It was hard to judge from the internet how hard this trail would be:the I read plenty of comment of ‘very tough indeed’ and ‘steep, slippery and poor condition’, but in reality, it was no harder than the Berg Lake trails, just quite a bit of up and down. 4 nights making our way along the 55.6 km trail lead us under 30 km of an almost unbroken wall of limestone cliffs towering 900m above their base in places. The real bonus though, maybe because of the hype, was that there were fewer people. It felt wilder, the long approach through the endless forest reminded us that we were truly a good distance from anywhere, the paths a little less trodden and the sighting of a mother black bear and her cub was pretty special. She stood up, some 100m away, checked us over, then gently shuffled her cub away balancing gracefully along a fallen tree. We walked faster and faster as the sky got blacker and the thunder started to rumble, to reach the shelter in the porch of a closed up ranger’s cabin, with just seconds to spare before the deluge.
Along with the impossibly colourful paint pots clay beds, and the impossibly high Helmet falls, were tents (thankfully not ours) floating on puddles on their tent pads – this was our introduction to the Rockwall. We found a puddle-free spot and were thankful for Judy’s tarp to make a cooking shelter. The weather cleared the next morning for our meeting up close with the wall and it’s magnificent glaciers.. And the next. Up and down. The continental divide did not disappoint.
Then the grand finale: the last campsite at Floe lake (yes, another glacier). A beautiful stony beach. Swimming had to be done. Very very quickly. Copious amounts of mosquito repellent was required at all times, but the incovenience was easily overlooked: this spot was magnificent in the evening, then we had to admire and photograph it all over again in the morning, Mirror reflections of glaciers and sharp peaks.
Happily we had met a lovely band of 4 you Canadians who could give us a lift back to our start point when we reached the end of the trail. Arriving early, Judy and I thought we would try to save them the trouble by hitching a lift, but clearly we no longer have quite what it takes (we probably smelled a bit, too) and were so pleased to see the lads arrive to shuttle us back.