There are times when nature calls. The city, traffic, pollution, noise and all the other accoutrements of urban living catch up to us, and we need to go back to our primal roots. A certain desire to reconnect with nature. Four friends made a plan to escape our Blackberries, and our hectic lives (and wives), by escaping to Mt Robson, British Columbia, for 5 days. The trail? Berg Lake. Elevation gain of 1600m. 26km long. Unbeatable vistas of lakes, meadows, waterfalls, and glaciers. And of course, intrepid wildlife. Departing from Calgary AB, we drove the scenic Icefields Parkway from Calgary, through Banff and Jasper, to Mt Robson. This is rated one of the best drives in the world, and for good reason. Great vistas. Lots of phenomenal views, and good wildlife viewing. Grizzly bears, elk, moose, deer, black bears. Glaciers. Lakes. Rivers. Waterfalls. We saw it all. For anyone in this part of the world, it is a must drive. At least once. Maybe several times, as natures majesty is impossible to take in all at once. Arriving at base camp, we checked in, and packed up our gear and set out. The trip itself is not that strenuous. Through alpine meadows, glacial valleys, past lakes, and waterfalls, it is a slow ascent to the camp for the first night - whitehorn. A pleasant campsite next to the roaring river, it has a shelter, and fresh water. Day two is a strenuous day - as immediately following the campsite is pure vertical ascent. Past waterfalls, and rivers, you ascend to hit Berg Lake Glacier. The campsite is at the other end of the lake. Berg Lake that is. It is cool, and refreshing. And at the base of a lot of exemplary day hikes.
Subsequent days are spent hiking the trails, taking in the scenery, and the wildlife. At the top of a particularly narrow trail, we make a new friend. A particularly curious marmot stares us down in its never ending quest for food. We win, and he leaves empty handed, but not for the lack of trying. We can't help but think we've made a friend. The final day we hike down, past all the same scenery, and wildlife, and jump in our cars and take the long drive back to civilization. We've been gone for 5 days, but it feels like a lifetime. Cooking over fire. Seeing the stars without light pollution. Hearing the sounds of nature. They all have a very calming effect. I'm ready to face the buzz and beeping sounds of the world again. I got more out of this trip than reconnecting with nature. I made new friends. I got to reconnect with my friends, who through jobs and life, have little time for anything casual and trivial. But then again, getting the opportunity to find yourself again is never trivial - and Berg Lake is certainly not that - it's a trip everyone should do every once in a while - just when you've had enough of the traffic, and the noise. You'll be happy you did.