A journal from two Australian Hikers as they embark on the ultimate Canadian Wilderness Adventure in the remote alpine paradise of British Columbia’s Coast Mountains.
I'm standing amidst an ample amount of pointy short pine trees, in a grandiose landscape filled with endless views of craggy ridge lines, snow-capped glistening peaks, and the sparkle of deep blue coming from our nearby pristine glacier-fed lake. Nothing man-made, only the perfect creation of nature itself — I could get used to this…
Nothing man-made, only the perfect creation of nature
We had heard about some of the best hiking terrain in the Pacific Northwest and wanted to experience it, as well as to get far away from the crowded tourists routes most people visit when they embark on a Canadian Adventure Trip.
A group of six complete strangers, as well as my wife Emma and I and our two wilderness guides - Ben and Cristina, are taking on what is literally the trip of a lifetime together, into the deep Canadian Wilds of British Columbia’s remote Coast Mountains. We’re not anywhere near the lower mainland of Vancouver or Whistler, we’re in the real deal wilderness of the remote Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, an area seldom ventured into by visitors to Western Canada.
I feel really excited. My wife — well, she’s just as into the idea of being flown into an area only capable of being reached by a trusted float plane or by a good seven-day walk in from the nearest small town of Nimpo Lake. Let’s clarify even the remoteness of Nimpo Lake - it consists of a few lodges, ample numbers of fishermen and nothing but the pristine wilds of British Columbia to the North and South and the Great Bear Rainforest to the West, nestled amongst the mighty Pacific Coast Mountains. We are already pretty remote to say the least - and that's exactly what we were looking for - to experience the immense wilderness that Canada has to offer.
We started the trip off by landing on the surface of a glacier lake set deep amongst the Pacific Coastal Range. The main activity on the trip was to experience wilderness hiking, basically a form of hiking in alpine meadows and up to stunning ridgelines and small peaks offering breathtaking views over the Coast Mountains, glaciers and the real Canadian wilderness.
Our guides have organised everything we need to enjoy some luxury while we’re in the backcountry. Boxes are packed to the brim with fresh vegetables, homemade curries and delicious baked goods. I also spot a nice large box full of local wines and beers — let’s not forget that one!
Our final destination after our 45-minute scenic flight over the ice fields, glaciers, and gigantic peaks, is an alpine lake nestled between a beautiful cirque of snow-capped mountains. We’re planning on three nights and four full days in this beautiful wilderness setting, where our days will consist of hiking and exploring the expansive wilds that surround us.
We’re going into the true wilds, no running water — instead fresh run-off from a nearby glacier. No electricity, except solar panels that charge the cabin’s lights, no computers, no mobile phones, no one to bother us, not even other hikers or passersby.
I learn how to tune inwards and feel what raw nature and the wilderness offered my senses. It sounds so simple, something we would have done before the era of fast-paced technology, computers, and lengthy emails. However, nowadays it’s harder than you think to truly unplug. You’ve got to plan it and schedule it in.
I keep thinking to myself how good it feels to not be attached to any kind of to-do list or having to check my phone to ensure I was reachable. No one was going to find us out here and that’s when I feel the true essence of where I am. Waking with the sun and walking with the deer as we experience remote Canadian wilderness hiking at its best.
Connecting with nature
The following days consist of waking with the sunrise as the sun gleams ithrough our cabin’s windows. Sipping fine coffee over a delicious homemade breakfast and discussing the current day’s adventure ahead. Gearing up with the feeling of excitement of the unknown and the deep wilderness that surrounds us. Walking in the footprints of wild Caribou tracks and the odd wolf print which followed. Detecting local scat and coming across fresh bear tracks is definitely interesting!
Then there is a moment I actually feel the connection of the environment around us, learning how to read the movements of the clouds and judge the wind that whispers above us on the snowy ridge. I learn how to read the signs of nature from our incredible backcountry guides as they provide us with the environment to experience something as special as the British Columbia backcountry. It is awesome.
We hike through challenging terrain, through a hidden alpine paradise. Who knew such remote beauty existed?
Each day the group follows our wilderness guides Ben and Cristina through challenging terrain on Canadian wilderness day hikes that make us inspired and thirsty for the next day's route into yet another slice of alpine wilderness. Each day we explore a hidden alpine environment that is more beautiful than the previous. I never imagined the feeling of being one of the exclusive few to set eyes on such remote beauty.
We push ourselves with the comfort of knowing our guides are there to ensure we are safe and within an area where we will enjoy the push to the views we are about to experience. We trust them as they know how important it is to take time for such inspiring wilderness experiences.
Experience Remote Canadian Wilderness Hiking
Experiencing remote Canadian wilderness hiking and the connection with nature and your inner self, that's what this trip is all about. I couldn’t help but realize there is no place I’d rather be than amidst the true Canadian Wilderness.
At the end of the day, we find ourselves happily, although slightly sore, arriving back at our cabin base. We are amongst stunning vistas with the privacy of a glacial lake all to ourselves. A well-earned cold beer or wine awaits, chilled by our local waterway from the glacier. My beer never tasted so good. Everything we eat and drink tastes like it has more oomph. It’s as if the hard work and the true wilds added to my taste buds. I am in sensory overload.
In the evening after a good meal and many laughs about the day’s adventure, our eyes get heavy in the sunset. I feel comforted by the roar of the fire in the wood stove in our cabin. The sounds of the voices of our guides are muffled as they tell us the weather is getting better.
As I drift off…
The wind rips over the roof of the cabin. The sound of its strength allows me to tune inward again, feeling the power of the wilderness that surrounds us. As the stars shine their immense light across the sky and the moon sets its cast across the lake, I couldn’t help but realize there is no place I’d rather be than where I am right at this moment. This is exactly what I’d always wanted to do. I am there at last — amidst the true Canadian wilderness.