heli-hiking Assiniboine 2017

Aug 20-22, 2017. Rick McCharles organizer

This page will be updated with details. Leave a comment if you have a question / suggestion. 

UPDATE Aug 18, 2017. 

Hikers booked on the helicopter up to the mountains:

  • Kendra Gowdy
  • Kori (Gowdy) Yipp
  • Ashley Pascos 
  • Jim Sportun
  • Keenan Pascos
  • Andrew Vetter
  • Tatsuo Okuma

Hikers taking the Gondola  up to Sunshine Meadows Saturday late afternoon will camp at Porcupine that evening.  Walk the rest of the way to Magog Lake campground on Sunday. We will be greeting the helicopters on arrival.

  • Kelly Mock
  • Rick McCharles
  • Dave Haley (Vancouver)
  • Andrew Kirk


You could keep phoning hoping for a cancellation.

  • book your flight Mt. Shark Heliport to Assiniboine
    • $175 per person + 5% tax (one way) = $183.75 total by credit card
      • I booked on Feb 15th. There are still plenty of seats available.
    • Sunday, Aug 20th (the day after Camp finishes)
    • 403-678-2883 Mon – Fri  8:30 am – 2:30 pm Mountain Time
    • cancellation costs $50 up until 48 hours before, but we MIGHT be able to sell your seat to someone else and save you the $50
    • 6 hikers / helicopter
    • if you want to fly out as well, book the return flight for Wednesday. (Helicopter does not fly on Tuesday.)
    • consider having the helicopter carry some of your gear back by helicopter ($3 / pound). Pick it up late afternoon Wednesday at the Canmore Heliport.
  • organize your gear
    • the lighter, the better
    • sample gear list (delete as many items as possible)
    • my gear, as an example VIDEO
    • bigger people should bring a larger backpack & offer to carry more when we hike off the mountain
  • Campground (2 nights Aug 20 & 21)
    • Assiniboine campgrounds do not take reservations. It’s first come, first served.
    • we’ll try for Magog Lake campground on arrival
    • $10 cash per adult / night (16 years of age and older). Each adult will need $20 cash.
    • if campsites are full the overflow area in an alpine meadow is a good backup
    • group campsite can be prebooked at O’Brien meadows IF we end up having 15 people or more
    • you could stay in the Lodge or Naiset Hut instead of tenting, if you like. Wimp. 🙂

Timeline – Sunday

  • meet at the Gym in Canmore 11am Sunday. Depart 11:30am.
  • arrive Mt. Shark Heliport by 12:30pm Sunday, Aug 20th (location). Canmore to Mount Shark Helipad: 36.3 km, 1 hour drive.
  • choose a campsite, set up your tent on arrival
  • meet at the restaurant for 2pm departure
  • day hike


  • 9am depart restaurant for the BIG day hike
    • Niblet, Nublet, Nub, Elizabeth, Chuck’s Ridge, Cerulean and Sunburst Lakes
  • second hike late afternoon for keeners (likely Hind Hut)


  • 6am wake-up
  • 8am depart restaurant
  • 26 km hike out via Wonder Pass & Bryant Creek (8-9 hours)
  • we have a van picking us all up at Shark trailhead
  • if that sounds too long for one day, consider booking a night en route at another campground. Contact Banff National Park and ask them about availability at Big Springs  Campground. Reservations can be made up to 3 months in advance and there’s a good chance Big Springs will fill up quickly.


Hind Hut

Hind Hut