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A Guide’s Perspective

Thursday, November 3, 2011

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Hiking the Jasper Highline is an amazingly varied backpacking trip. We go over mountain passes, wander through lush meadows and camp by rivers and the beautiful Brazeau Lake.

Nigel Pass acts like a guard for the grand tour of the southern ranges of Jasper Park, it welcomes us on the first day, and whispers goodbye as we leave. Poboktan Pass is encountered a few days into the trip, when the packs have been adjusted and our loads lightened. Hiking through the Pass, we are again above tree line, and can enjoy rolling terrain and the wonderful views. This is a good day to keep the binoculars handy, and scout for bears or caribou in the distance. Going up and over Jonas Shoulder is a highpoint of the trip, also literally with its 2470 meters. It feels as if we can touch the glaciated peaks just across the valley. The "alpine" feeling stays with us as we traverse along Jonas Pass, before dropping below treeline again.

Living for a week on the Brazeau Lake Loop is an easy going life. After hiking through lush meadows and green forests, or over a high pass we hit camp in the afternoon. The campgrounds are situated in beautiful forest, and have rivers or lake water close by.  Hanging out at the beach is possible at Brazeau Lake campground. You can dry yourself off in the warm afternoon sun while you wait for someone else to make afternoon drinks and snack. The food is great tasting, and feels wonderful in your tummy after being carried on your back all day.

Spending this time in a remote, quiet and beautiful place effects all of us who do this. We have a chance to spend some time with just ourselves as we silently hike along as a part of the group. And being in a group with new and exciting people with the same passion as yourself, offers endless amounts of opportunities to have good conversations and many belly laughs.

After hiking the Jasper Highline I have warm and fun memories in my mind, great pictures in my photo album and new friends who write to me and want to go out hiking again.

Inka Karlsen

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