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Cheam Peak (Theeth-uhl-kay)  British Columbia   #1229
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades / Skagit Range / Cheam Range

Height: 2104 m -> 6903 feet
Prominence?: 334 m  
Line Parent?: Lady Peak (1.8 km away, at bearing 138 degrees)
Greater Parent: Welch Peak (6.6 km away)

Location:   49.18695,-121.68201     49:11:13, -121:40:55   10U 596038 5449075 (8 km SE of Agassiz). NTS Mapsheet: 092.H.04   AreaCode: EM91/BG88
First Ascent: 1888 A. O. Campbell, Ebe B. Knight and party; probably ascended earlier by natives
Cheam Peak - Southeast Ridge
Cheam Peak dominates the Fraser Valley, rising above Bridal Falls and Agassiz just east of Chilliwack. The rarely climbed north face plunges 2000m down to the Trans Canada Highway, while an easy trail leads to the summit from the subalpine bowl to the southwest.

In plan Cheam is pyramidal, with a north, northwest, south and east face. The north face is the steepest. The northwest face is also steep; the two are divided by a prominent spur which terminates in the prominent sub peak known as Red Pyramid or Red Tower (1400m).The west ridge divides the NW and S faces; below the gentle, rubbly S Face is the subalpine bowl of Spoon Lake. The vague SE ridge rises from the col with Lady Peak; the East face drops to Jones Lake beyond. The sharp crest of the NE ridge divides the east and north faces.

Name Notes: The word Cheam, in Halkomelem, means "wild strawberries" and properly refers to the ridge comprising Cheam and Lady, and the lower slopes around Spoon Lake and upper Airplane Creek.

Cheam Peak itself, in Halkomelem, is known as Theeth-uhl-kay which is variously translated as "the source" or and "The place from which the waters spring/slide". The peak is also considered to be the "mother mountain" or old woman overlooking her children dwelling in the valley. Nearby Lady Peak is the old woman's dog.


1. Southwest flanks (1888) FRA: large group from Chilliwack area; prob. earlier by natives. Class 2-3. The current approach is via the Cheam Trail which ascends the south slopes right to the summit (easy hike). For more challenge, climb original route via W ridge (class 2-3 scrambling if followed directly). Approach variation: follow logging roads from Bridal Falls. A long day of slogging by the latter approach
2. NE ridge (1957) Jim Baldwin and partner. Class 4. Gain NE ridge from Jones/Wahleach Lake or overgrown trail from Highway 1. Climb this steep ridge of loosish rock mostly on the left (E) side, a classic ridge climb.
3. North face - NW ridge (1975) D. Heppner, D. Herchmer, D. Serl, K. Ulmer. Steep snow and rock. Gain bowl below N face by most bush free line possible - if you can find a trail, use it. Climb up and right on obvious diagonalling snow line to gain upper NW ridge, follow it to just right of summit. Better in winter or spring than summer.
4. N face (1981) M. de Jong, R MacGregor. IV, 5.7/M3 or M4. Approach as for N face/NW ridge, then climb upper steep face more or less directly to finish just L of summit. Pretty much a winter only route. Expect sustained, moderately technical mixed climbing with marginal pro.
5. North face central (mid-1990's) FRA: S. Neufeld and partner. IV, approximately M4. This line follows the N face-NW ridge winter route then, instead of continuing right below the steep upper portion of the north face as per the NW ridge finish, climbs more or less straight up to the summit, significantly to the right of the 1981 de Jong N face route. Equipment: winter rack and appropriate clothing/footwear
6. NW Face (2003) FRA: D. Brayshaw, F. Touche. Steep snow, short sections of rock to M3.. Gain the bowl below NW face (right of NW ridge) via long bushwack up through forest left of prominent avalanche gully. Climb upper face just right of most prominent gully, working through rock bands mostly on steep snow with the odd rock section depending on snow cover.
7. W face (1988) B. Kay, C. Zozikyan. Steep snow, boulder problem rock moves. Another winter-only route. Begin by climbing the 1500m long, highly prominent avalanche-prone couloir rising from Fraser Valley just E of Bridal Falls. From its top, follow spur ridge to right side of NW face and climb snow through rock bands (minimal rock moves) to gain upper W ridge some 200-250m right of NW face route.
8. East face (1980's) steepish snow and/or class 4-5 rock. This face has probably been descended more than it has been climbed. Not really an established route in its own right, it offers a "direct" though unaesthetic (and avalanche threatened in winter) line to or from Jones Lake.

Trips within 1 km
33 2016.07.30 Cheam NE Ridge Nicholas Gobin
45 2003.01.10 Cheam Peak NW Face - Possible Second Ascent Drew Brayshaw
24 2000.11.19 West Ridge of Cheam Peak Hans Bauck
46 2000.01.01 Cheam Range Traverse Route Route Drew Brayshaw

Comments
2004.01.01 Proof from old Mtn record field Drew Brayshaw

Paper Maps
1:40000Chilliwack East Recreational Map - GPS Based Trail Ventures BC
 

Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
17 Cheam Range Sunset from East Justin Brown
9 East Cheam from Lady Jordon Easton
8 Cheam NE Ridge in summer Nicholas Gobin
7 Chilliwack Valley (West) from Cheam Peak Andrew Wong
6 Cheam Range Tim Gage
6 Fred on NW Face of Cheam Drew Brayshaw
5 The North Face of Cheam Peak Marc Leclerc
5 North Face Of Cheam - Summer Sunset Drew Brayshaw
4 Cheam Peak - Southeast Ridge Fred Touche
4 North side of Cheam from Agassiz - Spring 2001 Drew Brayshaw
3 High Winds atop Cheam Jared Clark
3 West Ridge of Cheam Peak Drew Brayshaw
3 NW Face of Cheam from Base of Climb Drew Brayshaw
3 Cheam Peak - Northwest Face Drew Brayshaw
2 Cheam-Lady Col in Winter Kevin Westwood

Placename Photos
10 Cheam Range - Northeast Panorama Fred Touche
9 Hobbitt land? Steve Sproule
8 Cheam Range Overview - Southwest Aspect Justin Brown
6 Aerial Panorama of the Four Sisters (Cheam Range) Mike Cleven
5 Slesse, Border Peaks, Tomyhoi and Baker from Cheam Steve Sproule
5 A Winter's Tale from Jones (Wahleach) Lake, 1960s Mike Cleven
3 Forest Fire at Jones (Wahleach) Lake, c.1968 Mike Cleven
3 Cheam Range - Western Portion Fred Touche
2 Beach at Jones (Wahleach) Lake, Summer 1962 Mike Cleven