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Fitzwilliam Basin: Solitude in Mount Robson Provincial Park
Timestamp Free: 2019.09.16 - 14:51:02
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (3 days)     Elevation Gain: 900m
Participants: David (leader), Eric, Nick, Kay, Marg, Bonnie, Bozena
Difficulty: 1: Non-technical; 900 m elevation gain to campground
A club group from Edmonton backpacks into Mount Robson Provincial Park’s Fitzwilliam Basin.
When most people think of backpacking trips in Mount Robson Provincial Park, only one trail comes to mind: the Berg Lake Trail. The second most popular trail in the park is nonetheless practically unknown. It's the Mount Fitzwilliam Trail, also known as the Fitzwilliam Basin Trail.

The two trails are quite a contrast. The Berg Lake Trail is world-famous, well-constructed, and likely to have its dozens of tent pads fully booked on a summer weekend. The Mount Fitzwilliam Trail is obscure and "user-maintained" (by users' boots, one supposes), and backpackers can self-register at the trailhead to use its nine official tent pads split between two campgrounds. According to a report based on information gathered in 2002, 92.2% of Mount Robson Provincial Park trail users used the Berg Lake Trail, while only 3.9% used the Mount Fitzwilliam Trail.

One headache associated with planning trips for a hiking club is guessing how many people will sign up and reserving the right number of tent pads. For the Mount Fitzwilliam Trail, not only did I not have to worry about how many, but I was also able to leave which campground to be decided en route. We could drive about 400 km out from Edmonton Friday morning, get on the trail, and decide at the Rockingham Creek campground if we wanted to stop there or carry on over a much rougher trail to the upper campground, another 7 km.

So the only complicated aspect of planning was arranging transportation. When Bozena offered her seven-passenger van, that factor also became simple. Bonnie was joining the group on the way back from Seattle, so she would meet the other six at the trailhead.

The weather reports were not promising, with rain or showers predicted for two of the three days, and cloud on the third, for both Jasper and...

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