FV = Fraser Valley Paleface & Meroniuk July 29 2018 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Default Paleface & Meroniuk July 29 2018

@Norgie had been up this way before and was eager to do some more exploring. Our goal was to summit Paleface and then try for Meroniuk along a connecting ridge heading south from Paleface. Coming up the branch fsr from Chilliwack Lake, we couldn't drive in as far as we wanted because of one washout and the possibility damage to the vehicle. Even though the temperature was already climbing and the humidity rising too, the valley between Meroniuk and Edgar was quite nice to hike into. I had never been here before so I enjoyed getting to know the lay of the land. Once we swung around to the base of Paleface we re-applied bug spray and headed straight up the east shoulder. This side is steep with soft dry dirt and small cliffy outcroppings to avoid, and at times thick vegetation that slows you down. Once you rise above the density it becomes easier but remains steep. I was not doing well by this point, however. I think I was getting too hot and was having trouble even once out of the difficult terrain as we approached the top of Paleface. The poor air quality could have been a factor as well. I knew that if I could rest a few minutes on the summit and find some shade I would probably recover. Fluids were not a problem as I had lots and some purification tablets for water along the way. Eventually we set out for Meroniuk to at least give it good try. I'm very glad we did. Even though I still did poorly I knew I could grind it out and still do some exploration. The connecting ridge between Paleface and Meroniuk is not long but has a challenging section before the first sub-peak. It's a steep dirt scramble with vegetation and trees that obscure but that can assist in climbing. There is also some nice granite up there too, all the way along. There is a little col before the last scramble up Meroniuk that provides a unique vantage point of Chilliwack Lake. We decided to stop here and not summit. At this point I was pretty exhausted from the heat and we weren't sure how the down scramble would be. Based on what we got into later on trying to swing around Paleface, it could have been bad. The other down scramble was thankfully uneventful as we headed back to Paleface. Once back on Paleface we cooled off in the little tarn there and decided to try a different route down that Ingrid had spotted. It was flagged and led us down the north side of Paleface, down the connecting ridge between Paleface and Paleface 2. Once there we swung east and followed it down but lost the route. It was a shame too because the route was pretty good. As we tried to get back to the TCT we did end up in some dangerous terrain bushwhacking on steep dirt above cliffs. Fortunately I was feeling cooler and was able to mentally cope better with challenges. Once we found a way out of this area we were glad to find the flagged route again and followed it back. All in all a great adventure in an area that I would like to explore some more.


Looking at a shoulder of Paleface from where the TCT meets a cutblock.
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Partway up Paleface
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Fighting the alder going up Paleface.
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Paleface-Paleface 2 ridge.
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Paleface 2
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The end of the steep bushwhack.
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Klesilkwa (left 3rd) and Klesilkwa S1.
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L-R: Edgar, Redoubt.
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The peaks of Meroniuk. In the background L-R: Edgar, Redoubt, Nodoubt.
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Heading over to Meroniuk.
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After the first peak along the ridge to Meroniuk. Paleface on the left.
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Crossing the col to Meroniuk.
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Investigating Meroniuk.
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The view of the North end of Chilliwack Lake from the Meroniuk col. Welch and others in the background.
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Paleface from the Meroniuk col. Flora on the left.
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Trying some approaches for Meroniuk
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The cliffs of Meroniuk.
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"What about this way?" Sure. At this point I was pretty exhausted from the heat and we weren't sure how the down scramble would be. Based on what we got into later on trying to swing around Paleface, it could have been bad.
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Cooling off
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The peaks of Meroniuk in the early evening sun.
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Heading down the north side of Paleface and turning east to eventually meet with the TCT again. This was a flagged route- and actually pretty good- even though we lost it and got into a bit of trouble later on.
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Had we stayed with descending the boulder fields we would have done less of this. This side of Paleface was dangerous as we come upon dirt slides unexpectedly, hiking above a cliffy area.
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Getting back to the cutblock in the evening.
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The route off Paleface
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Our route
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Last edited by hikingthecascades; 07-31-2018 at 05:48 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 11:45 PM
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That is really cool, you have awesome trip reports of areas I wish I could one day visit. When you plan these trips, do you simply use topographic maps or a GPS to guide you? A lot of these areas you explore have absolutely no trail and you're just doing exploratory hikes. I wish that eventually I have the experience to do the same, so I'm trying to gather as much knowledge as I can. Thanks!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chris S. View Post
That is really cool, you have awesome trip reports of areas I wish I could one day visit. When you plan these trips, do you simply use topographic maps or a GPS to guide you? A lot of these areas you explore have absolutely no trail and you're just doing exploratory hikes. I wish that eventually I have the experience to do the same, so I'm trying to gather as much knowledge as I can. Thanks!

Thanks! A lot of our ideas come from hikes we've already done. We go to the top of a peak or see something along the way and ask "I wonder what's up there?" or, "can we go over there?" or, "what can we see from there?" If it's interesting enough we'll look at maps and Google earth and see what the area is all about. Is it a ridge, how much bushwhacking is involved, what might be hidden in the bushwhack that we have to plan for, what would be the best approach to summit, things like that. Then we might load waypoints into our gps apps to guide us around certain features such as cliffs. It's always a big unknown because any map only has a limited resolution of the terrain. You just can't see every obstacle that might force you to change course. But we have a compass to help us orient and gps to fix our location on a map. Eventually as we get to know the area, what we see in real life as landmarks -a slope here, a boulder field there- starts to mesh with what we only knew on a map. Then we can make informed decisions about the best routes. We're still learning. There are some general principles that we're learning too, about what makes a good route for humans, lol.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 01:43 AM
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Well done in your accomplishment, and coping with the heat.

Paul and I attempted Paleface, but we ran out of time given a rather short time frame of get done.

So this one is unfinished business.

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 01:21 PM
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Great pictures and info, thanks for the detailed report!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KARVITK View Post
Well done in your accomplishment, and coping with the heat.

Paul and I attempted Paleface, but we ran out of time given a rather short time frame of get done.

So this one is unfinished business.

K
Thanks, I would like to summit Meroniuk. Its unfinished business for me too
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 12:03 AM
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The greasy gulley to right of rock cliff u were in is easiest way up meroniuk. There's a sling in large tree for short rope if its wet for going down. One of favorite places. Nice report. Bob
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 12:44 AM
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Just to add to what Bob was saying. The gully in your picture that has the sunbeams in it is the right one for ascent. We went up Meroniuk last fall before the first snow, by turning left at an earlier spot on the TCT to hike up the ridge on the left of the Paleface Bowl. Since we came prepared, a short length of climbing rope was used as a hand line to get down. You're right about that little col at the base of the cliffs - what a great place to view the lake from.

The Chilliwack Outdoor Club made a trip to Paleface a few weeks ago, and are planning to do some trail clearing over the weekend. That's according to their postings online.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikingthecascades View Post
Thanks! A lot of our ideas come from hikes we've already done. We go to the top of a peak or see something along the way and ask "I wonder what's up there?" or, "can we go over there?" or, "what can we see from there?" If it's interesting enough we'll look at maps and Google earth and see what the area is all about. Is it a ridge, how much bushwhacking is involved, what might be hidden in the bushwhack that we have to plan for, what would be the best approach to summit, things like that. Then we might load waypoints into our gps apps to guide us around certain features such as cliffs. It's always a big unknown because any map only has a limited resolution of the terrain. You just can't see every obstacle that might force you to change course. But we have a compass to help us orient and gps to fix our location on a map. Eventually as we get to know the area, what we see in real life as landmarks -a slope here, a boulder field there- starts to mesh with what we only knew on a map. Then we can make informed decisions about the best routes. We're still learning. There are some general principles that we're learning too, about what makes a good route for humans, lol.
Thanks so much for sharing, your trip reports are always awesome and your adventures inspire novice hikers such as myself. Everyone who reads your trip reports benefits from your experience and knowledge. I am hoping to be able to contribute as much in the coming years.


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