Our second day at Berg Lake was a little more leisurely. I had every intention of letting my body rest, but for me, sleeping in was impossible when the world came alive. I woke up a little after 5:30am, gently unzipping the tent to peel away our “door” and peek at the outside world, gingerly facing the cold. I could see the alpenglow at the top of Mt. Robson, just about to fade away, signifying the start of a new day. We could hear all the birds out here, and of course, none other than the glacier itself.
I put my jacket on and slipped my feet loosely into my boots, not bothering with the laces as I trundled towards the washroom—a single outhouse for the whole campground with a smell that was as strong as it was unsurprising. Right outside the washroom door Mt. Robson stood, proving to be what I’m sure is one of the most glorious locations for a washroom ever known to man.
Back at camp, I began what would be my morning routine for the next three days: brushing my teeth with water we had filtered straight from the lake; pouring the cold water from my Grayl onto my fingers before putting my contacts in. We then headed down to our “pantry”—the bear-proof storage lockers at the edge of the campsite—to pick up our food, stove and cookset so we could make breakfast before our quick and easy day hike to Toboggan Falls, not far from our campground.
There was one large bench & a smaller side table that acted as a washing station; the grey water pit a small pile of rocks in which we could pour the water from our dirty dishes. Any food scraps & waste left from our cooking would be placed in a plastic bag that we would carry out with us. Some of our fellow campers were scattered along the lake’s shoreline, enjoying their breakfasts and hot drinks on the rocks.
Backcountry trips like this require a little more planning, especially when it comes to meals. We focused on packing calorie-dense foods & nutritious meals to replenish what we burned on the trail. Our breakfast was usually coffee made with our AeroPress; oatmeal; cheese; avocado; sliced oranges; and “Breakfast Essentials”, a thick chocolate-flavoured drink I would never ordinarily consume if not for the fact we’d be burning through everything we ate within a couple of hours.
We got back to camp early, and after “washing up” (putting our feet at the edge of the icy lake and wiping our bodies down as quickly as possible) we relaxed before dinner. J sat on the rocks and drew the glacier before us; I took photos and tried to find different ways to document what was before me, trying to return to that beginner’s mind whilst also harnessing the calm, focused energy I always find when I’m in these settings. I’d much rather practice capturing from that place of peace, versus rushing around and missing all the little things.
Here’s a list of the food & supplies we brought with us, in case it interests you.
Snacks: cheese, SkyFlakes/Saltine crackers, homemade trail mix, ClifBars, homemade banana bread
Dinners: dehydrated meals (Good To-Go), bannock, wine, dark chocolate
Clothing: base layers (Icebreaker Merino), t-shirts, mid-layer (flannels from Fjällräven), pants (Keb Trousers), jacket (Greenland Jacket & Greenland Jacket W), shell (Keb Eco-Shell W), hiking boots (Lhasa & Lhasa Lady), merino socks (Icebreaker), wide-brimmed hats & beanies (Fjällräven)
Camera Gear: Canon 5D MK IV, 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4