SummaryThis trip report outlines my last two hikes on the Berg Lake Trail and surrounding area. First, I will discuss a failed attempt to climb to the Ralph Forster Hut and then three days soloing around Berg Lake.
Ralph Forster Hut AttemptMt Robson/Whitehorn (Kamloops)
30 Jul 2012 (Recounting 28 Jul)
Zach and I left Kamloops around 0000 to arrive at the Berg Lake Trail Head at 0500. We immediately departed for Kinney Lake to sleep or attempt to summit to Ralph Forster Hut. We arrived at the South Face Trail Head at around 0600, ate and began the climb. Wrong decision. My pack was too heavy and I should have forced myself to sleep after being awake for seventeen hours.
We end up retreating back down to Kinney Lake campground where we slept for thirty minutes before moving on to Whitehorn campground. There we built a shelter and sleep again before attempting the afternoon’s objective, which was to ascend as high as we could up Whitehorn Mountain from the valley of the campground.
What we didn’t know was that the solid skree slope we hoped to climb right to the cliff top was actually bisected by a river. This forces the climber into a very steep canyon... forces isn’t the right word. The climber can choose to enter a very steep canyon if they think it is the best place to hang out. It isn’t. In our terror on the steep canyon skree slope we were able to enjoy nice views of the South West face of Robson.
After our ordeal we moved back to Whitehorn campground and rested for an hour before moving back to the parking lot. We were out of the park by 2200. Originally, I had planned to stay in the park after my friend had left back to Vancouver but a mouse had contaminated all the food I had left in the trunk. All the food, I don’t know why it couldn’t just pick one. After sleeping in the car we were back in Kamloops by 1200 the next day.
Soloing the Berg Lake TrailBerg Lake Trail Head
Tuesday 31 Jul 12 (0520)
I am back at the Berg Lake Trail after only leaving two days ago. I am glad I am back I felt I had ‘wussed out’ in how quickly I had left the last time. If there is one thing I need is more time in the mountains.
Such an amazing place. There is a red sky this morning though, I will need to keep my eyes on the weather. I need to move up to Kinney Lake before I am eaten by mosquitoes.
Kinney Lake (0742)
Beautiful skies this morning. This is my first time soloing at Robson without bear bells; I don’t think I have ever actually heard the forest before. There are so many people on the trail this time of year the risk of encounter with any wildlife is pretty low. Just watch your corners.
Exhaustion is quickly catching up with me and I must rest.
Hargreaves Lake Trail (1703)
I made camp at Marmot campground and slept for an hour before beginning my night objectives. I am now moving on to Hargreaves Lake, Toboggan Falls and Mumm basin. There are amazing views of Robson from this trail, especially from on top of the terminal moraine near Hargreaves Lake (aka the Hargreaves Lake Viewpoint).
Marmot Campground (2020)
I have arrived back at Marmot. I have managed to complete the trail to Hargreaves Lake and Toboggan Falls but the Mumm Basin trial was a bridge to far. Hargreaves Lake was interesting. The glacier that feeds it must have been much bigger at one point and it looks like there may be a possible pass on the right hand side. After Hargreaves I made the traverse to the Toboggan Falls trail and then up to the “small cave.” It also appears there is a much bigger cave directly across the valley from it.
The high alpine meadows were beautiful, although the serenity was broken by the fear of bear attack in the backcountry. I think I set a personal record for the number of time I sang ‘Land of the Silver Birch.’
Hargreaves Cabin – Berg Lake Campground
Wednesday 01 Aug 2012 (1709)
Rain. And it looks like it will stay.
I am glad I decided to pull off of the Snowbird Pass trail. The North Face had been heavy obscured by clouds and I knew it was only a matter of time before the storm entered the valley around the Robson Glacier. The portion of the trail that I was able to see was beautiful though, with great views of the glaciers (I got to the chains). I planned to do the Mumm Basin trail but the rain was too heavy. It has been a very wet season. A posting of the Jasper Park Border near Robson pass said that the North Boundary trail is washed out at one point.
I am moving back to my camp at Marmot. If the weather doesn’t break I will move back to Kinney or Whitehorn, otherwise up Mumm Basin Trail.
I am tired and wet, more like the Robson I know.
Marmot Campground (1606)
Rain continues. Plan on sleeping.
I had to leave Hargreaves Cabin, so many people defeats the point of soloing. It is much quieter at the end of April.
Berg Lake Visitor Center (1100)
Off the Trail. I have mixed feelings about it, I would have loved to stay longer but the fourteen hours of rain sucked. The move from Marmot was smooth. I need to focus in on summits for the next time I am in the park, as much as I love the Berg Lake Trail you can only hike amongst such beautiful mountains for so long before wanting to go up one.
Definitely one of my most extensive trips in terms of kilometers covered, around eighty in three days.