Saturday, July 30, 2011

Backpacking in the shadow of Mount Robson

Greetings from British Columbia. After arriving in Vancouver, the Geodynamics class took the long journey up from Vancouver to Mount Robson provincial park for 4 days and 3 nights of backpacking. After sorting out all our gear, picking up some delicious Warschauerbrot (Warsaw bread) from the Valemount Swiss bakery (and yummy croissants), and picking up some fuel, we were off to the trail head. We quickly got a taste of the amazing views to come, as we drove up to the breath-taking snow-capped peaks of the Rocky mountains. We started off on the trail and followed the roaring Robson river up toward Kinney Lake. A lunch stop overlooking the lake allowed us to take in the beauty of the glacial lake and its blue waters. The water is unusually cloudy and appears much bluer than pure freshwater due to the glacial rock flour (very finely ground up dust from when the glaciers grind the rocks beneath them). After our lunch we continued our climb towards our campsite at Whitehorn. After arriving at our campsite, setting up our tents, and cooking dinner, we had a discussion about the geology of British Columbia and Mount Robson.

The next day we continued our climb towards Berg Lake by heading up the Valley of a Thousand Falls. The tough climb was completely worth it as we experienced amazing views of huge waterfalls. The highlight of the climb was making it to Emperor falls, where we were able to stand at the base of the raging waterfall. After climbing out of the valley of a thousand falls, we got our first views of the huge glaciers that we would spend the next night camping in front of: Mist glacier and Berg glacier. Finally we arrived at Berg lake, named such due to the icebergs that spatter it year round from the calving of Berg glacier. After setting up camp, we took a short hike out to the Robson glacier to see the ultimate source of the Robson river.

The next day we had a short detour up to Toboggan Falls before heading back down to the Whitehorn campsite. After a very rainy night, we got up early for the hike back to the trail head. After a great hike, we celebrated our success with more delicious baked goods from the Swiss bakery, before heading off to the rafting resort.

Andrea Dubin

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