Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mt Slesse

On December 9, 1956 Trans-Canada Airlines Flight 810 crashed into the mountain while on it's way to Calgary killing all 62 aboard.  This was one of the worst air traffic tragedies to that time.  Because of the remote area where the plane crashed, and the difficult terrain, the wreckage was not found until the following May.  On board the plane were 5 professional football players returning home from the East-West All-star game in Vancouver.  The remains are in a difficult to access area and are protected by government designation.

Mt Slesse as seen from the Memorial site

The first 15-30 minutes of this hike are completely enjoyable.  When one leaves the logging road one drops slightly down to where Slesse Creek cuts through the valley.  Crossing the creek is by climbing over a fallen tree which has fallen conveniently so it can be used as a bridge.  After the crossing one follows the tree through rain forest like conditions which gives arise to an abundance of mushrooms in late summer and early fall.However, one soon reaches the ridge where the trail begins to follow an over grown logging road.  From this point until one reaches the Memorial site the trek is simply "boring."  There are few views other than small trees one keeps hit in the face as your companion in front walks through.

Slesse Creek

Buddy crossing Slesse Creek

At a leisurely pace one reaches the Memorial site within 2 hours.  The view of Mt Slesse leaves one in awe.

After a short break one again returns to the logging road.  This is follow until it is left and the trail is actually a trail as it climbs the ridge to the east of the Memorial site.  Within a short time the open meadows below the Propeller Cairn are reached.  In July through September the area is in bloom with many wild flowers.  After the last push one reaches the plateau and the Cairn.

To find the trail head drive up Chilliwack Lake Road for 31 km and right after the Riverside Forest Service Recreation area turn right. Cross over the Chilliwack River and in 400 meters turn right onto Nesakwatch Creek Road. Drive 6.4 kms and you will see the flagging, and maybe a sign, on the right.  Park beside the road.

For more photographs visit:  Mt Slesse photos

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