Ice

“Compare the torrent and the glacier. Both get where they are going” – Ursula K. Le Guin

 

When we left Vancouver that Friday afternoon, rain was following us all the way to Merritt; our goal was to get to Mt. Robson Provincial Park, some 700km toward north-west, roughly. We knew that July is not the perfect time of the year to go there – ideally it would be August, less rain – but I couldn’t get my holidays at other times. And, as someone said, the rain doesn’t matter, just pack and go.

After spending the night in Merritt, morning brought some sun and blue skies and a little hope that weather forecast was wrong. But it is Okanagan, it doesn’t rain that often during summer. Once we came closer to Rockies, rain returned. It was not that bad though, good enough to have a glance toward the highest mountain of Canadian Rockies.
Mt Robson - a view from visitor's centre Mt. Robson 3954m, big enough to make its own weather

A plan was to hike to Berg Lake, behind the mountain in a back country and spend three days overall on that trip. If we just knew how beautiful there is…Berg Lake - Berg and Mist glaciers - Mt Robsonthanks to a tip from a couple of hikers, we took a camp site with a premium view to Berg (left) and Mist (right) glaciers;
Nature is stunning over there and if we knew how many additional one day hikes are available, we would plan to stay longer. But what we’ve seen made a big impression and we decided to come back, as soon as possible. Maybe even next year.
Our next destination was Jasper, less than 90km to the east. A number of tourists that “greeted” us felt like a shock; after spending a lot of time in back country with alike minded people, insanity in Jasper felt almost repelling. But the main advantage of Jasper is that so many natural beauties are within a reach of a road. We didn’t plan to go to back country (there are some beautiful places there, all require several days of hiking), but did some smaller hikes or enjoyed a scenery that could be reached by car.
Mt Edith Cavell glacier1Mount Edith Cavell glacier; a viewpoint is on about 2100m, most of it accessible by car

The last part of our trip was in Columbia Icefield, more precise Athabasca glacier. Months ago we decided to pay for a guided 3 hour trip over the glacier. A bit pricey but worth every dollar we payed for it. We walk on the ice, drank the water from it, enjoyed the fact that big rain storm moved away just in time 🙂Wet facedrinking from the stream of the cleanest water on Earth

Standing on 200m of icestanding on 200 meters of ice, this is how thick a glacier is at that point

Columbia Icefield, atop of continental divide, is famous for the fact that waters, that come out of its glaciers, eventually end up in 3 oceans – Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific. And if you take a look at the previous photograph, on right side, behind me is a mountain ridge and the continental divide is right there.

Even though for most people, summer means sun, beach, ocean, etc, etc… for us it meant ice, this time. Rain was there just as a spice to overall feeling, not welcome but something we could live with. And I can’t tell the ice was unusual. Quite contrary, it was welcomed.
Ice - Berg glacier

 

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17 Responses to Ice

  1. Nice photos, Dare … it looks like you had a good trip.

    • gdare says:

      Thanks dW!!! It was an excellent trip. Rockies are beautiful and Mt Robson area was the most spectacular back country hike we ever went to. I wish to go there again tomorrow 😀

  2. Furie says:

    It’s summer here right now, and a nasty one too. You have no idea how jealous we are right now. And that last photo – wow.

    • Darko says:

      Mik, thanks 🙂

      I know about your troubles with noisy neighbours, Kimmie wrote about it on FB. That sucks 😦

      • Furie says:

        Yeah, it’s a pain. Getting closer to getting them out though (especially after yesterday) and it’s brought some of the other neighbours closer, which is a good thing. I think, really though, we’re gonna keep having people like that move in until we manage to get somewhere better. This place was meant to be an interim, to get ourselves in the county and able to get with the council, but then the rules changed and we got stuck here. Bit by bit we’re getting closer to getting out of here though.

        My latest plan is to pack myself in a Lootcrate box and have myself delivered to your place, because glacier walks? I can’t get over how beautiful it all is. I’m not really a hiker, but that sort of scenery would certainly get me started. So yeah, keep your eyes out for a delivery.

        • Darko says:

          You know, when I was 17-18, one of my first hikes was 95km trail through Croatian mountains in Gorski Kotar. And that’s when I fell in love with it. But few years later, the war started and, due to economic sanctions, me and my family became poor and I couldn’t afford to travel and hike in other destinations. My interest and love for mountain hiking was fading and almost got forgotten, but then I met Sandy and you know the rest of the story. Living in probably the most beautiful part of Canada, brought back all that I involuntarily suppressed about mountain hiking for decades. Now we are enjoying it as much as we can can. If I came here earlier, I can just imagine how many destinations I would hike. Oh, well…..

          • Furie says:

            Honestly, I slightly teared up at that. Which, in manliness, means I grunted and spat tobacco in a bucket. Um, yeah. Manly.

            I can’t imagine a 95KM hike, nevermind through mountains. How long did that even take?

            • Darko says:

              It was actually 107km. The trail is 95 and we made additional 12km on the way home, we were late to catch the last bus that day… so another 12 it was 🙂 It took us 4 days exactly. But we were young and not really prepared for such a trip. Big thing was that we slept in shelters, not in tents. Sandy and I hiked 57km in three days in Mt Robson Park, carrying about 30 pounds each in our back packs (tent, clothing, food, water, etc, etc.) I would say pretty decent for our age. The longest hike we ever did in one day was 26km with 800m of elevation gain, last year in Manning park. We were so tired next day… 😛 I can’t imagine walking 50 miles per day, as I know some hikers did while hiking famous Pacific Crest Trail (4279km – 2659 miles) 😮

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Crest_Trail

  3. d4rkn1ght says:

    Wow! I’m not really a hiker but I wish I could escape to places like this. Maybe find a log cabin somewhere and just relax feeling the cold climate. 🙂 Right now we are in the middle of a heat wave here in the US east coast. 😦

    Fantastic picture! 😎 I wish I were there. 😉

    • Darko says:

      You should try to go to Lake O”Hara then, in Yoho National Park. There is a nice log cabin there and I don’t have to mention how the beautiful the nature is.
      http://www.lakeohara.com/
      We tried to go there after Athabasca glacier, just for a day hike, but in order to preserve the beauty of the place, the access is limited to about 20 people per day (excluding the ones that go to lodge). And the place is so popular, it was reserved for entire season months ahead. That was disappointing, but with a proper planning it might be achievable.

  4. coisart says:

    I wish I could do a ice hike once. Don’t think I would survive the cold though heh. 😑

    • Darko says:

      It was not that cold even though there is a constant breeze coming down the glacier. More danger are the sun rays, reflecting off of the ice, burning skin in no time. High UV factor cream on face is a must at all times and sun glasses 🙂 No showing off tattoos over there 😛

  5. Jill says:

    What a wonderful trip you had! Your adventures could fill a book! And very beautiful photos; I love how the ice looks blue in this last photo. Drinking pure water like that must have been great, too. I can see why you plan to return.

  6. wow your backdrop in the photos are unreal. I love how white and wintery it all looks. Glad you had a fun experience.

    • gdare says:

      Thank you, it was really a great adventure. This summer we had another great adventure but I was too busy to make a post about it. Maybe soon, your comment reminded me that I neglected my blog for a while.
      I checked on your blog today, it seems that you are young enough to start your adventures and old enough to appreciate it. Good luck, I will subscribe and follow your journeys. Cheers!

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