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
Wilderness Adventures - Dec., Week 3/2008
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' about the
go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
Back In The Cold
little warm up didn't last for long. It dropped
pretty good yesterday and the cold must have again effected
the phones somehow because they went dead again yesterday
evening. Actually, we were over at my Mom's for dinner
and the phone went dead while she was in conversation
with someone. All phones checked....no go. They're working
today though so I don't know what's up.
It made it to -35C or 31 below zero Fahrenheit at its
coldest this morning and was still -33C at 10:00. Although
I was talking to Mary up at the store today and she
said it got down to between -37 and -38C or -36F down
at the other end of the lake. It's warming up
in the sun but ever so slowly. I don't think it will make
it above -25C or -13F at its warmest today, if the mercury
even climbs that high. Still, we have fantastic
blue sky and the sun always helps those of us that suffer
We've a few more days to go yet according to the weather
forecasters so I guess we might as well just get used
Nimpo Lake was grumbling steadily last night.
Testament to how cold it really is, there are no longer
the high pitched alien sounds but just deep rumbles below
Terry was up flying in the cold yesterday and said the
lake is looking pretty good. There is only one large pressure
ridge between the islands which generally indicates thick
ice. I still wouldn't trust the Main Arm since it froze
so recently but maybe in a week we can start drilling.
I look forward to crossing the ice to the boat ramp from
our place. I'm sure the ice is plenty strong enough
for a vehicle there but no one has tried it yet, nor have
we drilled. We'll wait until it warms up a little,
I think. It's too cold to drill ice! I think we'll just
hunker down here for awhile.
Leah and the guys went out snowmobiling the other day
and she said it was awesome! There was lots of snow, good
powder, and the riding was great except that they couldn't
go through Goat Pass because the wind has scoured the
snow off of the rocks so they decided to go break trails
instead. It sounds like everyone got stuck numerous
times until the cold and wind finally drove them back
down toward home.
We're down to only a few inches of snow in our yard here
but if we can cross the lake in the near future, there's
plenty of snow on the other side and in most of the places
we go snowmachining. We are fast running out of December
though and that's generally, although not always, our
main snow month. For myself, I would rather get the snow
in January or February when the days are longer and you
really want to be out on a machine on fresh snow.
Andy was down in the Bella Coola Valley yesterday and
took some awesome pictures of the wicked winds coming
off the mountains down there as well as some cool
pictures of some ice falls, one of which I'll post on
Picture of the Day. He said the Hill was in the best shape
he had ever seen it so obviously it was never affected
by that freezing rain we had.
Oops! I'm wrong. It's 2:30 in the afternoon
and it actually made it up to -20C or -4F, although the
digital thermometer at the back may be in the sun a little.
Weird Weather Change
did the town thing yesterday, which of course took the
whole day. We actually got off pretty lucky because Andy
had gone into Williams Lake the week before and got a
lot accomplished so it wasn't quite as rushed as usual.
I was really concerned about leaving the dogs outside
here while we were gone as we normally do. While
it was only -25C or -13F when we got up, fully 10 degrees
warmer than the morning before, it was still too cold
to leave the dogs out for a whole day. Lucky us, we have
a wonderful friend from up at Nimpo store that was willing
to drive all the way around (an ice road would be handy
right now) and take the dogs out for a quick walk midday.
Not only did she do that at 10:00 in the morning rather
than at noon, two hours later she came back and put the
dogs out because it had warmed up so much. It was really
wonderful of her and it was the only reason why we were
able to go to Williams Lake.
While it was only -25C in the morning here, we ran
into temps as low as -30C on our way in. Since
we left long before daylight, and it tends to get colder
the closer to sun up it gets, it may easily have gotten
that cold here as well. It was a raw day in Williams Lake
with cold temperatures and nasty wind, so it meant you
didn't waste anytime outside. Particularly later in the
afternoon when it clouded over and you didn't even have
the sun to help warm things up.
The strange thing was that it was still cold when we left
Williams Lake, but it got warmer the farther west we got.
We watched the temperature gauge on the truck rise steadily
from a low of about -24C at Riske Creek and were
absolutely flabbergasted to see it at only -3.4C or 26F
when we pulled into our yard. If we thought the
gauge was wrong, that was belied by what almost felt like
a warm wind when we got out of the truck and the fact
that the dogs were actually bouncing around outside
of their doghouses. It felt positively balmy out and that
was after six in the evening. It must have been amazing
earlier in the afternoon. Weird weather.
We started to get some snow yesterday evening and ended
up with an inch or two of nice, dry powder. It was down
to -10C when I went to bed and was still only about -13C
or 9F when Andy got up this morning so it didn't drop
drastically. That is going to change, however. It actually
got colder throughout the day and was at 17.5C last time
I checked. It's supposed to get really cold for
the next couple of days with lots of arctic outlfow wind
warnings throughout the province, including us.
I'm not surprised, since we have had a hellacious wind
out of the north, off and on, for most of the day.
I know that they're calling for wind chill values of -28C
for Bella Coola and -30C to -34C for Williams Lake and
Prince George so heaven knows how cold it will get here.
That's okay. As long as we don't get any more snow to
ruin our growing ice. I definitely don't want to see anything
like what they got down in the Lower Mainland today and
they're still predicting blizzard conditions in the Fraser
Valley tomorrow. Yuk!
Our cold weather hasn't left us completely unscathed,
as there have been a few problems. We arrived home to
a message that the furnace in the community hall had quite
working and the lady holding dance had to move her class
elsewhere. Andy spent the day and a lot of back and forth
and used up fuel tinkering with things to get the furnace
going again. Now it seems we've all lost our phones.
We thought that maybe our last caller had forgotten to
hang up but a couple of hours later the phone was still
dead, and it sure didn't sound like there was an open
line. Andy radioed down to the other end of the lake and
since their phones were all dead as well, I assume we're
all in the same boat. That's pretty rare around here.
We're almost never without a phone so it will be
interesting to see what's up. Maybe the cold got
to something in the switching station up on the highway.
Why not? If cold can cause that gondola tower to come
down at Blackcombe, I'm sure it can fiddle with other
It's too bad the phones aren't working though. I would
like to have heard how the snowmobiling went today. Some
of the guys and Leah from up at the store were going to
go up Goat Mountain today. If I know Leah, she will have
been trying to call me to let me know how wonderful the
Our chairs for the Community Hall have officially arrived
today to where they are going to be stored until we can
find folks to bring some on their way up here. We'll bring
back as many as we can fit under our canopy in May, but
we won't be able to get them all.
I would just like to extend a personal thanks to Michael
Owen down in the Lower Mainland for going way out of his
way to pay the seller and get the chairs picked up, and
to store them for us. Thanks Mike!!!
The Big Chill Continues
is some big chill blanketing most of Canada and a good
part of the US. Eastern Canada and some parts
of Ontario have gotten off easy for the last day or so
with temperatures in the double digits. In other words,
warm. However, that's about to end with the frigid temperatures
in the west set to move in tomorrow.
The temperature this morning was down to -35C or
31 degrees below zero Fahrenheit where we live.
I'm not sure what it was elsewhere but that's the temperature
I've heard from a few other people. Now that the lake
is frozen over, our temperatures will be about the same
as up on the highway and in Anahim Lake. The highest it
got to today when I looked was -19C or or -2F. We had
completely clear skies and lots of sunshine so that always
helps to bring the mercury up a bit. We did have a lot
of smoke in the air from all the local slash burning but
it didn't get very high before being pushed back down
by the cold air. At least it didn't obscure the sun much.
It's early evening and the temperature is already down
to -25C so I expect it will be another cold night, although
I'm not sure that it's supposed to get as cold as it did
last night. Either way, we have a town trip tomorrow and
I don't expect it will be particularly pleasant. Wind
chill is expected to take the temperature down to the
-30's so running around town will not be fun!
As I mentioned yesterday, there is a low pressure trough
forming that will bring temperatures up slightly on Wednesday
and may bring snow to many areas throughout the province.
But right after that, the entire province goes back into
the deep freeze and it looks so far like it may last through
We watched the news tonight and it seems that the Lower
Mainland had a vicious wind all day. Boy, down there that
means it would be cold! It might only have felt like -17C
with the wind, but to me it would have felt colder than
60 below. That high humidity and damp down there just
freezes my patutie right off. I'll take the dry
cold any day!
There are about 16,000 down there that are without electricity
tonight, and it sounds like the high winds were the cause.
It's weird but today was the anniversary for the winds
that messed up Stanley Park so badly in 2006 except that
these winds are from a different direction and it was
a whole lot warmer. Just as strange is that usually when
we get really cold weather, we rarely see wind of any
kind but we are seeing a bit this time.
Not nearly as bad as elsewhere and they've dropped the
wind chill warning for the Chilcotin now, but we are still
getting a little. Bella Coola is still under an arctic
outflow warning so we may be catching a piece of that.
We also saw on the news tonight that Environment
Canada is forecasting a colder than normal winter for
the whole country, and it's not even technically
winter until Sunday, so I guess we better get used to
the cold. So much for global warming! :-)
Obviously with the cold I haven't been going out for walks
with the dogs and there hasn't been a lot happening out
on the lake, so I decided to do something different
with the five pictures on the right.
I've gone back to this week in 2005 when the neighbour's
kids were out skiing behind a fourwheeler on Nimpo Lake
at the top.
Around this date in 2006 we had already started to take
down the trees on the property killed by the Mountain
Pine Beetle and were burning the resulting limbs and brush
on the lake.
A week ago in 2007 you can see from the numerous tracks
on the lake and the guy going past on the sled that we
were already snowmobiling across the lake.
And then there's picture five. That's us today with not
a track on the lake other than where Andy and the dogs
went just off shore to test the ice a few days ago. No
snowmobiles, no ATVs, no cross country ski tracks. It's
awfully quiet around here and the lake has frozen
up way later than usual so the few people that are left
just aren't chancing the ice yet.
Since tomorrow is a town day I probably won't be posting
anything unless we decide one of us has to stay home with
the dogs. It's definitely too cold to take them with us
and we won't know until morning whether it will be too
cold to leave them outside or in the garage. I guess we'll
As you can see, it's the start of a new week. You can
find last week's articles and freeze up sounds at December
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!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!