Mt. Robson rocky jewel in Canadian crown

Highest point in the Canadian Rockies, Mt. Robson glimmers above the deepening evening shadows.

The Banff/Jasper highway. or Icefields Parkway as it is called, is a spectacular thread up the spine of the central Canadian rockies which divide Alberta and British Columbia. The road itself boasts breathtaking scenery, two passes, views of valley glaciers and ice sheets, wildlife and several lakes. It still pays to explore the road west of Jasper, where a modest climb over Yellowhead pass and equally modest descent bring you, after 40 miles or so, to the Monarch of the Canadian Rockies, Mt. Robson. I had this mountain on a poster in the wall of my office at the University of Massachusetts, where I taught for several years. It is more impressive live and in the buff, for it is one of these mountains that, you come around a bend and....there it is!!! Indeed there it was, and for my day trip west from Jasper, it was well worth it. Good camping facilities are nearby. The roads are broad with generous shoulders. You feel you are on the edge of the wild, as Tolkien might have put it; and in a way you are. Only a few miles further west, the road divides, with the Yellowhead highway pushing up eventually to the Yukon. One of the early highlights of my world tour will be arriving at Mt. Robson from that direction, on my way down from Anchorage: a first welcome to familiar terrain, in a trip that will take me to many beautiful and savage places.