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Wilderness Adventures - West Chilcotin Blog

This is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without the smog!
If you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes, exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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27/12/2014 4:30 PM

And We Made It To December!

It has been a month again since the last blog but frankly, not a lot of great, exciting things has happened in that month so you haven’t missed much.
In the last blog we were in the middle of a two day snowstorm that left us with nearly two feet of snow on the ground and a lot of slush floating in Nimpo Lake. By the next morning after the storm the sun came out to all the trees branches bent under the weight of the snow and Nimpo Lake was frozen solid.
I’m really hoping that the young loons got off the lake the day before.
We spent the next few days shovelling or ploughing snow and Andy had to get up on the roof of our trailer port and spend a couple of days getting it cleared of two feet of the white stuff before it had time to harden up.
There was a lot of snow built up on the trees for at least a week until we got a warm spell and a full day of rain if you can believe it, some of it driving sideways for some time. The end result was that the snow settled to about half and the rain took all the snow off of the lake ice. It wasn’t bad where the slush had newly frozen without only about four inches of snow on it, but all the south arm including our back bay had been frozen for weeks and the ice was bending under all that heavy snow. I was really worried that we were going to have overflow for the rest of the winter which would prevent us putting in an ice road. So that little warm up and all that rain did wonders, even if it did make everything deadly slippery around here until we got another little layer of snow that stuck.
With the ice cleared right off it started growing again and Andy and I went out just before Christmas to auger several holes and get an idea of the depth of the ice. It was 11.5 inches everywhere the ice road would go with 14.5 inches close to either shore so Andy promptly put in an ice road!
I was in town through the first week of December in meetings and it was just a mess in there because they got that big dump of snow as well. You could barely move because the streets were rutted up and slushy snow was everywhere. It started to warm up the day I left and I guess they got two days of rain and several days of warm temperatures because my sister sent me a picture of their green lawn and not a speck of snow to be had anywhere.
She likes to rub that kind of thing in. I hope they had a green Christmas!
We still have about eight inches of snow on the ground with a good base and it’s snowing right now so the snowmobilers have been having lots of fun.
I put a cross country ski track in and was really excited to go out the next day after it set up and go skiing. Nearly every bit but about 50 feet in total had been wiped out by snowmobiles in just one day. That was a week ago so I’ve decided that I’m not going to even think about setting anymore trail until after next weekend when New Year’s is over and all the visitors to the area have gone home. Then maybe a new trail will last for more than half a day.
Bad weather, cold weather and the holidays have conspired to keep me home rather than out walking every day but I’ve gone out the past two days just because if I don’t start moving I might as well just go find a cave until spring.
It has been overcast a LOT this winter with very little sun so it’s been hard to make myself go outside. Especially since we have only seen one day barely above freezing in weeks. Most of the time it has been pretty chilly which I can deal with if there’s sun but without it…. Blech!
While the winter has so far been generally cold we’ve only had one night that went right to 40 below so far but it looks like we’re in for another arctic blast starting about Monday. It’s been strange but while the rest of the central and southern part of the province has had above freezing temperatures for a couple of weeks, we’ve been back to our traditional temperatures…. Colder than everywhere else. Even the north has seen warmer temperatures than us so I guess last year’s wonderful winter was just an anomaly. So much for global warming!
I hope everyone had as good a Christmas as we did. Ours was terrific even though we had to use our poor little one foot mini fake tree this year. There has been lots of hoarfrost this winter and with that frozen on top of snow on the tree branches, you would have had a tough time picking out a tree because the snow would never have knocked off. The holidays kind of snuck up on us and we figured that by the time we waded around in the snow, found a tree that might or might not be a good one, gave it a couple of days to thaw the snow off of it in front of the fire and then get it up and decorated, it would be about two days before Christmas, and then it would just have to come down. So we dragged out our little Charlie Brown tree from out of its skinny little box, pushed down the branches, threw the one foot long piece of tinsel we still have for it and a few of the little mini decorations because it already has lights, and called it good. It actually looked great, especially in the dark! :-)
There are a lot of people out visiting this year, or certainly a lot of people that I don’t recognize and loads of snowmobilers around. Quite a few people have been ice fishing on the lake and it sounds like the fishing is just awesome! Leah from up at the store was saying that most of the trout are around a pound and a half but that Richard pulled out a big fat one the other day that she’s pretty sure was over two pounds. That’s pretty amazing for this lake at this time of year.
I was talking to a resort owner that thinks we may have the quota raised on our lake for next year and we sure do need to! There are way too many fish and not enough feed for them so I think we need to get a letter writing campaign going here and see if we can’t push this through. This lake has been way underutilized for about 10 years now and the fish are just going to get smaller and skinnier from lack of food unless we can get more people out there fishing.
Our rabbit population seems to be way up this year. When I have gone walking there have been tracks everywhere! In contrast, I’m actually not seeing a lot of squirrel sign around but it may have been too cold and the snow too deep for them. The otters have been traipsing around through the back woods again, finding little hills here and there that they can slide down. I heard some caribou had been spotted nearby about a week ago but hopefully they’ll be long gone by now before they’re shot for potlatch. There are a lot of coyote and fox tracks in the woods but no wolf tracks yet. I watched the same coyote working his way across different parts of the lake ice for several days in a row. Like the ravens, I think that he was finding goodies to eat caught in the slush when it froze ranging from small fish to bugs, or maybe freshwater shrimp.
We have been out of Internet service since just after Christmas and came home tonight to find it up so I'm going to try to get this uploaded as quickly as possible before it goes down again. But for just a quick update, the New Year's Ice Party is going on, the moon is shining brightly, and though our temperatures have been dipping to -30C in the past few days, tonight it is only -9C or 16F. In fact it's warmer now than it was an hour ago so hopefully our cold spell is over. I just hope we get to keep the sunshine that came with the warm weather. It's been just awesome to finally see sun and clear blue skies again!
Happy New Year's Everyone and our very best wishes from our home to yours for 2015!!!!

Don't forget that you can find regular updates on the Facebook page at Facebook/TheChilcotin.
Best Wishes for 2015!

The last blog is at November Week One.

Anahim Lake Highway cam looking West.

The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip of the iceberg, so join me!

Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Grey and white cat wearing antlers.
Sun filters through the trees.
Flags, ice, trees and surrounding countryside are colored purple in the low light of dusk.
A bright orange ice fishing hut in the back bay with for a small family ice fishing.
Beautiful evening colors after sundown.
Button leading to The Chilcotin Facebook Page.
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