This weekend featured another hike into the unknown. Reconnaissance for this trip was done one year ago. At that time I did not know where I was; I later learned it was Mt Cheam.
Saturday morning, Kat and I set out to find out what lay beyond my prior turn-around point. My real hope was that we would find a route up the north side of Mt Cheam. I had read reports that efforts to find such a route are rarely undertaken and even more rarely successful. The route began just as I had remembered. We forged our way upward passing several familiar land marks.
One difference from last time is that I brought a GPS thinger with full bateries this time. And we had flagging tape to mark our route whenever we wanted to leave little clues for our future selves.
After reaching the shelf where I turned around last time, we began the journey North East along that narrow plateau. It was thick with devils club and occasional nettles – but far fewer nettles than we found in Stein or on my last visit here. I brought the machete once again and put it to immediate use. Hacking through devils club is much more difficult than other vegetation because its stems harden into a woody material as they age. I slashed at them and they slashed back. My right forearm got scraped up substantially. Wrapping several layers of cloth around my arm served as a somewhat effective armor. After a couple of hours foraging horizontally along what we presumed to be an old, overgrown logging road, our journey reached a rather abrupt end. We reached a substantial flow of water with slippery rocks and a large bushy cliff beyond. We turned around and came back down.