The king of views

Can’t believe it was 10 years ago that we were admiring this view. Still one of my favourite backpacking trips and I think about returning every time I see yet another Instagram post from this area…

Our first backpacking trip to the Rockies; indeed our first hiking experience in the Rockies (though not our first sight of them – we rode the Rocky Mountaineer train from Calgary to Vancouver when we first immigrated to Canada). And what a way to start, with one of the highest-rated trips from the book “Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies” (one of my favourite guide books ever written).

We were fortunate with the weather for our first couple of days with clear blue skies (if chilly nights) which meant we had the rare treat of seeing the summit of Mt Robson (also sometimes referred to as the King of the Rockies) free of cloud. This photo was taken on our second day on a short hike up past Toboggan Falls to visit the cave. Just an incredible view. We sat and admired it for quite some time before heading back down to the Hargreaves Shelter for dinner.

For the full photographic experience, check out the full set on Flickr.

I really can’t believe it’s been a whole decade since we hiked this trail. Like so many of the beautiful places we’ve visited, I want to return to this area and explore it some more. There’s always next year…

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Tasty Lake

This area gets more popular every year. Back in 2011 it was possible to camp here and be the only group. I’m not sure that’s true any more – we had planned to backpack here on the weekend of 23/24 July but changed plans once we saw a group of at least a dozen setting off as we pulled up… It’s a wilderness camping area with no facilities but I suspect it’s now in need of an outhouse to keep things clean.

After setting up our tents, four of us set off up onto the Flatiron for a gentle ramble with scenic highlights. This was the view back down towards the tents. As we arrived, part of the cornice on the snowpatch below broke off and rumbled down the snow slope – the fragments can just be seen on the lower slopes near the lake. Our plan for the next day was to summit Needle Peak. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas and we awoke to thick fog and limited visibility – not the kind of day for climbing a peak! And so I was thwarted again in attempting to get to the peak, but I finally made it in 2015, and it was worth it – it’s a fun scramble (if nervy in a couple of spots) and the views are simply stunning. Can’t wait to go back – on a quieter day.