Backpacking: Foggy Mountain Bridges

In the summer of 2017 we travelled in a group of four adults and two tweens just across the Alberta-British Columbia border to the Mount Robson to climb the Berg Lake trail.

for whatever one photo is worth:

After four nights atop the mountain, camping rough and day-hiking the area we were wet, tired and running low on supplies. The kids had been champion backpackers, helping out around camp, tolerating the rehydrated meals and composting toilets, entertaining us on the day we spent hunkered in the smallish cabin with fifty other people during a torrential downpour trying to dry our clothing, and carrying their share of the weight up and down the mountain.

Kids being kids, they made up funny games to pass the long hours of hiking. They sang familiar and made-up songs to “scare off the bears.” And for most of the trek back down the mountain, a one-day descent of about eighteen kilometers of mixed terrain, they not only kept pace but led the whole group by a consistent distance.

Readers who are familiar with the hike may recognize the bridge in this photo.

From the bottom, the first third of the hike is a long, gradual climb to (and then along) a lake.

After the lake, a rolling traversal near or on a riverbed brings hikers to a second gradual ascent to the top of a waterfall.

Those who know the route usually break here because the next part of the hike is a steep, rocky climb with warning signage near the bottom. A switchback trail leads up through the rocks and trees with the sound of a waterfall in the distance. As a sign that one is nearing the top, this small bridge appears ahead marking that one is about to begin the final stretch towards the upper falls and the nearby campsite.

As the tweens forged ahead on our descent, I came upon a clearing overlooking this bridge along a switchback on the trail. The pair who had been forging ahead with vigor were just standing there waiting… restingcontemplating… who can say?