(brace yourself for a long post)
Day 1: I packed my 50L backpack in the morning and met up with 3 friends Loes, Jess and Alicia (all university friends who are working in Jasper for the summer). We picked up groceries (protein bars, peanut butter, pasta, oatmeal, KD… carbs on carbs) and started our drive out of Jasper!
It was a 1.5 hrs drive on Highway 16 to Mount Robson Provincial Park in Valemount, British Columbia. The trail head and first part of the hike began in a lush rain forest (nothing like what you can find in Jasper). The air felt like you were somewhere else, somewhere more tropical like Costa Rica, there were large trees – reflective of how large the mountains were, and there was vibrant green vegetation surrounding our path. On our right was the Robson river, flowing steady and loud beside us. Beautiful moss everywhere too!
The first break was at Kinney Lake (7km into the hike at 3230 ft). Here was a serene valley that surrounded this lake. The water that filled it was like Maligne Lake or Lake Louise – glacier fed, pure and clear in colour, but Kinney seemed more untouched, maybe it was because there were less people or the valley surrounding it was more vast. It was beautiful and I felt very at peace. Munched on an apple and protein bars, naturally.
The next stop was our first campsite, Whitehorn campground that was nestled in Valley of a Thousand Waterfalls (3475 ft). It was a hard 4 km of ups and downs until we reached a suspension bridge that brought us to our campsite. I was not used to hiking with a pack so my body was still trying to get used to the extra weight but it was a good challenge. I don’t think I could have made it much further that day, so the campsite we chose worked out really well.
Day 2: We all (accidentally) slept in and had a little later of a start to the day so we ran into the heat with the start of our hike. But it was okay, no complains about the sunny weather. The next part of the hike was difficult, we were warned by hikers headed in the other direction that the next part would be a “steady incline”… turned out to be more of an “uphill battle”. Nonetheless, the challenge was well rewarded with 3 beautiful water falls: White Falls, Falls of the Pool and Emperor Falls (the most majestic and grande of the 3 falls). This marked 16km of our hike (5346 ft).
We journeyed onward to our next campsite which was called Emperor Falls campground. We dropped out bags, set up tent, rinsed off ate granola bars + oatmeal (carbs). Then we journeyed to our final destination, Berg Glacier/Lake. We passed by rocky terrain in the upper Robson River Valley – completely contrasting other types of landscapes we’ve encountered.
Finally Berg Lake was visible and Berg Glacier was right around the corner! The water was stunning – I was just in awe hiking beside it. When we reached the base of the lake, we all ran into the ice cold water (literally). Such a beautiful day.
We also made a short side trip from Berg Lake to Tobaggan Falls. As if seeing Berg Lake from the bottom wasn’t enough to completely make me fall in love with the mountains, seeing it from a bird’s eye view was breathtaking. There were small falls (more like streams of water) that ran past us gliding on flat beds of rocks. It was neat because in between the rocks were small hole-like caves.
We got a little bit rained as we were making our return trip back to the campsite but it cleared up after hiding in the tent for an hour. We even saw a rainbow!
Day 3: Unfortunately the adventure at Mt. Robson had to end, and I was in need of a shower and padded bedding. We woke up early, packed up and hiked 16km of a return trip back to the trail head.
I have blisters on my feet, my shoulders are sore (as is every other muscle in my body) and I probably ate one too many protein bars, but it was a really memorable trip. Mount Robson was nonstop extraordinary, it was beautiful and photo-taking worthy at every corner. Each adventure seems better than the next, but this adventure in particular was unforgettable.