Friday, September 18, 2009

Cheam

Yesterday morning .. .
we hummed and we hawed. .
and we . .
hummed and we hawed.
Finally .. .we decided that we may not have many more chances to climb up Mount Cheam this year.
I quickly packed our usual hiking food . ..babybell cheese, trail mix, crackers and then I ran out to the apple tree and picked a few fresh apples.
We thought we knew the directions.
Perhaps we thought we did since everyone we know has climbed Cheam.
We didn't know the directions.
I had our trusty hike book with us . .but we didn't look to see the kilometer count from the beginning of Chilliwack Lake Road
. .and before we knew it we were at Chilliwack Lake.
We turned around. . .watched more closely for the turn off but still neglected to look at the kilometers . .counting backwards.
After passing it once more. . .
and asking for directions once. . ..
we crossed the little bridge once more and saw the sign to Chipmunk Peninsula and turned in that road and then . ..
we saw the sign for the Foley Creek forestry road ( which was hidden).
Had we set our odometer to ) at Veddar Crossing and driven the 25 kilometers. . .
we would likely have found it without problem.
We just assumed there would be a Provincial Sign marker directing us to the Mt. Cheam hiking trail.
We had no idea that the logging road to the trail was so long. .
and we were surprised when we got to the top of end of the logging road .. .
finding a small car.
The man was just coming back from his hike when we arrived to begin ours .. . at 12:45 pm. I saw his license plate declared himself to be Chef J and so I asked him were he does his "chef -ing" and was delighted to learn that he was the chef responsible for our son and daughter in law's delicious wedding brunch. . . .small world.



An hour and a bit after beginning our drive up the forestry road. .
(which we were sure was the wrong road. . .and nearly turned back)
we began our hike.
It seemed reasonably pleasant at first . ..
and then the old logging road became a trail which curled down into a valley ..
and then up. . .
and it was uphill from there on.
The hike itself is not that long.
It is about a 5 kilometer hike to the peak from the parking lot.
As per our usual custom .. .
I made dreadful huffing and puffing breathing sounds while my beloved hikes ahead and stands and waits .. .
at an appropriate distance on the trail above.


We've learned that waiting until mid September to do our yearly hike ..
comes with rewards.
The blueberries were perfectly ready . . .
and nearly the entire hike offered the tastiest treats.
All the dark red patches on the mountain sides are blueberry bushes with the leaves already colored for fall.

After a grouping of switchbacks and then one steeper climb ..
we were rewarded with an east view of Jones Lake.


There is only one small area of trees that obstructs your view. . .the rest is open and I found myself thinking it would be worth coming back during the Heather season . . .and the alpine flower season.
This really is one of the most rewarding hikes that we've done.
Thousands and thousands of acres were clear cut some time ago . ..
the views all around spectacular.
In the picture above .. you can see the Spoon Lake below where we began our walk up into the alpine meadows.


When we arrived at the peak that has a view of the western valley from where we had come. . .the fog and clouds nearly obstructed our view.

In between the clouds we could see the valley below and the Pacific Ocean in the distance.

The clouds moved so quickly and the wind was quite strong and I felt quite chilly in my T shirt.


I sat down to feed chipmunks. ..
(I felt that if they were sports enough to climb to the top . .they deserved a few peanuts)
Terry continued the climb to the top peak.
It gave me the willy's just looking at him climbing it.
(click to enlarge the pictures. . .)

He came back down. .
and took my hand. . ..
and persuaded me to come too.
And. . .so I did.
I just couldn't bring myself to look over the edge. .
I believe it is straight down. . you don't have to convince me.

It may not have been the clearest view in every direction. ..
but I'm glad we went.

Not counting the logging road drive . .which we did not enjoy. . .
the two hour 600 meter elevation gain to the top .. .
left me wondering why we waited so long.



I have no idea how many times I've looked at that mountain peak in my life time.. .
making a note to climb it one day.

We've flown over Harrison Lake and the Fraser River before.
It was wonderful to see the places we often drive from the vantage point of the eagles. . .
but standing and seeing it as long as we liked. .
was amazing.


As we were driving home. . .
I turned around and took a picture of that peak on the left side.

On this .. .my year of Jubilee. .
I climbed Mt. Cheam with my beloved.

It's a wonderful thing to have the health to climb mountains. . .

17 comments:

  1. Wow...I'm sure the breathlessness you felt was simply from the breathtaking views, right? You did well to tackle this mountain in this special year!

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  2. How beautiful. When we go hiking it is so much work to get up there but it is so worth it when you look over the view. Of course we have never climbed one like you have.

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  3. Wow! That's amazing up there. Good for you hiking all that way! we don't have anything like that here in the flat midwest.

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  4. You are both much younger than I thought you were. I mean... here you are grandparents and you both made it to the top of the mountain. So proud of you! No wonder you are so in shape! Grandparents just are not like they used to be. Good health and stamina are very special gifts from above. Congratulations!! The pictures are so beautiful!

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  5. Amazing views..happy for you that you did it..climbed this mountain in your year of jubilee:) What's next??

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  6. You couldn't have picked a better day...or a nicer destination...for your hike! Great pictures from my favorite peak. I was planning to make it there on my own two feet this year...but the days for hiking will soon be over...so I might just be settling for your tour.

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  7. Lovella! I'm so glad you went and didn't give up finding it. I thought that sign was covered up or not visible! I could have warned you ... So nice to see it all again and read if from your perspective. It is a beautiful hike and very rewarding! It's like labor pains - you forget them as soon as you reach the top. And you did that final peak too! =) Well, you're younger than me.
    I need to get some help from Marg and get the right hiking gear. I was so hot! But it was 38F on the mountain that day.

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  8. Way to go girl!!! That is truly amazing....Now some of you know how breath taking that peak is...and you will understand why you feel like awed by it's majestic strength...
    And you will watch it's first snow fall, which was on Sept.3.
    It's the most amazing hike in the valley.
    You described the trail perfectly while driving through those long kilometers of dug out trails.
    I salute that peak every morning from my study view.

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  9. Soooo glad you two stuck with it, found the trail, made the hike and shared the pictures. I'd love to do that hike sometime! Would you believe my stomach got the clenched nervous feeling at the sight of your two on the peak? You had to do it...just know I understand the feeling.

    Congrats on checking another thing off your "must do" list...and I hope there are still many more adventures ahead!

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  10. So glad you made this hike and could share all those beautiful pictures with us! My husband and I are also fond of hiking...actually our whole family. We are on the East coast though, so our mountains aren't quite so majestic. The experience is still terrific, experiencing God's amazing creation!

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  11. What a great date day that must have been. I'd be a bit nervous at the edge too, but the view was worth it and I enjoyed your photos.

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  12. I've always wanted to do that hike too. Your pictures are wonderful, and you chose a gorgeous day to do your hiking. I think I'd like to go with you one day... I could be your excuse for lagging behind, instead of the picture taking. I'm glad you enjoyed your day!

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  13. Wow what a wonderful post and beautiful pictures. You are right, being thankful for good health is good.
    QMM

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  14. Every time I visit Chilliwack from now on and look at that view, I will remember that I 'know' some folks who climbed it! My nephew, from Decades in Chilliwack, climbed it this summer too, I believe!

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  15. Oh! I agree.. the hike is definitely worth it ! I have stood on the peak 5 times and enjoyed immensely every time!
    The logging road used to be kept in good repair as long as the logging trucks used it. I've heard its been somewhat improved recently. If a car made it up it must have been!
    Congratulations on your hike. You REALLY should have looked over the edge -- it is 6000' straight down, but what a view !!! The first time did very strange things to my stomach but you do get used to it after you get over the fear that you might fall off ! smile

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  16. I used to work in Chilliwack and many of the people I worked with would take that hike regularly. I've always said I would...one day. :) It looks so beautiful!
    For the record I wouldn't have looked over the edge either. :)

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  17. Simply amazing --- and your post made me a little bit nostalgic tonight as I thought of how my mom must have been as an elementary school student, looking at the same mountain peak from her Chilliwack home. Strange, how things take one back in time --- even if it's not their own time. Retrospective, I guess.

    LaTeaDah

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Thank you!