Canadian Rockies: The Mount Robson of my dreams

ladybug146
ladybug146 @ladybug146December 2018 · 12 min read

Hey Steemians!

On this day, we thankfully woke up well rested. This was going to be the biggest day of our mountain time as far as strenuous activity, the day we had both been waiting so long for. On the agenda, to return to the Berg Trail on Mount Robson and make our way up to Kinney Lake. We started the trail last winter but it was -40 and we had no intentions on finishing, while we were there, we just wanted to see what the trail was like for future reference. To make it to Berg Lake is an overnight backpacking trip, that won't happen today but it is in the works, we have to get geared up since we have only done day hikes so far. Mount Robson stands proud at ‎3,954 m or 12,972 ft and is the most prominent and the highest point in the Canadian Rockies. The mountain has several lakes(Kinney and Berg being the most popular), glaciers, waterfalls and several back-country campgrounds along it's trail system(Berg Trail). Located on the Alberta and British-Columbia provincial boundaries near Jasper National Park.

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Shot 1/320 sec. f/9 18 mm, ISO 100

I saved my best and warmest gear for today, my hiking boots aren't quite broken into yet because I dislike them very much, I'm not sure if I need to take them on a few more hikes or if they are just ergonomically incorrect. The last time I wore them was up this mountain, the rest of the time I have been getting away with my runners but the ground is too snowy and icy to get away with it here. It wasn't supposed to be overly cold, not warm either mind you. We went thru the forecast and picked the nicest day for this to eliminate surprise weather once on the mountain, it can get pretty messy real fast out here and it's pretty remote and abandoned this time of year. It was still cloudy and all we could see was a glimpse of the peak thru a small clearing but mornings are always cloudy in the mountains, we had faith that by the time we would reach the lake, the sun would have time to burn most of it off and perhaps we could get clear pictures.

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 31 mm, ISO 200

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The time has come to begin our climb! This was so exciting! For those of you who may just be joining my stories, Mount Robson has been my obsession since the beginning of times and all of the hiking I do is to prepare myself to be able to possibly climb the whole thing sometimes in my lifetime but for now small bites at a time, each visit, I climb further and further, learn things about the terrain, the weather, what is too much gear on your back...other physical limitations we may encounter and how to mitigate such ,how the altitude will affect us, figuring out how many kilometers we can do in one day on an unforgiving terrain. The trail starts off crossing the bridge over the Robson River on a wide open path. Soon after getting on the trail we started to reminisce on our last time here, seemed like it was yesterday, remembering each spot we stopped for pictures or to admire wildlife. It was rather quiet today, so far we were the only ones here, no wildlife, not a sound could be heard but our foot steps in the snow and the flowing river next to us. The trail to Kinney lake is fairly easy gaining 150 meters in elevation for around 4 km of walking on a well maintained trail so I would rate this first part up to the lake a family friendly hike.

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/5.6 18 mm, ISO 100

The trail follows the Robson river all of the way up to the lake, we found ourselves surrounded by large Redcedar trees again, not quite as old as the ancient forest but still impressive in size nonetheless. The tall trees help shield from the wind and keep things warmer for us but also block the view of the mountain for quite some time. It's not cold as long as we keep moving. One thing that had been on my mind all year was how close did we get to the lake last time we were here? We knew we were close, we could start to see the top of the mountain poking out of the tree line yet everything still looked so familiar, we must have been like right there! Finally we located the hill we last died on (turned around) turns out another 5 minutes of walking and we would have gotten there the first time!

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/5 26 mm, ISO 100

I began to get really nervous and my mind was racing, all these questions in my head, what if the pictures I saw were taken on the most perfect of days? what if they were photoshoped? This is the sight I have been dreaming about since I was a little girl. What if I build it up in too much in my head and it was all going to end in disappointment? The last five minutes of this portion felt like an eternity as my stomach continued to get both butterflies and knots. I'm not entirely sure why I suddenly became so nervous, it's not typical. The closer we got, the more the mountain revealed it's secrets, so far so good, looks like we would get enough of a clearing in the clouds to have a bit of a view but the trees were still blocking most of it but we knew this was the last bend to the bridge that crossed the Robson River again at the lake's opening.

mount robson7.jpg

Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 18 mm, ISO 100

mount_robson8.jpg

Shot 1/250 sec. f/7.1 18 mm, ISO 100

We finally reached the bridge and there was enough of a clearing to get a sneak peek. The perfectly still water offered the perfect reflection of the mountain we were about to uncover into it's deep blue-green mirrored surface. My heart was beating faster but my nervousness quickly turned into excitement as we crossed over. What I saw already was too pretty to be let down. All that was standing between me and the landscape of my dreams was one last row of trees. It took me some time to process every bit of what I was seeing and feeling, the blue sky finally revealed itself, looks like I would experience it in the best of conditions after all!!

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/7.1 26 mm, ISO 100

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/5.6 18 mm, ISO 100

From this point on, a Raven had joined our journey, flying circles around us, like he was our watcher or our guide to the main event. We continued on our way and as soon as we passed the last row of trees it was like we stepped right into a painting, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. This was surreal, no picture could ever prepare me for this sight! My jaw dropped in amazement as I got closer to the lake, once again, the lake was perfectly still with one of the clearest reflections I have ever seen with a fresh layer of snow surrounding the lake and dusting the mountain . The size of this place, everywhere I looked, completely surrounded in mountains and wilderness. I certainly wasn't disappointed!

kinney lake1.jpg

Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 18 mm, ISO 100

kinney lake2.jpg

Shot 1/320 sec. f/9 18 mm, ISO 100

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Image and video taken by @silvergingerman with iphone8

We took our pictures and just like that a gust of wind went thru and the lake reflections vanished, like we had gotten here at the perfect moment. We stayed here for a bit but we were starting to get cold from not moving enough. The afternoon was still young, my boots were starting to hurt my ankles again but it was too early to turn around so we got back on the trail in hopes to reach the first campground before having to begin our return trip. The trail took us away from the lake and back into the trees, this is where the switchbacks begin in the narrow trail. Don't expect an easy journey from here on out, hiking poles are probably an asset beyond this point. As we quickly gained elevation, we knew we could encounter a nice vantage point if only we could get a clearing in the trees. Our efforts didn't go without reward. Soon after the first stretch of switchback, we found a viewing platform giving us a perfect view of the lake's deep turquoise color reflecting in what was left of the sun as the clouds moved in.

kinney lake3.jpg

1/250 sec. f/4 22 mm, ISO 110

From the view above, our destination is on the other side of the trees that cut into the lake, just to give you perspective on how much further we have to walk to our final destination for the day, the first back-country campground. For a while the trail becomes a narrow up and down on the edge of the mountain overlooking the lake. As we progressed, we started to get into flatter ground and a wider path, getting closer to the lake's shores again.

kinney_lake4.jpg

Shot 1/250 sec. f/5 18 mm, ISO 100

kinney lake5.jpg

Shot 1/250 sec. f/9 18 mm, ISO 100

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/5.6 18 mm, ISO 100

We could see the sunlight starting to dim as it was passed it's prime daytime light and slowly making it's way behind the stony giants, yet we knew we still had a few hours left until sunset, it was kind of an eerie feeling. The temperature was getting colder but as long as we were moving we were fine, bundled up in our warm hiking gear. We were getting close to our target, judging by our view in the distance, we were now at the narrowest part of the lake and we should reach our destination with another 15 minutes of walking as we made our way down the other side.

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/6.3 34 mm, ISO 100

kinney lake8.jpg

Shot 1/250 sec. f/5 18 mm, ISO 100

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/7.1 26 mm, ISO 100

There it was! The first campground. Turns out this wasn't half bad, we lose a good deal of sunlight in the winter months and it's limiting but if we come back in the summer we can have twice as much walking time done in one day during the peek days and get passed a few campgrounds before having to settle for the night and allowing our bodies enough time to rest for the second day of climbing to Berg Lake and return. It is possible to get fishing licences for the park and catch dinner. I will have to learn how to fish before I go on this journey 😲. The campground is very simple, it has the wooden structure for cooking and eating, outhouses, animal proof food storage lockers. The camp is accessible by bike but is not allowed beyond this point as the trail gets more difficult. Hikers on overnight trips must register and watch an orientation video and have proper camping permits.

kinney_lake11.jpg

Shot 1/200 sec. f/7.1 26 mm, ISO 200

kinney lake10.jpg

Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 18 mm, ISO 200

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/4.2 31 mm, ISO 110

I hear Berg Lake is nicer than Kinney Lake but I have to admit this was pretty impressive, probably my favorite hike so far. On our return, the lake seemed to have become calm again and gave us the opportunity to get new reflections from a different perspective. I'm not even done this hike yet and I'm already planning the next one in my head, I can't wait to come back. The return hike was pretty uneventful as we made our way along, taking one last look, one last picture of our favorite areas before we lost all our daylight. Making our way down is always much faster than the way up and we timed things perfectly that darkness was starting to set as we got out of the trail back to the truck. Talk about time management! We walked about 12 km on the day.

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Image taken by @silvergingerman with iphone8

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Shot 1/250 sec. f/4.5 22 mm, ISO 100

This place should be on every nature enthusiast bucket list. At least up to the first lake. It is a popular area during the summer season, a bit of a ghost town in the winter months. As remote as it may be it's still easily accessible with a few near by towns to get supplies, food or indoor accommodations such as hotels and cabins . Lots of camping available around the mountain as well, not just for backpackers I highly recommend Mount Robson Provincial Park for an outdoor adventure. Besides, it's pretty cool to be able to say that you have been on a 13 000 ft tall mountain on a journey towards the tallest peak of the Canadian Rockies!

mount robson12.jpg

Shot 1/60 sec. f/5 46 mm, ISO 800

All images were taken with Nikon D7000 and Sigma 18-200 lens unless otherwise stated.

Here is a link to my first visit to Mount Robson Provincial Park last January: https://steemit.com/travel/@ladybug146/canadian-rockies-frozen-new-year-day-2-mount-robson-provincial-park

Cheers! X🐞X


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phortun
phortun @phortunDecember 2018

Stunning shots of the legendary Canadian landscape. Excellent job.


22

Thank you! Out here the pictures pretty much take themselves!


0

Fantastic shots with great reflections in the water that looks very very very cold!


11

Thank you! It actually wasn't that bad, little below the freezing point. We were well dressed, as long as we weren't sitting ducks we weren't really getting cold until the sun disappeared.


0

Impressive views! Mount Robson is on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your hike. :)


10

Thank you, It's a wonderful place to visit, I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


0

Super adventure! Suoer Trip! Suoer Canadian Rockies! Super Photography! My favorites are the pics with the mountains reflecting in the water. Congrats on the well deserved @daveks spotlight!


10

Thank you! Yeah I was totally in love with the reflection views I was surrounded in. It was my favorite part of the hike too. Their reflections made them look even bigger.


6

The reflections are double the viewing pleasure!


0
daveks
daveks @daveksDecember 2018

the Daily "Spotlight"!


1

Thank you !


0
guchtere
Remy @guchtereDecember 2018

Nice post again! Canada is rising fast on my travel list by your posts😍 will you show us later berg lake?


0

Thank you! I won't be going to Berg Lake until at least the summer months when we have double the sunlight hours we have now. It's a 20 km hike to go and come back , in about 6 months from now I might have some.


0

Nice. Berg Lake Trail has to be one of the best in the world.


0

It's a beauty certainly my favorite so far.


0

It looks like the weather is even cooperating. Beautiful shots!


0

Thank you! The weather was somewhat cooperative for the most part, it was still really cloudy for good part of the day but luckily it did clear up for an hour or 2 when we reached the lake.


0

A winter dream land! Next time in Canada I want to go to this area!


0

It was a dream! It was like I woke up in Christmas land! I hope you get to see it for yourself one day :)


0

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0

Thank you @travelfeed! :)


0