September 17, 2012


After hopping on the train in Prague it was a 4 hour ride to Berlin.  Our hotel was in a nice leafy district and only a short walk to an s-bahn station. Our first stop was to visit Mitte to do some shopping and sample Berliner Weisse. The next day we did the usual tourist sites of Berlin. We took a walking tour around old Berlin, checkpoint Charlie, topography of terror, the Brandenburg gate and more. When we got to the zoo the following morning it was pouring so we visited the aquarium until the rain died down. After the zoo we explored the east side gallery, did a little more shopping, ate some tapas and called it a night. 
Numbered trees
Walking man

Hotel room view

September 4, 2012

Pinto Lake

Back in July a couple of friends and I managed to get some backpacking in. The drive to the Pinto lake trailhead was around 4.5 hours from Edmonton. The first leg of the hike was a brutal 3 km trek straight up for around an hour. This was followed by a picturesque meadow for a while before breaking into another uphill to the Sunset Pass. After the pass it was a 5 km hike down to the lake. We arrived shortly before sundown and had time to set up camp in the light. The sun set quickly and we ended up eating a rushed dinner in the dark before bed. The next day we tried to figure out how to cross the creek in order to climb up to some pass that I forget the name of. After a few hours we reached the pass exhausted. We ate lunch at the top before heading back to camp to relax for the night. On Sunday we packed up and hiked out. Overall it was a good hike. It involved a lot of elevation changes but the mountain meadows and the numerous waterfalls were worth it. 

Break location after the initial uphill portion

Paul as we first reached the meadow

Eating area

Trying to figure out how to cross the river

The pass that we reached during the day hike

2/3rds of us were exhausted

View of Pinto Lake from above

Hiking back through the meadow