Anahim/Nimpo Lake BC Header Photo
Chilcotin Waterfront Resort and Motel advertising banner
Woman in a canoe photo.
 Welcome to Anahim Lake & Nimpo Lake, British Columbia
  Business Directory

Facebook Button
Back to Daily Blog
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
2012 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2012
2011 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2011
2010 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2010
2009 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2009
2008 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2008
2007 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2007
2006 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2006
2005 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2005


Wilderness Adventures - Dec., Week Two/2013

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.

Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture of the Day.

19/12/2013 5:00 PM

Here Comes The Snow!

We are under a snow warning right now as is a good chunk of British Columbia. A new arctic front dumped our temperatures to –21C or –6F last night and it never has warmed up above –9C today. It started filtering down snow this morning under a grim, grey sky and it hadn’t changed much by dusk other than for a layer of about two inches of the fluffy stuff on the ground.
It was not at all pleasant to be outside today. I was only out long enough to move and cover my barbecue from supper last night and help Andy to put a tarp on our tent garage out in the yard. We had some pretty wild winds the other day and they ripped the canvas off one side of the roof of this thing we have over the old ‘33. It has actually held up surprisingly well for several years under snow, rain and sun but it’s definitely looking the worse for wear now. It wasn’t expensive to begin with and the elements have been slowly shredding the door on it for the past year. I won’t be unhappy to see it come down because it’s uglier than sin. We’ll move it in the spring to a more protected area and reassemble it with a big truck tarp on it to keep the weather off the old car. That should hold until we kick the bucket, anyway. Then it’s someone else’s problem.
We are supposed to see cold temperatures tonight and then a slow warm up over the next week but two large dumps of snow are expected tonight and tomorrow, and again on Sunday when another system pushes in. I’m kind of hoping that our luck will hold and we won’t get any more snow than we have in the past month but it’s not looking good. There’s a heavy duty snow warning for up to a foot of snow for Prince George south and it looks like we’re in line for that. They just mentioned the Chilcotin as being one of the places under a snow warning of 15-20 cm on the weather on TV. Last time Williams Lake got it and we missed out on snow completely but I don’t think we’ll be so lucky this time. Too bad. I love being in the Banana Belt. :-)
Less than two days now to the shortest day of the year! Andy downloaded an app on his iPad that shows the winter solstice for our area, sunset, sunrise, etc. But you can change to any date and see that data change with perfect accuracy and without having to read through boring lists. It’s kind of cool.
Right now it looks like a pretty nice Christmas and New Year’s this year with day time temperatures hovering around freezing and a good bit of sunshine. Who knows if that forecast will hold but the weather app that we are using that’s produced by the Weather Network seems to be highly accurate compared to those doofuses on the news channels we watch. I’m not sure what they’re using for weather models but they’re wrong way more than they’re right. Yet oddly, we picked up a Harrowsmith’s Truly Canadian Almanac for 2014 and the bit it has for December of this year is pretty much dead on for regions all across Canada, including areas of BC. How the heck can you be that accurate for months prior to publication yet local forecasters can rarely get the next day right? It’s a mystery to me!
Later (9:30 P.M.)
The temperature has finally come up a whole degree, more than it has all day. Maybe that warm front coming in with this low has finally made it this far inland. I would not be surprised to see it warm up in the middle of the night as it has many times this winter so far. Only the other night the mercury had dropped to –6C or 21F by supper time but by the time I went to bed it had risen to four degrees above freezing, a 12 degree rise in just a matter of hours in the middle of the night. It’s the weirdest darned thing to see so much of this and although not a complete rarity it is definitely becoming more common. I remember when I was a little kid up at the ‘Old Log House’, a place my parents homesteaded out in the boondocks from ‘66 to ‘70, that we had the weirdest warm up ever. We had a cold stretch that seemed to stretch into infinity, especially when you’re a youngster and sick of being trapped in the house for what seemed like weeks on end.
The temperature had taken its usual nosedive to –32C or –25F (That was actually before the Celsius table was used in Canada. Everyone still used the Fahrenheit scale then.) that night when a dripping sound woke us all up. Like a really, really loud dripping. My parents started checking all around the old log cabin to see if water was leaking somewhere, even though we didn’t have running water, while we kids scrambled out of our pyjamas and into our clothes. You could just feel a weirdness in the air, and suddenly the air in our bedroom didn’t seem quite so frigid. My parents called to us from outside and we all padded in bare feet out onto the old covered porch. All around us water streamed. Off the shake roof, down the porch posts, along the path to the outhouse and off every other outbuilding in the yard. The air was as balmy as a desert evening with a light spring like breeze pushing yet more balmy air into the yard. For a bunch of warmth starved yahoos from Arizona, it was like a little Christmas miracle and I remember the whole family laughing and crying and dancing around the porch in the middle of the night. I don’t remember what the exact temperature had risen to throughout the night but I recall my parents commenting on there being a 60 degree difference in just a matter of hours. I have never seen a temperature inversion that extreme since, but it sure was a welcome interlude that year!
In the last few years that I have lived here at Nimpo Lake I have seen a lot of changes in the weather compared to when I was here in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Even the last five years have seen many changes in the long term weather that we have all experienced across Canada but I would say that for me, it’s at its most extreme in the West Chilcotin, and these middle of the night warm ups are the oddest of all. They are becoming more and more common and this year we’ve seen the most of them. I mentioned last time that it seems to have something to do with the temperature inversions we are seeing at higher elevations and they have been happening with amazing regularity since early this fall. This year we are also seeing the jet stream curve up the coast of western Canada to Alaska and back down again just a little inland, often including us in the warmer air to the west and south of the jet stream, but not the central Cariboo or central Okanagan, both of which are lower and almost always warmer than the Chilcotin. Or so it used to be.
I wonder if we watch the change in weather with the same fascination as those that live in the arctic but where the results are not so morbid? We know that we are already seeing changes in wildlife patterns here but it doesn’t really effect our livelihood as it does those that live in the north and that depend on the ice for food and transportation, and who rely on the permafrost to not collapse beneath them. Life is changing for them far more drastically than it is for us and all we can do is watch. I won’t say helplessly because I don’t believe either northerners or we bush monkeys are helpless. Human beings are the most adaptable species in the world and those that haven’t been exposed to too much reliance on cities are even more so. Here in the south, we look forward to warmer seasons but aside from an even worse mosquito infestation, which can be attributed partially to the Pine Beetle killing off so many mature forest stands, life isn’t too much different here. We’re losing some of our big game, but on the other hand, we can grow gardens that we never could before. But who knows what will happen in the far north? Will they too be able to start growing food stuffs that they could never hope to grow before while they lose some of their ability to hunt and travel over the sea ice? Dinosaurs lived and raised young in the arctic 70 million years ago. Scientists have shown that the Arctic average annual temperature was about 25 degrees warmer than it is today. Hmmm….. That would indicate to me that there were no polar bears, no sea ice, and little of the type of species that reside in those climes now. If it was a whole lot warmer then than it is now it probably also means that many species have had to adapt to extreme changes in temperature in the north before. Probably many times before. So this isn’t all that new. We’re just here to watch it this time. Will the warming happen quickly, speeding up exponentially as some scientists postulate? Or will it be long and slow enough for the species in the north to adjust and adapt to their new reality? I don’t know the answer and I don’t think anyone else does either. We’re all just along for the ride.
Not to sound unsympathitic toward human groups and animal species to the north, you have to admit, it's a fascinating ride.
07/12/2013 7:00 PM - 16/12/2013

Our Little Blast of Arctic Air

In the last blog I posted that the cold air mass from the north was supposed to move back in over the province after our little one day break there.
It did.
We had appointments booked for last Friday a week ago and were all set up to go in Friday morning and do an overnight because between appointments, Christmas shopping and our regular shop, we could no way do it all in one day. Andy woke me up predawn on Friday morning to tell me I might as well go back to sleep. It was –35C or –22F and there was no way we could go in to town with the dogs. Even in the back of the canopy a moving truck is going to create a high wind chill that’s bound to take the temperature inside to as low as –40, and that’s just too cold. We couldn’t leave them here outside either in those kind of temperatures, especially since they had been cozying up in the garage for a week because of the cold weather.
I’m also not a fan of driving in weather that cold. If you break down, go off the road, hit a deer or moose, or get a flat tire, bad can go to worse in a real hurry when temperatures are that chilly. We finally ended up going in Sunday and getting back Monday last week after it had warmed up about 20 degrees. We got most of our Christmas shopping done although one present didn’t make it in until the day after we left so that will be a late gift. It seems we always have at least one of those every year.
Since then I’m not sure where the time has gone. I keep trying to get back to this blog and have been working at it for about a week but it seems there’s always something to get in the way of it. For example, today (Monday, December 16) we decorated the tree and then went out and got a couple of wagon loads of wood, then I took the dogs for their usual three mile hike and on the way back, I noticed that the neighbours were in two days earlier than expected. Of course you have to stop and have a visit and then get home in time to make supper. That’s just kind of how every day has gone. Throw a bit of kitchen renovation in there, getting out Christmas cards, doing some calendars for clients, several invites to dinner with a fair amount of cooking and baking to take over for Saturday’s invite and time just kind of flies.
I lost a whole week of walking because of cold weather and only got out twice last week because of the town trip and cooking and baking chores, etc. It also didn't help that once it warmed up we had some wild winds. In fact, a friend over at Charlotte posted a photo of that lake with the wind blowing and it looked like down in California or Hawaii where they do all the surfing on big waves. It was some wild looking! It’s also a reason to not go in the woods and I usually won’t go walking when we have high wind. I just don’t like the thought of being squished by one of the many big old beetle killed pines along the trail.
This week I’ve finally made a point of putting the walk first. Right now the trail is excellent and hard as a rock to walk on, mostly because of the strange weather we had late last week.
One night it was –8C or –18F when a soft wind came up out of the south and I watched the temperature climb until it was just above freezing when I went to bed. That turned into spitting rain and blustery, warm winds so that over the course of a couple of days, our snow had gone down substantially. We have lawn showing in many places, and wherever the snow had been packed such as on the back trail or our driveway, it turned as hard as cement and not a little icy. It makes it great for walking on the back trail with Yak Trax on my boots but it’s a little deadly walking around on the driveway. Had Andy not had his Bobcat working down at the other end of the lake this fall and winter and been able to keep the snow cleared off the driveway, we would be seeing gravel by now with all that melting. But every snowfall got packed down by vehicles so we could have some misery this spring if it takes a month or two for that ice to melt.
Every night the temperature will really dip down and then part way through the night, it starts to come back up again. I think that last night was the first night it actually stayed below freezing so I think that we’ve been in the middle of a major inversion for the past week. I know a couple of days ago you could see that a lot of snow had either melted off or been rained off of the mountains, and yet Williams Lake has been much cooler than we have for the last few days, not to mention that they got whacked with a substantial snow fall last week while all we saw was a tiny bit of rain.
There you go…. I just checked the temperature and while it had already gone a couple of degrees below freezing at supper time, it’s back up to just above freezing with a full moon and clear sky out there tonight. Yet our neighbours came through Williams Lake and Alexis Creek this afternoon and said both places were well below freezing midday and we were actually warmer than Ashcroft. Tell you what. I am not going to complain at all about that. Anytime we can be warmer than BC’s little patch of desert is a time to celebrate!
A big advantage of this warm weather is that the snow has melted out on the ice on Nimpo Lake. The surface is either glassy in many places or crunchy with just a thin layer of hard snow. That’s a great thing! It means that we don’t have to worry about overflow right now and the ice can continue to grow in thickness, something it doesn’t do as quickly when there’s a good layer of insulating snow on it, which is exactly what it had a few days ago. Before that warm wind started and after our last little snowfall, you could see great wet spots where the ice had cracked under the snow and water welling up was soaking it. It wasn’t looking at all good for travel on the lake for the rest of the winter but that rain and warm wind did wonders for melting that snow right down to the ice. It’s looking really good right now.
Neighbours down at the other end of the lake checked the Main Arm about a week ago and found the ice to be between five and six and a half inches. It’s probably safe for a snowmobile or quad but I wouldn’t be inclined to drive on it for another week or two because there are springs that come out of the bank down that way and you can go through the ice pretty unexpectedly if you’re too close to the shore.
I think that it would be safe to drive from our boat launch to the public launch over at Nimpo now but we haven’t drilled the ice yet to test it so we’ll wait on that until we do. It’s lots safe enough for ATV’s and the neighbours have been snowmobiling over to Nimpo to get their mail for the past week or two, so it’s fine for that. Maybe we’ll get to testing it tomorrow, if we don’t go get more wood or do more work on the kitchen.
Now that the surface of the lake is no longer covered in snow, we have lake monsters. They started in earnest a couple of nights ago but last night was just amazing between the pull of the moon, enough cold to grow the ice and no snow to muffle the sound. It was just one solid groan, crack, snap and burble after another all over the lake. I spent some time out there last night recording the sounds so I’ll have to work on getting them uploaded. The problem in the past is that the format I’ve been using can’t be accessed by everyone and I’m not sure what to do about it. Maybe I’ll have to upload it as a YouTube video. I just have to remember how to do that…..
This past Friday I had an appointment down in Bella Coola and we got to see an inversion at work there. For a while it was warmer at the top of Heckman Pass than it was when we first started down the Hill and there’s very little snow at the top. In fact I was shocked to see a truck parked to unload a snowmobile near the parking lot up there because unless you stayed on the trail, there is so little snow up there you would break your machine from hitting rocks and such.
Once we dropped down into the Valley at the foot of the Hill we hit a lot of fog. It actually gave the whole valley a kind of mysterious look with the huge old growth trees sticking up through the fog with here and there just a glimpse of a mountain peak poking above the mist. There isn’t a lot of snow down there but there’s some and you can tell they were affected by that same cold snap as we were because all the waterfalls are frozen and the river levels are really low.
We saw a few Eagles on the gravel along the rivers, probably scavenging for dead fish, but other than that, no sign of any other wildlife. Judging from some of the fields in the Valley, they either had a lot of rain or quite a bit of snow melt. It’s looking pretty soggy down there.
I’m not sure what we’re going to get for weather over the next few days. It looks like it might really cool down for a day or two midweek and then warm up again for the Lower Mainland but who knows what that will bring us. More temperature inversion? That’s okay with me! I’m not prepped for winter activities yet so I’m totally okay with above freezing temperatures during the day. Unlike last year, we haven’t had a bunch of heavy, low cloud over the mountains to the south that tends to throw up a bunch of haze which often partially blocks the sun this time of year. It makes a big difference to the temperature during the day and a huge difference to someone that suffers from SAD as much as I do. We’re still getting the stuff to the south but just not that badly this year, and in the next month or so when the sun starts climbing higher again, it will be even better.
But you know what true happiness is? Only five more days to the shortest day and then the days start to get longer. That’s happiness!!

Last month's blog is at December 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!
A snow storm darkens the view.
Flags droop in a snow fall.
Sunset light reflects off melted lake ice.
A snow peak shows through fog and trees near Hagensborg.
Red orange streaks over Nimpo Lake with evening sunset.
Button leading to The Chilcotin Facebook Page.
This web site designed by Vector North Web Design