Central Cheam Range Trail
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Extremely steep trail leading to alpine meadows below Baby Munday Peak. Tradionally has been used by climbers and scramblers to access Knight, Stewart, Baby Munday, and The Still.
||7.8 km (return)
||Linear - Return
Follow Highway #1 (Trans-Canada Highway) to Chilliwack, taking Exit #119 South. Follow Vedder Road until a three-way stop just before a bridge over the Vedder River. Zero your odometer here and turn left at the stop sign onto Chilliwack Lake Road. At the 28 km mark and immediately after one of the Vedder River bridge crossings, turn left onto Chilliwack-Foley Forest Service Road. Zero your odometer again here.
Follow the forest service road for 2.0 km to a T-junction, located immediately after a bridge over Foley Creek. Turn right here on to Foley Lake Forest Service Road. Drive north-east another 2.4 km past the T-junction and turn left on to Airplane Creek Forest Service Road, the start of which is a gated bridge. The gate is frequently locked - if necessary, phone Tamihi Logging (604-792.8777) to borrow a key.
Reset your odometer at the start of Airplane Creek Road and follow it north, ignoring a branch road on the right a few hundred meters later. Continue following the road straight at the 2.1 km mark, ignoring the branch road that curves sharply uphill to the left. After a total distance of 4.6 km from the gate the road will switchback to the left. Park here, near what remains of an old road leading off to the right.
The statistics for this trail make the route seem somewhat easier than it is in reality. The first two kilometers of the hike is on the original Airplane Creek Forest Service Road, now overgrown, eroding, and decaying. Because the road is relatively flat, the average grade appears to be a steep-but-manageable 19%. If the road is excluded, the trail itself has a punishing average grade of over 46%! In fact, portions of the trail have a maximum grade of over 55% - easily making this trail one of the steepest in the Chilliwack area.
Near a sharp switchback on the main road at 1000 meters in elevation, look for an old road leading off to the north-west. The decaying road is all that remains of the original Airplane Creek Forest Service Road, now permanently deactivated and being overtaken by nature. Follow the road on foot for about 200 meters, after which it narrows into nothing more than a simple footpath - more trail than road.
Follow the old road for two kilometers (30 minutes) to a point where it bends across from the creek dropping down between Baby Munday and The Still. At this point, cairns on the right mark the start of the actual trail.
Across a small gully/debris flow (easy). after a short switch back watch for flagging tape and a cairn marking the point where the trail drops down to the right.
This part of the trail is actually a very old road - hard to tell. Some old rustred sprockets/etc. Continue down short distance to an old landing where thet rail continues down, now much more steeply. Second growth, signs (stumps) of ancient old growth. Rough but easy to follow. Approx 1/2 down becomes somewhat muddy.
Follow the trail downhill through clearcut and forest to Airplane Creek (el. 1040m). Cross the creek and follow the trail beyond as it climbs steeply uphill through a narrow strip of timber parallelling an avalanche swathe. As the meadows open out the trail gradually leaves the timbered strip. The trail ends in the bowl between Baby Munday, Stewart Peak and The Still, by a small tarn (good campsites). To reach Knight Peak, contour slopes south of Baby Munday.
|Parking / start of old road
||10U 601216 5443612
|Trail leaves old road
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|Overgrown landing area
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|Airplane Creek crossing
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|Trail begins climbing steeply
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|Trail starts following edge of avalanche gully
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|Trail leads away from edge of avalanche gully
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|Edge of forest / start of alpine meadows
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|End of trail / informal campsite
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