All year, Coco and I have dreamed of the day we summited Mount Cheam. When the day finally arrived, we teamed up with Julie and decided to double our ambition by taking on Lady Peak as well. Three girls, two peaks, one day.
This was a very challenging day. From the start of the sketchy access logging road, my anxiety levels were kept high as we navigated deep wash outs, steep climbs, and dramatic drop offs.
We tackled Lady Peak first -- the less popular of the two mountains that are connected by a beautiful meadow. The majority of the climb involves scrambling up the gravel mountainside without the assistance of a single tree or bush to hold onto or stand between us and a very long tumble. This is where my height fears hit me with full force.
I can not praise Coco and Julie enough for their patience and encouragement as I lay flat on my stomach refusing to go an inch further. If you think I'm exaggerating, I assure you I'm not. It was ridiculous, yet the girls stood by me and each time my mind shut down I was able to take a moment, rally, and somehow push myself forward another ten feet before collapsing again. Eventually, we made it to the summit and I was able to take a proper rest while Coco and Julie explored the jagged rock cliffs a bit further.
I've faced a lot of physical challenges throughout my adventurous endeavors, but this was the first time true fear played a factor. It was a huge relief to make it back to the saddle and relatively tame Cheam trail.
The conditions for reaching the summit of Cheam could not have been better. A light cloud cover and virtually no wind allowed for Coco and I to sit in absolute wonder while taking in unobstructed views of our dear Jones Lake, the jagged Lady Peak, and the whole of the Fraser Valley and surrounding mountains we called home. The air was so clear of smog that we could see clearly to where the ocean began over 100 kms away.
And so we proved we could not only take on Cheam like champs, but we could also do the more advanced Lady climb the same day (12 hours total including driving to and from Abbotsford). I have so much respect for Julie and Coco for being the best trail buddies a girl could hope for. This was a first for both of them as well and they were amazing!
With these mountains checked off my bucket list, I'm starting to brainstorm a new challenge to work towards. Perhaps Mount Macfarlene...