Oh boys (and girls)!! I am what happy to be blogging about my beloved Canada again! In the meantime I have some more travel adventures under my belt, but Canada still is number one on my list. Just a look through my already impressive archive of Canada posts adds more credit to that claim. Today though, I’ll reveal one of the two most beautiful hikes I still have up my sleeve. A review of our experiences on Mount Robson.
Panoramic views along Icefields Parkway
As always we are treated on phenomenal panoramic views when we speed along the Icefields Parkway. It’s no wonder the Icefields Parkway is called the road with the most beautiful vistas in the world! By this time in our trip we were baffled more with Canada’s beauty than there are trees in the Rocky Mountains. And just like that it happened again when we saw Mount Robson looming in front of us. Are we really going up there?
Kinney Lake and the Valley of a 1000 Falls
The first four miles up to Kinney Lake are child’s play when hiking up Mount Robson. The road just rolls happily along the river, or sometimes through the river as the meltwater floods the road. Luckily my sense of balance, and some strategically placed twigs, kept my feet dry.
The view of Kinney Lake alone is worth the trip!
And that’s just what a lot of tourists do, they walk up to Kinney Lake and turn around again. But that’s denying all the bewildering beauty of Mount Robson that is yet to come. You’ll really not believe your eyes when you enter the Valley of a 1000 Falls a few miles up ahead. So we gear up again and soon enter a scene that seems ripped straight out of the pages of Lord of the Rings. We’re standing in the middle of a great plain surrounded by majestic mountains and roaring waterfalls.
After we picked up our jaws again from the ground, we head further up the valley towards the mountains. There’s still a mountain to be climbed! Right at the foot of said mountain there’s a sign that tells us to fill up our water bottles, for the next 3 miles will by dry boned.
An arduous climb to be reckoned with
Half an hour later I’m walking (read: dragging myself) with my tongue scraping over the rocky floor. The extreme heat in combination with a heavy backpack makes this the steepest and hardest climb I ever hiked. Step by step I slowly climb higher, frequently looking up to see my boyfriend equally struggling. Even for a trained trail runner this hot climb is hard!
Every 10 minutes I have to sit down and take a break. I want to keep my heartbeat under control. But all those breaks make me run out of water only one hour in and it’s still miles before I reach the top. My boyfriend disappears from sight and I’m thinking how is this possible after all this training I did back home? Oh right, we don’t have any mountains in Belgium! I drag myself up again and let the beautiful surroundings soak in to regain some energy.
By sheer willpower I reach the top and collapse down on the ground from exhaustion. Luckily the view is still gorgeous when lying down. Canada, you’re one tough but beautiful S.O.B.!
Despite the Grizzly warning on the top we can still pit our tents next to the river. I let some wraps and cheese burn on my camping stove, but still enjoy my meal mightily. My boyfriend alternatively digs for some canned food in his backpack. We hikers can’t be picky eaters! (and their hair is always a mess, and their faces always swollen from too much mosquito repellent) 😉
It’s only 6PM when we turn in our tents for some sleep. Not the jetlag, but the exhaustion from the climb tells us it’s time to say goodnight. With the roaring of Emperor Falls in the background I slip into a deep, blissful sleep, knowing that by tomorrow I will have witnessed this mighty water beast with my own eyes.
Mighty Emperor Falls and Berg Lake
It’s still early when my boyfriend and I slip out of our tents. We just can’t hold back to explore the surroundings and go look for Emperor Falls, our night time music. With heavy legs, but spurred by excitement we reach the mighty Emperor Falls. Just. Magnificent. The crashing sound of the water hitting the rocks is overwhelming! And not to mention creates a welcome water fog on a hot day.
Afterwards we climb even higher up to catch a breathtaking view on Robson glacier and Berg Lake. The lake is otherworldly blue because of all the glacier water leaking in. Then suddenly we are startled by what we think are gunshots, but figure out eventually it’s the crumbling ice from the glacier. Quite normal for the summertime, but lately sped up by global warming. What a shame! It makes us even more grateful for all the splendour we can still witness. It might all be gone in a couple of years!
Luckily no Grizzly along the way, but a knock of the proverbial hammer instead. I barely make it back to our campsite. Even though I’m completely worn out, I still think this is one of the happiest moments of my life.
One more night under the approving roar of the Emperor Falls and then bye bye Mount Robson. We make our descent way too fast and way too easy back to Kinney Lake before turning around one more time and wave goodbye to Mount Robson and the majestic Berg Lake. Onwards to the next adventure!