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Monday, August 27, 2012

Mt. Robson

I drove across Jasper National Park, getting a permit to hike the Skyline Trail in two days. I asked what is something I can't miss and he said to go to Mt. Robson. So that was the direction I headed.
Mt Robson turned out to be the most amazing place I visited the entire trip. It's only a Provincial Park, so I think it's commonly overlooked, but it's outstanding.
Canada was real big into painting vans. I saw a few of these that you could rent, this one was a Breaking Bad theme. Might have to get one for the next road trip.
I got there in the morning, and got a backcountry site for the night. It was about 10 miles in and gorgeous around every turn. The trail follows the river of glacial melt up to Berg Lake at the base of Mt. Robson and the three glaciers on it. When glacial ice melts it has a lot of sediment suspended in it which gives it the turquoise blue color.
The trail goes up the Valley of the falls. In the melt season, water pours down from the melting snow with waterfalls pouring off the cliffs up the valley. They were a trickle when I was there, but Emperor Falls was still impressive.

Getting up to the lake was amazing. Every direction was another beautiful picture.
After I made camp, I went for a walk around with better views of the glaciers and down amazing waterfalls.

The next morning I got up for sunrise and it was amazing. All night you I heard the glacier crack and swell. Occasionally I would hear ice and debris pour into the water. It sounded like fireworks. Then the water would be lapping the shore from the waves created by the debris fall. It was an amazing night for camping. My tent neighbors were a family from Edmonton with two sons that were 19 or 20. We sat there in awe of the massive glacier shifting next to us.
On the hike in I met a German girl, Antje, who was traveling alone. It's always nice to find other solo travelers and trade stories. We ended up hiking out together, and she had the coolest job I never considered existing. She just finished a masters in structural engineering and industrial design and worked for a climbing gear company designing climbing equipment. Awesome. She was planning on waiting for a bus to Jasper, but I was heading that way so I gave her a ride. Traveling makes fun friends. On the drive there were some random big horn sheep next to the road. Took the obligatory picture, but seemed almost normal at this point.
My advice is, skip Jasper, go to Mt. Robson!

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