Mount Robson / Berg Lake

Some photos of the trip:

August 2-5, 2002

Pre-trip camping: Robson Meadows campground.

Participants: Debbie, Suzanne, Faye, Jon, Brent, Terri, Rene, Leila, Glenn and me.

Photo Album:

[cpg_imagethumb:23,Robson2002_004.jpg]Friday, August 2: Glenn and I started our day at the cafe beside the visitor’s center with a hearty breakfast. The rest of the group slowly met in the restaurant as well. Finally, we drove up the road to the trailhead and got underway. We started up the trail and soon encountered the remains of a late season avalanche – very icy to walk on. We continued on to Kinney Lake and along the east shore to the Kinney Lake campground where we had our first major break of the day. Following our break, we headed on up the trail – up being the operative word. The trail from Kinney Lake to Whitehorn has the first of two major elevation gains on this trail, gaining 143 metres in less than 4 kilometres. We paused for lunch at Whitehorn campground. After leaving Whitehorn, the real elevation gain begins, gaining 503 metres in 4.5 kilometres. In the process we passed White Falls, Falls of the Pool and Emperor Falls each of which provided short breaks in the unrelenting climb. Finally we reached Emperor Falls campground and the trail flattened out substantially. We pushed on to Marmot campground at Berg Lake where we camped for the night. Mount Robson did not show his head but the glaciers spilling down the north slopes of the mountain were fabulous. Distance Hiked: 18.1 km. Elevation Gained: 784 m.

[cpg_imagethumb:23,Robson2002_037.jpg]Saturday, August 3: We broke camp and moved 2 kilometres along the shore of Berg Lake while taking in the view of Mount Robson with every break in the trees. After setting up our tents on recently vacated tent sites, and stashing our food in the Hargreaves shelter’s food storage bins, we set off on a day hike to Snowbird Pass. The trail along the Robson Glacier was more of a boulder climbing expedition until we got above the moraine on the east side of the glacier. Eventually we reached a relatively level area overlooking the glacier so we stopped to have lunch. After lunch, we climbed up through a cliff band beside a waterfall to the meadows below Snowbird Pass. As one of the trail guides said, the meadows were “marmot infested.” One marmot was bold enough to come right up and lick my gaiters. I have never seen as many marmots anywhere else. We crossed the meadows and began the final climb to Snowbird Pass. The view from the pass was of the Reef Icefield in Jasper National Park. On the way back down, we encountered a thunderstorm as we dropped down the cliff by the waterfall. With no shelter to be had, the risk of being struck by lightning was quite high. Mount Robson was not very cooperative in showing its peak – although there were a few glimpses. Distance hiked: 2.1 + 21.6 km. Elevation gained and lost: 779 m.

[cpg_imagethumb:23,Robson2002_057.jpg]Sunday, August 4: We hiked towards Robson Pass until we found the trail leading up hill to Mumm Basin (named after the Mumm of champagne fame) at the Robson Pass campground. The trail (if you can call it that) headed straight up the mountain side. We saw several instances of recently eaten vegatation (including cow parsnip – a favorite of grizzly bears) so we made lots of noise. We paused for a group photo at the Interprovincial Boundary Survey marker – placed in 1924. Once we reached the high point on the trail, the trail began to slowly drop down back towards our campground. When we got to the junction that would let us head back to camp or continue on to the Hargreaves Glacier, we chose to head back down to our camp along Toboggan Creek. We had our evening meal outdoors because the weather was nice (rather than in the shelter). The best view of Mount Robson I had was when I got up to go to the bathroom during the night. The sky was clear and cloudless, the peak was visible, and the stars were shining. The situation would sure change by morning. Distance hiked: 10 km. Elevation gained and lost: 457 m.

[cpg_imagethumb:23,Robson2002_073.jpg]Monday, August 5: We woke to find snow on our tents. By the time we finished breakfast, the snow had melted in the vicinity of the campground but the snow line was not much above us. Fortunately the worst of the precipitation was past. As we passed Marmot campground on our hike out to the highway, we encountered a wind driven snow squall. Visibility was poor, and the wind was biting. Fortunately the storm passed quickly, and the rest of the hike out was uneventful weather wise. We stopped for lunch at Whitehorn campground and had brief breaks at Emperor Falls campground and Kinney Lake campgrounds. The last few kilometres were really hard on my feet – each step was painful in the soles of my feet. Once we reached the parking lot and got in the cars, we drove to Jasper where we stopped at Jasper Pizza Place for supper. I got home around 12:30 in the morning. Total Distance Hiked: 20.2 km. Elevation Lost: 784 m.

Total Distance Hiked: 72 km. Total Elevation Gained: 2020 m.

Edited: 2006-06-25 – Added photo album links.

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