Monday, August 29, 2011

Taking the "Wack" out of Chilliwack...

If I had known what kind of an ass kicker this trip would be I may not have attempted it. The good news is I didn't so this is another one in the memory banks! It wasn't the first time I'd summited and ridden Mt Cheam with the bike. I looked at some old shots and it was 10 years ago this September we first got it done. It also wasn't the first time we'd ridden the classic Thurston to Elk traverse. The idea this time would be to ride from Chilliwack Lake road with overnight gear, summit and ride Cheam, and set up a high camp. The next day we would navigate unknown and very likely very overgrown old road systems and gain the high ridge that connects Mercer, Thurston, and Elk. The reward would be the sick 1400m Elk Mountain single-track descent and make our way 20kms back to the truck on Chilliwack Lake road. Photos....


For some reason I must have blocked out the ridiculously steep road up Chipmunk Creek despite driving it handfuls of times over the years. I think some sections even challenge some trucks low 4x gears!


Once we finally left the roads and entered the alpine single-track I remembered why we were doing this. It was a spectacular day to be in the mountains.

The climb to the col between Lady and Cheam took longer than expected but after dropping our overnight gear there we were on our way up Cheam at 6:30pm. The best time to be above 2000m!

Mt. Baker and Washington's Cascades were dominate in the skyline.


Mountain Bike Mt. Cheam Summit!

Robbie Reid.

The Judge.

The Fraser Valley, the Pacific and Van Island!

And then the reward! 

We literally made it back to camp to catch the days last sun rays. 


The sun put on a great late August show once again. 

After a real meal we settled in for a great night in the shadow of the Lucky Four group. 

The sunrise was just as spectacular. 

This spot reminded me what I love about being in the hills in the morning. After a lazy breakfast we made the single-track decent back down to the 1000m level and headed up the next days valley.   

The real fun began when we started up the old road that was barely there. After 4 hours of trashing we got back up to the level where the alder thinned out again. Talk about earning your turns!

When we finally emerged above the cut-block we looked back on that morning's camp in the far distance at snow-line. A couple more hours and we located the back door hike-a-bike that gained the col between Mercer and Thurston. Finally...... more single-track!

And it was done. An amazing two days in the mountains with Danielle.

Cheers to Chilliwack Single-track! pic-of-the-day


Pedro Barreto said...

Great ride and Amazing photos!

Now you have a Brazilian fan of your blog ;-)

My best regards!

Pedro Barreto

Pat Mulrooney said...

Thanks Pedro!

Flávio Texeira said...

Hi Pat!!

I love your blog!! Beautiful photos!

That mountain is wonderful!

I will follow you! To see more of this!

Hugs from Portugal

Flávio Teixeira

Pat Mulrooney said...

Thanks very much Flavio!