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Wilderness Adventures - Dec., Week 3/2013

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.

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27/12/2013 8:30 AM

The Warm Spell

Hey folks, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I’m trying to sneak a blog in here because it’s going to be super busy for the next week or so and I’m not sure when I’ll 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 hasn’t been going below freezing until tonight, and even then it’s just a couple of degrees below. We have had lots of sunshine, although admittedly, we have also had a lot of wind but since it’s a warm breeze, even at night, it’s not bad at all. It’s 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 it’s 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 neighbour’s 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. We’ve got several spider holes in front of our place as well so I’m assuming that they’re all over the lake. I won’t know until I go skiing and that isn’t going to happen until the overflow freezes or my skies will be stopped dead in the slush.
While the overflow hasn’t completely stopped snowmobiles from being on the ice, we’re not seeing nearly the numbers out there we normally would at this time of year. However, it hasn’t 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 I’ve 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 move.
Just to let you know, for anyone that wants to help out with the New Year’s 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, Everyone!

22/12/2013 11:30 AM


A Christmas Card to readers

Mother Nature’s 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 didn’t. 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 he’s 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 can’t 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 it’s 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 doesn’t help at all in just trying to keep his feet under him up there. We were both thinking that it’s 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 clearing it.
He’s still got a while left today to spend clearing snow with the Bobcat and then the rest of that roof, but I’m done on my end. I’m hoping to get out today to try the new snowshoes but I’m just waiting to see if the weather is going to improve a bit. Right now there’s heavy fog and we’re 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 we’re bound to have terrible overflow now. I’m not even sure it will be possible to plow an ice road this winter over to the boat launch. Right now, we’re 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 that’s the case.
It’s 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. We’re also used to seeing people clearing snow for skating, folks out skiing and often there’s 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 I’ll 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 don’t think I’ll 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 Holidays!

Last week's blog is at December Week Two.

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!
Someone stuck in snow on the Nimpo Lake ice.
People playing hockey on a skating rink.
Sundown after a one foot snow.
Andy on roof shovelling snow.
Fresh snow covers the whole yard.
A snow covered yard.
A ruler in snow.
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