|The route and terrain described here is capable of producing avalanches. Safe travel requires the skills and equipment to assess and mitigate avalanche hazards. A professionally taught training course is highly recommended.|
This day hike is #75 in the 103 hikes book and gives a nice view of the Cheam ridge from Cheam Peak of Welch Peak. There is also good skiing terrain in meadows on the E side of the peak.
Access + Directions
Drive chilliwack lake road to Foley Creek FSR (which leaves Chilliwack Lake road on the left just after crossing back to the north side of the chilliwack river). Keep right at the first junction after a bridge over foley creek. At about 4.3km on Foley Creek FSR, the road crosses back to the right side of the stream and at 4.5km airplane creek road branches off on the left.
Unfortunately, there is a locked gate at the bottom of Airplane Creek Road. A sign says to contact Tamihi logging at 604-792-8777 about access. The Airplane Creek Road has a few small water bars that probably cannot be crossed with a car. The roads are as shown in the latest edition of the 103 hikes book, but older editions may not be correct.
- 0km - gate at bottom of airplane creek road and bridge over Foley Creek (440m)
- 0.5km - switchback to the left - road leaves airplane creek.
- 0.7km - a few tight switchbacks up a steep hill
- 1.5km - switchback to the right (~650m elevation)
- 3.7km - junction - left for laughington, right for airplane creek road, which is deactivated (1000m elevation)
- 4.7km - junction - new road goes right, old road carries on left to trail. Righthand road is ok for access on skis, but there is no trail. This is the parking area indicated in the latest edition of 103 hikes (1175m)
What appeared to be the start of the trail (an old, grown over road heading north) was found past the 3 km marker, where a truck was parked (probably had a gate key). The main gravel road continues steeply up the mountain from here to the top of a new clear cut.
Hiking to the start of the trail, from the gate, should take about an hour.
See Clubtread for a few more details.
March 04, 2006
Gate was locked at the bottom, so we carried skis until we put them on at around 2.5km up the road. Took a left for Mt Laughington, but then took the right fork at 4.7km not knowing which way the route went. This road went up gradually and then started to descend. We continued on to a new clearcut where the road climbed again, but then we broke off and climbed into the subalpine which was just above the top of the cut and continued on to the summit of Mt. Laughington. Found some nice powder. On the way down, we kept to skiers right and rejoined the new road at the crest of the hill at 1320m elevation. Skied down to less than 1km from the bottom of the road.
December 4, 2007
Gate was open and we drove to 940m on the snow covered road. Not much snow on the ground. Took the left fork at 4.7km, following the old road which was quite overgrown - basically an alder tunnel. This eventually came out in the alpine in an area with poor ski runs, so we dropped down to the meadows and headed a bit further north to an area with somewhat better ski terrain. Did a few laps and returned via the new road (Right fork at 4.7km).
February, 24 2013
A bumpy and potholed Forest Creek Forest Service Road to the Airplane Creek turn off was accessible by Subaru AWD, but we almost got stopped by a monster ice/water pot hole. We were eventually able to make it to the gate which looks like it is now continually open, but there is no possibility of driving further up Airplane Creek Road in winter conditions (summer looks doubtful as well as there are many creeks to cross and lot of brush leaning over the road). This means that a considerable amount of kms were tacked on to our trip making gaining the ridge a long haul.