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 3/2013
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The Warm Spell
Hey folks, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Im
trying to sneak a blog in here because its going
to be super busy for the next week or so and Im
not sure when Ill get a chance to post another.
Our weather has been terrific! Yesterday the thermometer
hit 8C or 46F while today it got up to 4C or 39F
and hasnt been going below freezing until tonight,
and even then its just a couple of degrees below.
We have had lots of sunshine, although admittedly, we
have also had a lot of wind but since its a warm
breeze, even at night, its not bad at all. Its
also carrying away a lot of moisture with the melting
snow which is going down really fast!
Unfortunately, the lake is just a mess with this
warm weather after that dump of snow a week ago.
Between the weight of the snow on the ice bringing water
up from below, and the snow on top melting and pooling
on the ice, everywhere you walk or ride on the lake there
is overflow. I walked out a ways in front of our place
today and water pooled in my tracks as I walked, completely
soaking the snow behind me. This warm weather and the
wind has done wonders for taking down the snow on the
ice but its still about four inches deep in places.
Not enough for a snowmobile to get stuck but it bogs it
down pretty good. The exception is in our back bay where
the snow is still deep enough that you really get pulled
in to the slush on a machine. We had company leave on
a big machine the other night and you could see where
the rear end of the snowmobile dropped into the overflow
and left a deep pool of water and slush in its wake. As
our neighbour said, the overflow is deep enough in front
of their place that they could go fishing off their dock.
Amazingly, we have had water open up all over the lake
as well. The point often has open water if it warms up
but yesterday it opened up halfway to the island! There
was open water off our neighbours point as well
as in the two reed beds in our front bay, and it even
looked like there might be a spot or two open off the
ends of the islands. It almost looks like spring!
Walking back with the dogs yesterday I counted 14
spider holes between our back dock and the resort docks
stored in our small back bay, and today when I
walked by, they were all even bigger than they had been.
Weve got several spider holes in front of our place
as well so Im assuming that theyre all over
the lake. I wont know until I go skiing and that
isnt going to happen until the overflow freezes
or my skies will be stopped dead in the slush.
While the overflow hasnt completely stopped snowmobiles
from being on the ice, were not seeing nearly the
numbers out there we normally would at this time of year.
However, it hasnt prevented the odd few people from
being out on there ice fishing or just walking and I see
that Oscar has his skating rink done now. He was diligently
pumping water onto the ice for a couple of days there
and Ive since seen friends of his skating and playing
hockey on it. He was fortunate to get it cleared of snow
before the overflow turned it into slush too heavy to
Just to let you know, for anyone that wants to help out
with the New Years Ice party, there will be a wood
cutting party on the 29th. Just check up at the Nimpo
Store for times and where to meet.
I hope Santa Clause treated you all well. The next time
I post a blog, it will be in 2014. Happy New Year,
Mother Natures snow making machine whacked us a
good one on Friday and again last night. I posted in the
last blog that we were under a heavy snowfall warning
but I hoped that it would miss us. It didnt. We
woke Friday morning to 11 1/2 inches of snow and
by the time the smoke cleared Friday evening we had 12
inches on the ground. I spent a little time clearing decks,
boats and the yellow tarp garage off as well as vehicles
so that they could be moved out of the way and did some
path shovelling while poor Andy spent all day on the Bobcat
clearing not only our yard and driveway but several of
the neighbours as well. Now hes back at it
because we got another four inches of snow last
night for a total of 16 inches in two days. That
meant another round of clearing vehicles, the front deck,
and the tarp garage but I cant help him up on the
roofs of the buildings.
Most of the roofs on buildings around here are steep enough
for snow to slide on its own but we have a long sloping
roof off of the brown shed and over our RV and lumber.
Because its not a steep pitch the snow rarely slides
off of it so when we get a build up of snow he has to
get up there and clear it off by hand, but the roof is
metal and really slippery. That means for my sake he usually
puts on a safety harness which might save him from sliding
off the roof, but doesnt help at all in just trying
to keep his feet under him up there. We were both
thinking that its time to figure out a mechanical
snow removal system. I was trying to design something
in my head while clearing the deck and keeping one eye
on him up on the roof, and he was doing the same while
Hes still got a while left today to spend clearing
snow with the Bobcat and then the rest of that roof, but
Im done on my end. Im hoping to get out today
to try the new snowshoes but Im just waiting to
see if the weather is going to improve a bit. Right now
theres heavy fog and were under a freezing
rain watch, but the temperature is just sitting around
freezing right now so if the breeze can clear some of
this cloud away and let the sun shine through, it could
end up being a great afternoon. Maybe
I think that the lake is shot for us for the rest
of the winter unless by some miracle we get a
huge warm up or rain to compact the snow sitting on the
ice right now. I noticed yesterday that there are two
big spider holes off our back dock and overflow has seeped
up through the two holes Andy augered to get ice for his
homemade ice cream. With 16 inches of fresh snow
on the ice were bound to have terrible overflow
now. Im not even sure it will be possible
to plow an ice road this winter over to the boat launch.
Right now, were going to have to hope for a little
winter miracle. Otherwise, no skiing on the lake and probably
not much in the way of snowmobiling if the overflow ends
up being bad. That will be a couple of years in the row
if thats the case.
Its really quiet out right now. Usually it
starts to get pretty noisy around Christmas time
with numerous snowmobiles out on the lake both from locals
and visitors. Were also used to seeing people clearing
snow for skating, folks out skiing and often theres
at least one group of people out ice fishing and hanging
around a big campfire, but this snow has really put the
kibosh on winter activities normally occurring on the
lake at this time of year. Maybe everyone is waiting until
after Chrtistmas to get going on the fun stuff this year.
At least we managed to get the tree in and up before the
snow. The presents are wrapped, some of the baking is
done for Christmas, the Prime Rib has been pulled out
to start thawing for Christmas Eve dinner and Ill
start on Yorkshire puddings next. The house is kind of
decorated in a half assed manner but that's about as good
as it's going to get. I always have such good intentions
every year and then I get busy with something else and
the Martha Stewart thing goes by the wayside.
I dont think Ill have a chance to write a
blog between now and Christmas so I would like to
wish all of you folks out there a very Merry Christmas
and a wonderful time with your friends and family. Happy
Last week's blog is at December
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!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!