A Second Attempt on Mt Cheam
And some clever quip...
I tried this hike once before with
Brendon and Ashley
, but the weather ended our trip early. It
was pretty much a year later, Mike had never used his truck off road
and Mark was up for a hike with a beautiful view - time to go for a
The ride up was the usual bumpy ordeal - the culverts were removed so
you have to proceed slowly through the numerous seasonal creeks.
Mike had a lot of fun on the way up. I was a little worried about
the weather (it was partly cloudy), but I hoped the later day would see
less cloud. Perhaps 2km from the parking lot, Mark asked - "Are
we going up there?" pointing at the absurdly green patches where the
meadows (probably cleared by avalanches) dipped down into the
forest. Yes, we were going there.
Only a few minutes from the car I could see there was more snow on the
group than last year. Spoon lake (where we ate lunch) was half
filled with snow.
That said, the plants were further along - where the Glacier lilies
were just starting to open, there were some now passed their
prime. Alpine Lupine were in good shape and Indian Hellebore was
well on it's way to dominating the landscape.
The snow started pretty early - we had to climb up a
tongue of snow
just past spoon lake and pretty much every less exposed patch after
that had some snow crossing. The patterns of snow and life where
snow had receded made much of the mountain look like some extreme golf
As we got further up we started to be able to look down on the clouds
as they passed by. The clouds were actually moving fairly quickly
- you could see them pouring over the nearby ridges to fill the valley
below only to be swept out by the next patch of clear air.
Sometimes the nearby ridges would be enveloped in a passing bit of fog
that quickly dissipate. The collections of cairns at the side of
the hill add a bit of drama to the scene.
Just before we reached the summit, I noticed White Tailed Ptarmigan
"hiding" on top of a pile of rocks. This bird must have believed
it was camouflaged successfully because it didn't flinch as I got closer
and closer with my tripod. Once I had taken my shot and backed
away, it then decided to fly away. Thanks bird!
Finally the summit! When the cliffs of Lady Mountain had first
come into view Mike pointed them out and said they looked nice.
When I suggested we were probably climbing higher than them, his
appreciate seemed to evaporate. Once we got to the top and saw
the 360 degree view, Mikes spirts returned.
We weren't the only people at the top - three hikers proceeded us and
three more came up while we were at the top, but there is a fair
amount of space at the summit. The far side (the side visible
from the Trans-Canada Highway) is pretty much cliff so much of the
summit is two steps to one huge fall. The view toward Vancouver
was pretty hazy (we hadn't had rain in while) but the unexpected
silhouette was appreciated. You can see the glare off the Fraser
River as it makes it way to the ocean.
Also at the top was a couple of chipmunks to entertain/harass/mooch
from the passing hikers. Chipmunks are often hard to take
pictures of (especially when they figure out you aren't giving them
food) so I took advantage of another hikers left behind spoils.
We weren't quite as fast up the hill as the book suggested so it was a
little later in the day that we anticipated - we really should get back
to town. The light as we returned was softer and more photogenic
so I stopped (or rather Mike and Mark indulged me) and took some snaps.
Tags: flower(7), alpine(6), snow(4), mountain(3), vista(3), BC fauna(3)
People: Mark(3), Michael(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > John Harvey Photo - Hiking > A Second Attempt on Mt Cheam
Beautiful photos and site! I am going to try Cheam next weekend,I hope the weather cools off a bit! Keep up the good work John.
Friday, June 1st, 2007 at 19:34:38
Great photos! I just went up Cheam last week-- A lot of snow for the beginning of July (and the road up was washed out) but fantastic nonetheless. Thanks for reminding me of a great time!
Friday, July 6th, 2007 at 07:09:12
What is the date when you went?Just curious about the road up as the "Jenn" entry of july 6/07 said it was washed out. We're hoping for some clear weather Aug long weekend for my first trip up Cheam. Thanks, loved the pics. TIA
Monday, July 23rd, 2007 at 19:09:43
wow those pictures are really something, what kind of camera do you use?
Monday, July 23rd, 2007 at 23:51:28
This trip was July 2004. The road then was rough (it isn't maintained and they have pulled the culverts out). When I went up, it was 4x4 trucks and subaru's (I have a subaru) - some parts were a bit tricky. Sorry I can't give you and up to date report.
Great pics! Looked like a perfect day. Hoping to get up there this summer but looks like I'll have to round up a 4x4. I have been up there once before in '96 but there were too many clouds to see anything. Great update, thanks for sharing your experience.
Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 at 16:18:36
We were ther on Saturday, July 26, 2008.
My friend could barely do the service road on his 4X4 Honda Element. On the way back his breaks overheated and started burning. So, try to drive downhill as slow as you can.
Doing this road on a regular car is not a very smart idea but we found Kia Spectra close to the parking lot :)
The hike is great - you always have a great view around. There are not many such beautiful trails.
Monday, July 28th, 2008 at 12:01:53
I might try climbing Cheam next week when I am in BC. (I live in North Carolina.) I can not find good directions on-line to the trail head. Directions would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Saturday, August 2nd, 2008 at 19:42:16
Cheam shouldn't even be attempted until it has a chance to dry out a bit -- our best climbs in the area have been late Jul. - early Sept. Make plenty of noise for the bears. Be ready for highly changeable weather, do the West Coast layering of clothes.
Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 at 20:52:00
That is some fantastic scenery, the second picture has just been saved to desktop background.
You are so lucky to live in such a great area.
Thursday, October 7th, 2010 at 03:41:13
Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:58:23 Edit
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