Early European settlers made the first ascents of the easier peaks in the late 19th century, not as specific mountaineering objectives, but in the course of goat hunting expeditions. Climbing Cheam became incredibly popular, and the ascent was made by hundreds of people during holidays in the early 1900's. The last unclimbed peak to fall was the difficult fin of Baby Munday in the 1930's.
The peaks Foley, Welch and Stewart were named for three principals of the Lucky Four Mine. These men were also the principals of general contracting firm Foley, Welch & Stewart, builders of the Grand Trunk Railway in BC. Construction of the GTP between Yellowhead Pass and Prince Rupert began in 1907 and completed in 1914. The railway was declared bankrupt in 1916. Originally estimated to cost $80 million, the final cost was $120 million. FW&S had a cost-plus contract which coupled with the difficult terrain (muskeg and mountains) led to adventurous construction practices, some of them ineffective. Despite the generous financial cushion in the contract, FW&S had a ungenerous reputation among the workers. The company might just as well have stood for Frig, Work & Starve in relation to the company's concern for their welfare. Additional to the general concern, 20 men died in one year ferrying construction supplies on barges through the Grand Canyon of the Fraser. Foley, Welch & Stuart were also the contractors on the construction of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway to Lillooet from Newport (Squamish) in the same period.
In the 1970's and 1980's, the Cheam Range became known for winter mountaineering potential. Its volcanic, ledgy rock, while offering scant opportunity for protection in summer, freezes up and accumulates snow and ice in the winter, making it an ideal destination.