I’ve been wanting to get in to some of the awesome scrambles in the Chilliwack area for a while. Stuff that my 4 year old just can’t do. It’s been a bit hard since my whole family loves to get out and we only have one car, but along with a friend I managed to get out and hike Lady in early October.
Lady is accessed the same way you’d access the trail to Cheam. In fact the first 1/3 of the trail to Cheam is actually on the base of lady. Just below the Cheam Lady col you take a right hand fork up a very steep and loose section of trail to head over to Lady.
The terrain on Lady is either loose and steep or steep. There are a few exposed ledges and a bunch of beautiful breath taking (literally my heart was pumping for a few of them) views of the back side of the mountain down to Jones Lake and a glacier below the mountain.
We encountered 2 spots that required a bit of proper scrambling with hand holds. Both were passable by someone fit but the dogs had some trouble and we had to lift them over the two spots. On the way down we had to help the dogs a number of times and we both decided that we wouldn’t bring them back to Lady due to the added difficulty of carrying dogs over a few of the ledges.
To get to the proper summit of Lady you’re actually going to have to do some mild rock climbing. Again if you’ve made it this far than the climb really isn’t much harder than anything you’ve done so far. It’s just a bit steeper.
Much of the trail on Lady is…hard to find. Sure you can see that other people have gone the same way you’re currently going but then you look over and 50 feet to your left you see a cairn with a spray painted rock marking the actual trail. It would certainly be possible to get yourself in to a position where you were on an exposed ledge with no path forward.
You’d just have to backtrack so it’s not that big a deal but we ended up doing a few short backtracks on the way down as we found the trail harder to find on the return from the summit.
If you have canine friends and need to get them to water then instead of heading back down the exact way you came you can work your way towards the upper Cheam lake and find a trail that will take you there before heading off the mountain.
So Lady is a hard hike with scrambling but the views are absolutely worth it. Yup lots of people say the view from Cheam is great and they’re right, but it’s really just a view of the Fraser Valley and the cities and the highway. Lady is a view of some real wilderness, just kilometer and kilometers of ridges and peaks with no civilization in site.
Because of that remote view, I’d say that Lady is the better hike. If you can manage it and to do it you need to be pretty fit. My friend regularly works out and is in good shape by most standards and he was feeling how hard a hike like this is as we started back down.
Still put Lady on your hit list of peaks in the Fraser Valley. It’s totally worth it.