We kept moving north to hit our northernmost point, Mount Robson. When we arrived, we set the tarp quickly enough to have a dry ground before the rain hit again. We decided to check the visitor center and came around a dilemma. There were less things to do in Mount Robson Provincial Park than I thought. The famous Berg Lake trail seemed to be like the jewel of the park, with very few and maintained trails around it. Only issue, it was 23km one-way and quite tricky to tackle in one day. We could go there and camp for a night… but we’d have to carry of all our stuff, tent and sleeping bags, on tiny daypacks. Or we could just spend three days here under the rain.
Nope, up we go and up we went.
We left early in the morning and luckily, avoided most of the rain while going up.
The trail started great, a bit humid but offering lovely landscapes and the start of fall colours.
We first reached Kinney Lake, displaying a bit of its turquoise glow from glacier water, surrounded by these golden larch trees.
Past the lake, the scenery changed. We started getting elevation and crossing waterfall after waterfall.
The hardest part of the hike was to come, especially with heavy backpacks filled to the top. Taken slow, it was eventually done, even though it took us a good hour and a half just for that portion.
On the way, we saw three ruffed grouses, greeting us at the end of our tiring way up.
And finally, we saw Berg Glacier, bright and shining from afar. The hike was made easier once we saw the goal. It’s like we just kept walking to see the glacier get bigger and bigger, and eventually see the lake. Berg Lake.
While the view was the reward, the final objective was still 3 kilometres away. The only campground that was available was the last one, at Robson Pass. So we carried our pain and tired feet all the way to the end of the lake, passing with wonder the glacier. Sometimes, the blocks of ice breaking from the main body would resonate through the valley and we would hear that familiar sound we heard for the first time at the Plain of the Six Glaciers.
It took us a while to do these 23 kilometres. 8 hours and 30 minutes, and the sun was starting to set slowly on the mountains nearby.
Once we arrived, we set up camp pretty quickly as were both cold and tired. We cooked some delicious ramen noodles, the only thing they had available at the gas station at the trailhead. We didn’t bring enough food but we tried to make it work for this unprepared hike, thinking of the diner we could get at the restaurant the day after.
The night was cold. It also started raining and when the alarm went off at 6 a.m, it’s with disappointment that I closed back the tent when I stared at nothing but grey fog. Eventually, the rain gave us a break at 9 and it was the perfect timing to pack everything up and start moving. We walked to the British Columbia and Alberta border and took a peek at Adolphus Lake.
And then, it was time to go down. It felt easy enough, yet we still underestimated the distance. It seemed to take forever to go past Berg Lake.
Once Avalanche Falls reached, we still had to go down that steep ‘hill’ and we had to do so with hard rain. A little river was forming on the trail and the few disgruntled hikers we saw on the way up looked miserable. But they kept going, and so did we. After all, a restaurant was waiting for us at the end of the trail!
We kept recognizing the trail from yesterday, although slightly darker with the grey skies, but the familiarity led us to believe we were gone for longer than just a day. It seemed like this overnight hike was the result of several days spent in Mount Robson, not just 24 hours.
The last kilometres felt like a torture. Even though we were only three kilometres away from redemption, the distance would just not decrease. We ended up literally dragging our feet to the starting point and alas, just found the old comfort of the car back.
We decided to then drive to this promised restaurant, only for us to discover that this was in fact, a cafe, and it had been closed for a few hours now.
We brought back our despair and hunger to the campground to cook a tomato soup with provencal herbs bread, just to pretend at least, that we had a fancy dinner waiting for us.
Despite the rain, and the cold temperatures (it snowed the day we left), I loved this hike and I was so happy to do it, after eyeing it from Calgary for a year after that. We weren’t that prepared, but we did it anyway, which kind of pumps me up for any future hike. At least in Europe, I won’t have to scare away the bear so I feel like, somehow, it will be easier. Onto next time, now we are heading east ;)