers food and and some recipes in other posts. I hope you will explore those as well.
Frittata and scones with homemade preserves – 2nd course of breakfast – Mt. Assiniboine Lodge
photo – Karen Anderson
Each morning at Mt. Assiniboine Lodge you will hear a friendly voice just outside your cabin door softly saying (really almost singing in an angelic voice), “Good morning, I’ve brought you some hot water – see you at breakfast” and then they are gone and only the birdsong is left in their wake. The cabin and feather duvet you are lying under are toasty warm. There is very cold running water at the sink by the window where light has been drifting in and nudging you for an hour already but it is only this sweet act of truly warm care that will induce you to finally stretch your monumentally tired hiking musculature from such cozy bliss.
A quick trip to the biffy and back to that hot pail of water and then it is off to the main lodge for part one of breakfast. There will be teas and fresh coffee and a buffet of Swiss muesli, hot cereal, fruit salad, orange and cinnamon stewed prunes,homemade granola and yogurt. That is only the first course of a Mt. Assiniboine Lodge hiker/skier’s breakfast. There is always a second course straight from the ovens of this truly remote lodge nestled deep in the Canadian Rockies on the border of British Columbia and Alberta.
After breakfast the daily hiker’s lunch-to-go bounty is laid out on a table for DIY back packing nourishment. Meats, cheeses, vegetables, spreads, an assortment of freshly made rustic breads, cookies, fruits, nuts and little treats are on offer. Guests pick and choose and build a lunch that will fuel the challenge they are about to undertake.
The hosts, Andre Brenner or Claude Duchesne, announce the two guided hikes of the day and groups form based on ability and desire. At 0930 hours they go their separate ways for some serious sojourning. When they return at about 1600 hours there will be lots of fluids, fresh cheeses, fruits and vegetables waiting to help them recover and tide them over till the 1830 hours dinner bell is rung.
What follows are some pictures of the glorious meals one can expect in the most unexpected of all places – deep in the back country of Canada’s pristine Rocky Mountain wilderness.
photo – Karen Anderson
I am passionate about spending time in nature because I find it one of the easiest ways to live in the moment and savour my life in the now. I’m all-absorbed by the natural beauty of my province Alberta. Every where I look there is something magnificent.
This week I fulfilled a life-long dream of going to Mt. Assiniboine. This is a mountain which sits on the continental divide and the border of British Columbia and Alberta. There are no roads. It is only accessible via a 27 kilometer hike (which was closed due to a recent massive flood in Alberta) or a seven minute helicopter flight. I got to fly in. What a thrill.
In this post I’ll talk a bit about why Assiniboine is such a special place and then I’ll focus on some of the area’s more subtle beauty – the wildflowers of this undisturbed part of Canadian wilderness – and the power they have to help us savour our lives.