–Submitted by Jamai Schile
Arriving at the parking lot for the Nordic Centre around 10 am, we were surprised to see how busy it was. We speculated that the combination of fires in the interior and the number of closed Island trails created an above average number of visitors to the park this year.
Undeterred, we set off to our destination Circlet Lake for two nights of backcountry camping. When we arrived, the camping area and over flow where both busy, but we easily locate a campsite to accommodate us all without feeling hemmed in. After a day of relaxing and exploring the local area we gathered beside the lake to watch the sun go down and the stars and bats come out. This became a wonderful nightly ritual that’s hard to forget. So, peaceful.
Next morning our group split into two. Half of the group set their sights on the sum of Alberta Edward and the other half headed for Beautiful Lake and Cruickshank Canyon. Both groups had a fantastic day despite the heat. The Cruickshank crew keep their cool by taking a plunge into Beautiful Lake and Circlet Lake on their return. The Albert Edward crew didn’t have it so easy, but still cooled off in the last of the snow at the summit.
Overall, the trip was a great success and suitable for all levels of backpackers. Notes from the trail from our newest and possibly youngest member (??): leave the mallet hammer at home, don’t forget your cap. and YES, YOU CAN make s’mores with a MSR pocket rocket.