Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1928 as Canadas first Rocky Mountain ski lodge, the Mount Assiniboine Lodge remains a back-to-basics rustic retreat, with 12-volt electricity and wood- and coal-stove heating. The Assiniboine area offers cross-country skiing, ski touring, and snowshoeing. Beginning Nordics stride along ungroomed trails through open larch forests, then across to Cerulean and Sunburst lakes a couple of miles from the lodge. Intermediate skiers head for Nublet, below Nub Peak. Touring skiers outfitted with avalanche transceivers skin to the top of 9,300-foot Ellys Dome.
As a backcountry lodge, its either ski-in or fly-in. A spectacular eight-minute helicopter ride from the Mount Shark Helipad 25 miles south of Canmore, Alberta, is one way to get to this lodge in a roadless provincial park abutting Banff National Park. The other way: a 16-mile uphill ski from Mount Shark. Let s go with the chopper: After threading forested valleys, skimming ridges, and cresting the Continental Divide, it zooms down toward the north face of the lodges 11,870-foot namesake, the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies, to deposit guests beside a cluster of red-roofed log buildings near frozen Lake Magog.
The kitchen and dining room are in the original steeply pitched one-story log building. An adjoining building contains a first-floor living room and six second-floor rooms. On a bluff above the lake, six single-room log cabins sleep two to six. Dinners are served family style. Round-trip helicopter flights are $135.
Overall, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is the 6th most popular cross country ski area of all 47 Nordic ski destinations in British Columbia.
Local Contacts: MAPP (250) 422-4200; BC Visitors (800) 435-5622; Canadian Tourism (800) 577-2266; Cross-Country BC Assoc. (604) 545-9600; Avalanche Info (604) 290-9333
Best Season: Feb. - Apr.
Average Difficulty: Mixed
Base Camp: Assiniboine Lodge (403) 678-2883
Luxury Loding: Mount Engadine Lodge at Mount Shark base (403) 678-4080
Reference Source: click here http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/
Date Published: 1/1/2016
Date Updated: 8/16/2016
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