Distance: 16 km
Elevation gain: 470 m
This is a great, relatively easy hike with fantastic views. The first 4 km or so are on old logging road with little elevation change, and the last 4 km, although steepish in spots, are not particularly difficult either. The old road isn't viewless either, as within 20 minutes or so you are treated to small lakes and meadows flanked by large mountains. The outwash flats near the end of the old road are often visited by moose as well!
The only challenge that some may find is the potential flooding and braided stream flowing from Robertson Glacier. While this has never been a problem when we've visited (mid and late summer), I've heard from many others that debooting and wading is often necessary. Then again, I've seen many debooting when I simply balanced on a log or hopped across. Even when full, however, the outwash flats are, well, flat, and so a slip would at worst result in getting wet, so don't be discouraged from doing this hike because you're worried about the stream crossing.
Upon reaching the pass there are many options to extend the day. Short excursions involve wandering up the ridge to the southwest of the pass (the obvious ridge that blocks your view west) or wandering towards Mt. Robertson. The ridge is dead easy, but watch for overhanging snow early in the season, while the route towards Mt. Robertson requires only rudimentary cross-country skills and can be aborted at any time. A more lofty goal, however, would be to traverse north from the pass to Birdwood Pass, then exit via that valley. Known in a local trailbook as the Birdwood traverse, this route is apparently spectacular in fall as the larches turn. We've never done it ourselves, but having been to Birdwood and Burstall Passes separately, connecting the two in one day trip is on the agenda for next year!
As always, the photos are far more spectacular full-screen. Use the mouse-over function "dim-the-lights" or use the slideshow button.
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation