Hard On The Feet, Light On The Heart, Magic To Your Eyes.

My best friend and I hiked the full trail from May 21 4pm to May 28 5:40pm. Being in europe for 3 months, our bas were about 25 kg, and that was a lot. If you are going to do this hike, pack as light as you can. There are luggage transfer services along the trail, but as one of the fellow hikers I met on the trail commented "thats just cheating". Every twist and tun of this hike brought a new and stunning sight, there were so many moments I just had to stop to fill my lungs with the amazing scents, and fill my eyes with ruins, burly oaks, waterfalls, lochs, sheep, coos, mountains, flowers, and stone bridges. Although my feet hurt and my legs lagged at the end of every night, somehow we managed to find a beer at some on-route pub 5/7 of the days. Highlights for me were climbing the hill above Loch Lomond, and singing into the wind the whole song about that very loch. Aswell as the mossy forests at the first half of the trail being littered with Scottish and Spanish bluebells, creating an eerie purple visual-mist floating through the greenery. I also loved the high mountain passes to view the valleys, villages, and peaks surrounding them. The fresh air, and remote views definitely reminded me of some of my home hikes in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. If you plan to hike, tent, and carry your full pack the whole way, I would say this trail is not for the faint of heart, but I promise you that you will not regret one single moment of placing one foot in from of the other towards that Irn-Bru Ice-cream cone at the end of the trail in Ft William. Suggested supplies, backpack water bladder and water filter. Smidge spray (though the midges didnt get bad till the last two nights of the trail), and sufficient salty and sweet snacks, those will carry you, I promise. Nothing cures aching feet like a Lion Bar or caramel filled Digestive wafer. Take care on the trail and breathe deeply, you will love it. Sliante

Epic Views, Solid Workout, Lots Of Marmots

This trip was Fantastic. My best friend, his dad, and I all took off the first day from Maligne lake off the shuttle and hiked up to snow bowl campground. The scenery was lovely and the trails were fairly wet, the gaters were a lifesaver. The second day was more cloudy but it opened up later, hiking through plains, up through a small pass, and into a completely different change of scenery. A long Rocky trail greeted us with sightings of a few mountain sheep and many, many, many marmots. The hike was long all the way to the curator sign post above the lodge, and we took off straight up to the notch. Travelling at about 1.2 km/h up to the notch it was gruelling, hard work and lots of heavy breathing, watching our steps in the muddy spots. But the view from the pass was unbelievable. You could see all the way back the the first pass in one direction, and Marmot Basin ski resort in the other direction. We took a rest at the top for some water and snacks, then off along the long mountain ridge for many more spectacular views of the Jasper valley and other valleys besides filled with snow caps and glittering blue lakes. We took a long switchback trail down into the valley to the Tekarra campground. A full 18km day and we were dead on our feet. Each of us carrying 40lb packs, it was a long day. That evening it poured for about an hour but the sky opened up right as the sun went below the peaks. The next morning we shipped out across the river and had a lovely long hike, relatively flat, along and around the mountains till was faced Jasper once more. Then we hit the fire road. The fire road was 9 long km of steady decline and if your shoes aren't great, then your toes may be hurting, set to the example of my hiking partners who ached all the way down. But in the end we were content and the finish line was much worth it. To finish this off, the hike was amazing. Beautiful. Quiet. And not super busy. We all enjoyed ourselves, and I look forward to taking the trek again in the future.