Lotta was 19 months old on this long backpacking trip. It was one year before her brother Bosse was born. She was carried in the Thule Sappling. It was the last trip on which we could do longer multi-day treks with distances covering over 20k per day. Since Lotta walks for herself, future trips would be much shorter…
Maligne Lake Viewpoint is a 12 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Jasper, Alberta, Canada. Jasper National Park
After some acclimatisation hikes near Jasper, we headed off on our first 5 day backpacking trek onto the Berglake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park. We spilt up our 60km-hike over 5 days so we’d have lots of time to enjoy the scenery and to go on day hikes from the different base camps. There are seven campgrounds along the trail, each with several tent pads. Each campground comes equipped with bear-proof food storage lockers, pit toilets and grey-water pits. You won’t find any showers or flush toilets, and there are no fires allowed. You’ll have to use a camp stove for cooking. Campground reservations for each season become available on October 1 of the prior year (for instance, on October 1, 2019 reservations opened up for the 2020 hiking season).To book your reservation on the Berg Lake Trail, click here.
The Berg Lake Trail is a world-renowned backcountry hiking trail. Gaining just under 800 metres in 23 kilometres, the trail traverses three biogeoclimatic zones in the Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada.
The Berg Lake Trail winds through old-growth cedar/hemlock forest as it follows the Robson River to Kinney Lake. Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada.
Crossing the suspension bridge near the Whitehorn campground in the Valley of a thousand falls. Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada.
There are many hiking and backpacking trips to pick from in the stunning Jasper National Park. The Tonquin Valley’s scenery is unrivalled. The trail takes you into one of Canada’s premiere alpine regions, a unique combination of barren peaks, ghostly ice and fertile lakes. The valley is popular for its stunning views of Amethyst Lake at the base of the Ramparts mountain range. It’s famous for its variety of wildlife, which includes grizzlies, black bears, and mountain caribou. It does also have a reputation for its muddiness and an abundance of mosquitoes, so be prepared for a bit of everything.
We hiked to the Wates-Gibson Hut and stayed over for 2 nights. Altough it was peak season in the mid of July we didn’t see any other tourist during our 3 days in the Tonquin Valley!
Well deserved rest at Chrome Lake, after hiking for hours through rain, snow and a thunder storm. Tonquin Valley trail, Jasper National Park
Crossing the plains of stunning Eremite valley.. Tonquin Valley trail, Jasper National Park
Afternoon coffee at the Wates-Gibson Hut Hut! Tonquin Valley trail, Jasper National Park
The cosy and comfortable Wates-Gibson Hut Hut in the Eremite valley! Tonquin Valley trail, Jasper National Park
Lunch at Amethyst Lake. Tonquin Valley trail, Jasper National Park
Eremite Valley. Tonquin Valley trail, Jasper National Park
Wildfire haze spills over the Ramparts Range in the morning light. Tonquin Valley trail, Jasper National Park
Wildfire haze spills over the Ramparts Range in the morning light. So we continue our Tonquin Valley trail, Jasper National Park
The Ramparts Range, Jasper National Park
On the next update we will take you on our 5 day trek on the 80km loop over the Brazeau Plateau. The “grand tour” of the southern ranges, this circuit includes one of the park’s largest backcountry lakes, two passes and an extraordinary alpine traverse with glaciated peaks, lush wildflowers and a variety of wildlife.
Nap timezzzzzz, Brazeau Plateau, Jasper National Park
As explained before, we layered the baby up during the night with as many merino wool layers as necessary and a merino wool sleeping bag, as we did in Patagonia.
We are happy with the merino wool products from Danish Joha and German Reiff.
The baby did not sleep on an inflated sleeping mattres, because of suffocation danger. Her sleeping mat was the Thermarest Z-lite Sol closed-cell mattress. We buttoned a hooded hat to keep her head and body warm during the night. Breast feeding kept her nourished and healthy.
We choosed to use washable diapers with a biodisposable inlay like the G diaper system. It worked very well because on a maximum of 3-4 days in between, we crossed into an STF hut with pit toilets in which we could dump the used inlays and wash the outer protection panties.
We leave you with a video impression and some snapshots:
Lotta has big sister duties coming up… so time to give this blog an update before new adventures swallow us up. Let’s finish the trip report from our 45-day baby backpacking trip in Patagonia March-April 2016.
During the 45 days in Patagonia we did a total of 6 multiday treks and several dayhikes. The longest trek was a 5 night/6day trek in NP Nahuel Huapi, which you can read in part 1. Backpacking/trekking with a baby comes with some logistics, but nothing we could not tackle. Clue is keeping the baby warm, hydrated and nourished(breastfeeding), away from direct sunlight and safe. Lotta was hanging in a sling on the first 20 days of the trip, but she grew out of it, so we changed into a baby carrier for the remainder of the treks. Don’t overdress the baby while hiking/backpacking because they absorb a lot of body heat from the moving mother/father.
During the night we layered her up with as many merino wool layers as necessary and a merino wool sleeping bag. The baby did not sleep on an inflated sleeping mattres, because of suffocation danger. Her sleeping mat was the Thermarest Z-lite Sol closed-cell mattress. We buttoned a hooded hat to keep her head and body warm during the night.
We packed in and out all (used) diapers, so it is really necesary to go for the backpacking light approach, because logistics would be almost impossible for a 6 day trek with the three of us. After this Patagonia trip we changed the classic diaper system to a biodisposable diapers system like the G diaper system, because the 30-day trek we did in the European summer of 2016 in Swedish Lapland would have been impossible. More details on that on the next blog update.
After a good night’s rest at a bivaouc spot in the canes besides Lago Chico. Patagonia Park. Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
El Chaltén was named Argentina’s Trekking Capital or Capital Nacional del Trekking. Today the sole reason for its existence is tourism. In 1985, Argentina and Chile had a border dispute to gain and claim rights over El Chalten. There was no conflict in the end, and El Chalten was earned and rewarded to Argentina. Homes, government buildings, and flags of Argentina went up to mark the city settlement. El Chalten, Santa Cruz Province, Patagonia, Argentina.
Descending the rim of Volcan Chaitén, Prov. de Palena, X Región de Los Lagos, Patagonia, Chile.
Parque Pumalín was Chile’s largest private nature reserve and operated as a public-access park, with an extensive infrastructure of trails, campgrounds, and visitor centers. By an accord announced on 18 March 2017, the park was gifted to the Chilean state and consolidated with another 4,000,000 ha (9,884,215 acres) to become part of South America’s largest national park, X Región de Los Lagos, Patagonia, Chile.
Puyuhuapi (Puyuguapi) is a village located on Route 7, the Carretera Austral, where the Rio Pascal enters the head of the Puyuhuapi fjord, a small fjord off the Ventisquero Sound, XI Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
The Carretera Austral (CH-7, in english: Southern Way) is the name given to Chile’s Route 7. The highway runs about 1240 kilometers (770 mi) from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins through rural Patagonia. These areas are sparsely populated and despite its length, Carretera Austral provides access to only about 100.000 people. The highway began as almost entirely unpaved, but more sections are becoming paved each year. As of January 2017, the paved road ends at Villa Cerro Castillo, with roadworks going on just south of there.
A day hike in the Queulat National Park along the Carretera Austral, XI Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Starting our trek on a rancho at the gates of The Cerro Castillo National Reserve, where the melting of glaciers, gives life to the trails and valleys that today make up this reserve. Its untamed nature reflects the natural, geological and volcanological changes that this region has experienced for centuries, XI Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Through the lenga forrest of The Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Peek through towards the castles of Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Setting up camp at campamento Neozelandés in Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Breakfast in sub-zero degrees at campamento Neozelandés in Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Hiding from a chilly breeze at some tarns high above the campamento Neozelandés in Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Retracing towards the campamento Neozelandés in Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Enjoying the waving trees in Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Pitstop along the Carratera Austral in Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Enchanting colors on the General Carrera Lake (Chilean side) or Lake Buenos Aires (Argentine side). This lake is shared by Argentina and Chile. The lake has a surface of 1,850 km² of which 970 km² are in the Chilean Aysén Region, and 880 km² in the Argentine Santa Cruz Province, making it the biggest lake in Chile, and the fourth largest in Argentina. In December 2015, Doug Tompkins died on a kayaking accident when strong waves caused their kayaks to capsize in this lake. In the 1990s Tompkins and his second wife, Kris McDivitt Tompkins bought and conserved over 2 million acres (810,000 ha) of wilderness in Chile and Argentina, more than any other private individuals in the region, thus becoming among the largest private land-owners in the world.The Tompkinses were focused on park creation, wildlife recovery, ecological agriculture, and activism, with the goal of saving biodiversity.
Valle Chacabuco, heart of the future Patagonia National Park, is locally known as the “light” of the region. Why? Its unusual landscapes—expansive grasslands in a largely forested region—have shaped a rich human history, which informs and enriches the conservation work of Conservacion Patagonica. Prior to the 1800s, Valle Chacabuco (like most of the Aysen Region) was unknown except to the handful of nomadic native communities from Northern Patagonia. Expeditions south in the late 19th century discovered the rich grasslands of Valle Chacabuco, leading to the valley’s transformation into a vast sheep estancia. For decades, amidst land reform and shifting ownership, tens of thousands of animals grazed throughout this ecologically sensitive valley. Although ranching damaged native grasslands, in the current transition from estancia to park, Valle Chacabucois rapidly recovering.
We were invited to stay for 2 nights at the lodge in Valle Chacabuco by Conservacion Patagonica in exchange for photographic work from our previous explorations in the park. An invitation that we could not refuse. Future Patagonia National Park. Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Patagonia Park contains and protects the highest levels of biodiversity found in Chile’s Aysen region. As the park’s endemic plants restore in number, the repopulation of wildlife has followed closely behind. Home to many endangered species, such as the nationally treasured huemul deer, puma, and Andean condor, the park provides scientists and wildlife lovers alike the chance to experience these rare species first hand.
The dry steppe grasslands of Argentine Patagonia are characterized by minimal rainfall (less than 150 millimeters annually), cold, dry winds, and sandy soil. The Andes Mountains block moisture from flowing west, creating this arid area region. A number of tough plants have been able to adapted to this harsh environment, including shrubs like calafate, quilembay and yaoyín, and tuft grasses like flechilla and coirón poa. These grasslands support hardy animals such as the burrowing owl, the gray fox, tuco-tuco, mara, armadillos, various eagle and hawk species, and keystone predators like the puma. A wide range of animals thrive in the more habitable outskirts of the desert and around ephemeral lakes formed from the Andes’ runoff, where trees and more nutritious aqueous grasses can grow.
Members of the camelid family, guanacos are the southern relative of the llama—and both of them are South American cousins to true camels. These animals live in arid, mountainous regions of Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The name guanaco comes from the Quechua word wanaku. Although far more difficult to domesticate than llamas, guanacos have been hunted for meat, wool, and skins for centuries. Today, their population has dropped to around 500,000, with of 90% of that in the steppes of Argentina.
In the eastern sector of the Chacabuco Valley, the Lago Chico area has spectacular views of Lago Cochrane and Mt. San Lorenzo. So we decided to explore the area on an overnight trek. We would not be dissapointed!
Emerging from the lenga forrest, with Mt. San Lorenzo hiding in the clouds. Patagonia Park. Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Lago Chico is something of a legend, with unusual lake-to-lake views down to the immense Lago Cochrane, across to Cerro San Lorenzo, and out into Argentina. This spot eluded many a hiker who set out in search of the mysterious lake—until now, with the completion of a new loop trail sponsored by Patagonia Inc. Beware anyway that the trail is not signposted and sometimes you need good sight to find the trail in the high grasses! Patagonia Park. Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Alpen glow on Mt. San Lorenzo from our bivaouc spot besides Lago Chico. Patagonia Park. Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Our bivaouc spot in the canes besides Lago Chico. Patagonia Park. Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.
Retracing through the high grasses towards Lago Cochrane. Patagonia Park. Aysén Region, Patagonia, Chile.