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| | |-+  2008, June 23-Mt.Cheam solo climb
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Author Topic: 2008, June 23-Mt.Cheam solo climb  (Read 1542 times)
Telemon
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Posts: 563


2008, June 23-Mt.Cheam solo climb
« on: 06/24/08, 06:50 PM »

Probably most of you have not heard of Mt.Cheam, although some will have seen it during trips north of the 49th Parallel. It is a prominent peak in the Fraser River valley north of Mt. Baker. It has a distinctive tusk shape that makes it easy to pick out from the west. It is part of a ridge that includes Lady peak, which looks like a Scottie dog head (at least to me). There is a bit of a tie-in with the mountains that you are more familiar with. The local First Nations have a legend that Thleethleg (their name for Cheam) once accompanied Mount Baker to his country. There, they lived and raised three sons-Mount Hood, Mount Shasta and Mount Shuksan.

I am not much of a solo outdoorsman. This isn't just for safety reasons,but more for social reasons. I was a little nervous when none of my partners were available. I had attempted to ski to the summit with fellow TAYers, Silas Wild and NickBC two years ago, but circumstances had prevented us from reaching our goal. This area has no phone coverage and little traffic on a week day. I knew that I would be on my own if I got into trouble. Access is by 13 kilometers of decommissioned forestry roads from the Chilliwack River valley. This means many,many ditches, potholes and a few streams to cross. I was able to reach 4,450' before snow stopped me. The remaining road to the summer parking lot and the trail beyond were skiable with several short carries.

When I reached Spoon Lake (photo1) I had to make a decision; follow the summer hiking route or go straight up the gully in the center. I chose the latter. I tried skinning but gave up after 300vf. I kick stepped the remaining 700' to the saddle between Cheam and Lady.I continued to boot it all the way to the 6,929' summit, mostly on snow. I had lost the bluebird conditions of the early morning, but the views were still impressive. I could see the communities of Agassiz, Harrison Lake and Chilliwack in Fraser Valley below (photo 2). Unfortunately the peaks to the south were not particularly clear.

The skiing was good. While not quite corn, it was certainly not water skiing as others have complained about recently.I retraced my route down the gully around mostly tree debris. The snow was firm and stable all the way down. I kicked and glided down the road... well, more kick than glide. The dull sky, which made climbing easy and the snow firm, returned to semi-bluebird when I reached my Explorer. (photo3)


* IMGP0028.jpg (59.72 KB, 640x480 - viewed 409 times.)

* IMGP0067.jpg (61.1 KB, 640x480 - viewed 438 times.)

* IMGP0092.jpg (59.42 KB, 640x480 - viewed 400 times.)
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Git down, Brothers and Sisters of the Church of the Telemark..What do you mean it is a turn not a religion?
Telemon
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Posts: 563


Re: 2008, June 23-Mt.Cheam solo climb
« Reply #1 on: 06/24/08, 07:16 PM »

A more complete photo story can be found here: http://www.telemarktips.com/photopost/showgallery.php?ppuser=20&cat=500
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Git down, Brothers and Sisters of the Church of the Telemark..What do you mean it is a turn not a religion?
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