Wednesday 31st August. By Paul.
We originally planned to hike near Mt Robson in Jasper NP, but a stunning picture on the front cover of our guide book inspired us to visit Tonquin Valley instead. We made it a 4 day/5 night hike, and the first day was spent gaining elevation as we followed the Astoria river upstream. After a series of switchbacks we camped in a place which we did not have to share with others – a first for us in the Rockies. It was sunny and warm but we knew that would change.
We hiked only a few kms to another campsite the next day and started a day trip up the Eremite Valley top Arrowhead lake. The weather deteriorated quickly, but not before we got a fine view of the Rampart mountain range. Walking without packs was easy but the water on our legs soon soaked through to our boots. The eremite valley was full of peaks topped with glaciers coming down to the valley floor. So many glaciers – we have seen so many so far on our travels.
It rained heavily overnight and the next morning – there was a dusting of snow on the higher ranges. We hiked along the edge of Amethyst lake starting at midday, which was great as there were many sunny patches and fine views. We followed a different valley out and went over McCarrib pass to a campsite with fresh bear scat in front of it. Again we are the only ones camping in that spot. The weather turns sour again overnight and we get more snow at higher elevations. Grimacing as I fold the freezing cold tent poles, we packed up and yomped out the final 9kms top our car. This time we walked as it snowed, which turned into rain as we descended. Our next plan was to find a hotel room and dry up ready to hike again tomorrow.