Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mount Robson Hike

Two months ago my neighbour mentioned that she wanted to hike the Mt Robson Berg Lake Trail, and I asked if I could tag along. The hike is 42 km in total with a few extra options for day hiking trails once up at Berg Lake. The hike intrigued me as I had never backpacked an overnight hike before and of course, the scenery would be beautiful. I drive through Mt Robson several times each year with my family, but have never stopped to spend much time there other than to grab a bite to eat.
This was a very fun 'one person at a time' suspension bridge along the trail. I took a ridiculous amount to pictures so I'm culling it down to just a few here......

Preparing for the hike was new for me and I did a lot of research to see what kinds of things might be useful to bring along. Although I found the recommended weight to pack is 25% or less of your body weight........focusing on the 'or less' amount tended to be my goal. I borrowed an excellent Bora 70 Arcteryx back pack from a friend, as well as a nice MEC bag and tent. These three items alone weighed in at 20 pounds combined....not leaving much room for food, water, clothing and other supplies. Since I could not find anyone to share my two man tent with......at the last minute I ran to the store and picked up a cheap 1 man tent. It saved me almost 7 pounds so I was feeling better about being able to handle the pack weight, and committed to going on the trip. My total pack weight ended up at just over 30 pounds.
A small detour off the trail and you are right to the base of Emperor Falls. Did I mention it was scenic?? I only wish I was a better photographer:(

I'm super happy that I completed the hike carrying all my own gear.......the scenery was absolutely beautiful and (most of) the small amount of rain we encountered managed to occur when it was time to pack it in for the night anyway.

There are seven camping sites along the Berg Lake Trail. We chose to start our hike late Thursday and only hiked in 7km to the first available camp site on Kinney Lake....if we had had more hours of light we would likely have gone a little further (another 4 km) to Whitehorn. Kinney Lake, Whitehorn, and Berg Lake are the only three campsites equipped with shelters which is very handy if the weather turns to rain during the day time. On the Friday we hiked from Kinney to the Marmot camp site at the South end of Berg Lake which we used as our base camp for the next day's day hike up to a ranger station near Robson Pass. Most definitely the challenging part of the hike was the section from Whitehorn to Emperor Falls as the elevation change is 1700ft (518m) over 5km of switch backs.
The reward was getting to Berg Lake to see glaciers calving into the lake below. They make an amazing lengthy thundering roar when they fall into the lake and it is awe inspiring to say the least. It is a humbling experience to spend the night on a mountain snuggled in a sleeping bag and tent listening to glaciers calving, thunder booming, rain drops pelting your tent, lightening flashing and wondering where the bears are sleeping tonight. I am very small in a big world.
Once these fallen glacier chunks hit the water, they float silently across the lake where interested hikers can scoop them up. Some hikers even made snow cones with them.

With a few more unseen trails up at Berg Lake....I may be back next year:)


Jeannie said...

That looks wonderful. Your photos are beautiful.

Alison said...

Great photos, Debbie!! & I'm proud of you and your hike : )

kyles said...

What stunning shots...and I love the way you write about your trip, beautiful xo

kiwicarole said...

WOW! great pics! sounds like you had a great time, and yes, it's not until you do something like this you suddenly realise that you are only very small in a very large world!
Pleased you had fun!
Carole ;)

LittleRed said...

Thanks everyone! I am looking forward to doing it again.....the memory of the horrific uphill climb is fading along with my blisters.