Lake O'Hara is invariably described as 'the jewel of the Canadian Rockies'. One poor Albertan lady acts as the gatekeeper to that jewel, manning the phone which you must call at 7am precisely three months before your arrival date to book your camp spot and shuttle. Two hours of hitting redial and we had the booking, but as the most hyped place in the Rockies, could it possibly live up to it?
It did. With multiple unbelievably turquoise lakes ringed by huge sheer mountain faces and only a handful of people able to access the trails every day, it was a hikers paradise. We tried in vain to spot a wolverine (kind of a cross between a bear and an aggressive weasel). They're so rare that normally you don't even consider it a possibility but four were spotted whilst we there. But it will have to remain on our hit list for another day...
We caused much amusement with our British insistence on diving into the glacial fed lakes, although Adam received the gold star for swimming out to a rocky island without dying of hypothermia. A very civilised back country campground (complete with sinks!), fresh cake from the lodge and a bird talk sealed it as my number 1 Canadian destination recommend.
A final Robyn filled car journey and it was goodbye to Nicola Timmins. My four days of planned relaxation whilst the boys climbed didn't quite pan out as I spent a good chunk of time adminning for my exciting new job and for a new final backpacking trip to Mt Robson. But I did manage to soak up some rays by a lake and solo hike in a grizzly danger area, turning around when I saw the biggest area (about the size of a tennis court) of grizzly diggings I'd ever seen.
Then it was time to pack up and head to our final adventure in the north.