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Posts Tagged ‘Mount Cheam’

Location: British Columbia, east end of the Fraser Valley
Elevation: 2,104 metres
Range: North Cascades
Candidate: #50

The Fraser Valley is surrounded by mountains to the north and east and there are mountains to the southeast in Washington State and to the far west on Vancouver Island. Of all the many peaks visible, there are a few that truly stand out for their individual beauty in shape and form, and Mount Cheam is one of them. Situated at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley, in Chilliwack, and standing watch over the valley, Mount Cheam’s distinctive north face makes it an easily recognizable mountain – a steep drop plummets 2,000 metres to the Trans Canada Highway below.

Details behind the name “Cheam” are given on Wikipedia and Bivouac. I’m afraid I can’t provide all the correct accent marks for the names of the First Nations people who had names for this mountain, but “Cheam” means wild strawberries in the Halkomelem language. For the Sto:lo, it was the ‘mother mountain’ with neighbouring Lady Peak being the woman’s dog. Mount Cheam or Cheam Peak is the farthest northerly peak of the Cheam Range. It is not the highest peak but because of its beautiful pyramid shape and prominent position near a heavily populated area, it makes for a good candidate for the list of 100 mountains.

There is a fairly easy hiking trail that is only accessible by 4WD vehicles on a logging road. The hike to the summit passes through an alpine slopes that bloom full of yellow avalanche lilies. From the summit there is a 360-degree view of the Fraser Valley and the surrounding mountains. A trail also connects to Lady Peak, Knight Peak, and beyond. For details on how to get there and the 4.5-hour round trip hike, please see the references below.

One interesting piece of information that came up was the case of a plane crash in the area. It seems that some 70 to 50 years ago there were a few plane crashes in the Canadian Cascades and the North Shore mountains, and one plane is said to have crashed near Knight Peak. Hikers report having spotted airplane aluminium near the trail. Another report tells of a crash near Mount Sleese. It seems as though these beautiful mountains were also death traps for early aviators in the area.

References:

Vancouver Trails

Wikipedia

Trail Peak

Club Tread

Bivouac

Photos:

Flickr 100 Mountains of Canada

Next: Mount Seymour

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