Mount Cheam and Agassiz Farmland

A flowering Cherry or Plum tree along a dike next to the Fraser River in Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada. Mount Cheam, Mount Archibald (right), and Hopyard Hill are in the background.

agassiz farmland and dike road near the fraser river with mount cheam

Mount Cheam and a Flowering Cherry Tree (or Plum) along a Fraser River Dike (Purchase)

A few years ago I found a new spot to photograph Mount Cheam in the farmland near Agassiz, BC. In the spring of 2018 I revisited the spot during the spring, in the hopes of photographing a different look to the surroundings and maybe more snow on Mount Cheam. The first photograph shows the view along a dike road next to the Fraser River to the west of Agassiz, with a flowering cherry or plum tree next to the farmland with Mount Cheam in the background.

It is pretty rare in this area to find a single tree not surrounded by other trees or bush so I made a photograph of this Maple in the farm field. When they aren’t challenged by other tree species in their immediate vicinity they seem to grow to be quite symmetrical. This does not appear to be a Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) but could be a Douglas Maple (Acer glabrum).

maple tree farm field agassiz

A Solitary Maple Tree in a Farm Field in Agassiz (Purchase)

After the afternoon photos above I scouted for some more photography locations in the area, and made a few photographs near the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge next to the Fraser River. I returned to my original location in the hopes of some good evening light on the mountains but it didn’t materialize. This photograph was made after the sun had fully set. When I was making this last photograph a small airplane flew overhead, but very low, probably only 150′ or so. It turned above my head, flew over the farmland to the north, then came back and flew very close to Hopyard Hill before it banked sharply and again followed the Fraser River heading upstream. I’d have a photograph, but this is not the sort of situation where I was able to change lenses and settings in the 30 seconds of availability of the subject! I’m mostly just happy it didn’t run into the hill, which from my perspective certainly looked possible!

fraser river and mount cheam agassiz evening

Mount Cheam and the Fraser River in Agassiz (Purchase)

For more photographs of the Agassiz area visit my Agassiz – District of Kent Gallery.

Mount Cheam and the Fraser River in Agassiz

Mount Cheam, fall foliage, and the Fraser River in Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada.

mount cheam and the fraser river from agassiz bc

Mount Cheam and the Fraser River in Agassiz (Purchase)

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   Mount Cheam is a familiar sight to anyone who drives through almost any part of the Fraser Valley and looks towards the east. Once you reach the eastern sections of Chilliwack Cheam really starts to command your attention in the sky. I’ve photographed Mount Cheam and the Cheam Range from a number of locations but I always thought there just had to be some way to get the Fraser River, or any river really, in the foreground. During one of my trips deeper into the valley this fall I decided to turn onto a side road I’d passed on many occasions heading towards Agassiz. Turns out, this was pretty much the sort of location I was looking for. The photograph above (also the cover photo of my 2018 Calendar) has all the elements I was looking for: Mount Cheam, the Fraser River, and some good fall foliage colors! Most of the trees providing fall foliage along the banks of the Fraser River here are Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). The colorful trees on the hill in the middle of the photo are predominantly Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum).

mount cheam agassiz farmland

Mount Cheam and Agassiz Farmland (Purchase)

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   The area I found with new (to me) views of Mount Cheam in Agassiz is mostly farmland. I’m sure on a return visit there are some good views with a barn in the foreground, though the more southern part of Chilliwack has many of those opportunities as well. I had been heading to Harrison Hot Springs after photographing the first location, but saw the fall foliage provided by these two Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) trees and had to pull over again for a few more photographs. I am looking forward to visiting this spot in other seasons to see what it has to offer in different conditions.

mount cheam peak with fresh fall snowfall

Mount Cheam Peak with Fresh Snowfall (Purchase)

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Visit my Fraser Valley gallery for more photographs from this area and more.

Mount Cheam Sunset from Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and sunset light on the Mount Cheam Range. Photographed from Harrison Lake at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada

harrison hot springs resort with mount cheam in the background at sunset

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and the Cheam Range at Sunset (Purchase)

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   A few weeks ago I posted a blue hour photo of Mount Cheam and the town of Harrison Hotsprings. While that photograph may well turn out to be my favourite from the day, it was not really what I was after when I set out. Pre-trip research using Google earth and other photographs on the internet can only get you so far – sometimes you just have to go somewhere to see what is there. This was certainly one of those days.

   Through my trip planning and time spent in Google Earth and a few other applications, I had thought I would be able to make a photograph that is somewhere in between the one above, and the one posted earlier. The grand plan was to photograph the Mount Cheam Range above (directly above) the Harrison Hot Springs Resort with some night sunset light. A few things would have had to occur for this to happen. 1) A place to stand where those two things line up and 2) nice light at sunset. So I set out up the Whippoorwill Point Trail along the western side of Harrison Lake in the hopes that the point near the outflow of the Harrison River from the lake would provide this angle. I had climbed about 200 feet or so up the hill before I realized that this was not a place I would want to climb down in the dark, alone, and with some ice on the trail. It also seemed completely possible that I would be able to walk along the lake shore and get to the same area with less actual effort. The water in the lake seemed fairly low, and water along the shore itself was frozen (though I didn’t really test how much so with my body weight). So I walked on the “beach” past Whippoorwill Point to Sandy Cove. I then walked further along the water and rocky shore towards the Harrison River. I wasn’t able to make it to the river, but it was clear that this would have been a moot point anyway. The way the shore curved, I was losing more and more of my view of Cheam Peak. The best spot turned out to be just south of Sandy Cove. It was from there that I made the photograph above.

   The photograph I had hoped for (I try to avoid the term “previsualized”) turned out to not actually be possible without a boat. I would not want to try to photograph in early February on a boat on Harrison Lake anyway, even without the high winds and cold I faced. There are plenty of other angles on Mount Cheam I have on my list of places to check out. Stay tuned for those!

 

Harrison Hot Springs and the Mount Cheam Range

Late evening light on the Mount Cheam Range and the beachfront condominiums at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada

harrison hot springs beachfront condos with mount cheam in the background

Mount Cheam Range and the beachfront condominiums at Harrison Hot Springs (Purchase)

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   This past week I drove out to Harrison Hot Springs area to photograph sunset light on Mount Cheam. I had a number of locations in mind, did some hiking, but it turned out my favourite photo (so far) from the day was this one. Photographed from Harrison Lagoon, these are some beachfront condominiums with the Cheam Range behind. The peaks visible in this photo are (from left to right) Stewart, Baby Munday, Knight, Lady and Cheam Peaks. Mount Archibald is the peak on the far right, but is not part of the Cheam Range.

You can view more photographs from this area in my Fraser Valley Gallery.

Mount Cheam Panorama

Panorama of Mount Cheam in the evening from Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada.

panorama of mount cheam during blue your from agassiz british columbia canada

Panorama of Mount Cheam in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia (Purchase)

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This is a panorama of Mount Cheam, a familiar sight to anyone living or often traveling through the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. I made this photo by the banks of the Fraser River in Agassiz just after sunset in January. The time right after sunset is often referred to as “Blue hour” and you can see why. I often like to photograph buildings in downtown Vancouver at this time as you can still see the outlines of the buildings against the sky (unlike when the sky is darker). I find this is also a great time to photograph mountains – so it is worth hanging around after any potential sunset light or alpenglow has faded. Always wait until the light is completely gone!

Mount Cheam in the Clouds

ridge on mount cheam shows through the clouds near popkum in british columbia canada

Ridge on Mount Cheam (Purchase)

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   On the way home from my photography trip through the Okanagan Valley and Manning Park in British Columbia I passed through the Hope area into Chilliwack. I avoided stopping in some of my favourite places near Hope as this was a Friday evening just before a long weekend. Traffic was very busy near anything resembling a campground or recreational area. In face, there was a pretty good stream of cars from Langley through to Princeton if not beyond! From the highway just outside of Chilliwack I looked up towards Mount Cheam and saw this lower part of the peak still visible through the clouds. I took the next exit, a few back roads and lined up this photo. This is not all there is to Mount Cheam – the mountain itself is much larger, but I liked this small part that was poking through the clouds.

Mount Cheam from Seabird Island

view of mount cheam from seabird island in the spring

Mount Cheam (Purchase)

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   Way back in 2007 I purchased my first DSLR – a Canon 30D. I only had the 50mm Canon lens with it (f/1.4) and was forcing myself to use that lens to its full potential before I bought something else. This meant a lot of “zooming with my feet” and compositions that were slightly constrained. Though this was largely due to budget concerns, I do think this helped me choose my next lenses wisely. I always waited at least 6 months between lenses to make sure I knew what I “needed” next. I have not regretted any of my lens choices so far.

   I made this photograph in 2007 with the 30D and it remains one of my better photos of Mount Cheam. This location is on Seabird Island just outside of Aggasiz, British Columbia, Canada. I have returned to this location many times, but still cannot seem to find a time where that slough is full of water. A big muddy expanse just isn’t as photogenic!

Mt. Cheam Panorama

cheam range knight peak  lady peak cheam peak

8 exposures stitched, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 IS USM @ 97mm

From left to right: Knight Peak, Lady Peak and Cheam Peak (Mount Cheam).

When I took this panorama of Mt. Cheam and Cheam Ridge back in September I had intended on returning when there was more snow. On Thursday I made it back out and the snow conditions were exactly what I was hoping for. This shot is from a slightly different vantage point on Seabird Island but it worked out quite well.

I think overall I like the wide version above versus another one I shot just a while later that is a bit of a closer view of the mountain