Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chadsey Lake, Sumas Mountain, BC - Hike 4


Clouds over Chadsey Lake © Stephen Mullock

Consider the entire package when you are thinking about relocating, the Chilliwack* area has plenty to offer including a spectacular natural setting which I have been exploring in a series of local hikes. My first hike took me up the Coquihalla, my second to the Harrison Lake Forestry lookout, then to Lindeman and Greendrop Lakes, the destination today Sumas Mountain's Chadsey Lake sometimes called the Lost Lake.

Sumas Mountain, Abbotsford B.C. stands quite alone in the middle of the Fraser Valley.  To the south are the fertile plains of the Sumas Flats to the north the Fraser River, west is Abbotsford and eastward Chilliwack.

I meet fellow Hermann Hikers on the north side of the mountain and we convoy up Sumas Mountain Road  to a trail head marked with a baby's sun hat.

It's a 735 meter (2,411 feet) climb in elevation to the lake we are told by our trail master K, even higher than the Mount Cheam accent. It's requires intermediate hiking ability with a round trip taking 6 - 7 hours depending on whether you go to the peak or not.

Into forest we climb, after the downpour of rain we had a few days earlier, the forest is still sloughing off moisture. Humidity levels are so high even the leaves seem to be sweating. 


There are a number of fast moving streams to cross and few logs to climb over, but, as usual, the hiking here is just as simple as placing one foot in front of the other.  Sometimes, this is a trudge and at other times a brisk walk through the trees.  From H, I hear about the "magic forest" that's ahead of us, and how, when she last came through here, clouds clung to the evergreens creating an enchanted landscape.  We wind our way up pushing through underbrush in some areas, past large fern growths, at last, we come to a view point and have a look northward over the Valley.

Sumas Mountain View © Stephen Mullock
Hiking is not just about the destination, rather it is about the journey. Alien looking plants and mushrooms found along the way are examined with delight. I enjoy the taste of some huckleberries along the way.

Huckleberries © Stephen Mullock
Tree Growth © Stephen Mullock
Cotton Grass © Stephen Mullock
There is a real difference when we reach the upper forest, the "magic" one that is.  The trees are taller over 100' in height, the light is more muted and uniform, the underbrush has all but disappeared, brown trunks rise tall against a field of ever green.  This is indeed a beautiful place. 

After 3 hours of hiking we reach Chadsey Lake where we rest. Like a gift just waiting for me, I find a huge eagle feather about 20" in length...magic.

Chadsey Lake, Sumas Mountain © Stephen Mullock

Quick Facts
"Sumas" is a Halqemeylem word meaning "a big level opening" according to Wikipedia to the Sumas Prairie below.

Sumas Mountain has special significance to the First Nation people as it sheltered them through a legendary great flood eerily similar to the story of Noah. This story was recounted in an earlier post called Sumas Mountain and the Great Flood.

Name Details for Sumas

Hike Sumas Mountain

The Sumas Peak has an elevation of 910m or 2,986 feet above sea level.

Imagine living here...


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