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 4/2006
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' - just go into Archives on the lower left side
of this page.
You can search this site for a subject of interest to you
at the bottom of this page. Check out the
of the Day.
Comings And Goings
kind of a busy place around Nimpo Lake right now.
Whereas before the lake had too much overflow on it for
anyone to really use it, now it's tightened up enough
for people to walk and snowmobile on it without dealing
There have been all kinds of folks out on snowmobiles
today from kids doubling up to young people racing around
checking out how much air they can get on the drifts.
It was kind of cute watching two that were doubled up
crossing the bay at full speed. The driver on the
first machine would bounce, then his passenger, the same
with the second machine where you could almost see air
under the seat of their pants. They looked like
Several groups have crossed the lake from different directions
today heading for the mountains. I just saw once bunch
come in with head lights bouncing over the snow that I
didn't even see go out.
Andy got talked into going out for a ride with an ex fighter
pilot up from the States that couldn't find anyone to
ride with. Since Andy has been wanting to break in his
new machine it should work out well and it seems a fine
way of getting out of decorating the community hall for
the New Year's Dance tomorrow night. Little does he know
we've saved the work for him for tomorrow instead...lol.
There's lots of work to get ready for that event including
getting some trees dropped and wood cut up for the bonfire.
Unfortunately, our friends that were here visiting both
came down sick with colds and weren't able to go snowmobiling.
We did have an invite to go out yesterday but with
lots to do and some wicked looking winds howling around
the mountain tops, it didn't look like the kind
of day that I wanted to go riding.
Call me a fairweather snowmobiler if you like, but I've
been up there when the winds kick up those fine snow particles
and the clouds come in low. You can't see the trail because
it's usually been wiped out by drifting snow within in
minutes, the fine particles of snow hitting your face
feel like needles and you can't close your face shield
because it will freeze over instantly. When those clouds
come sweeping in low while you're up on the mountain you
might as well be in pea soup and hope you know where you're
going because you can't see jack. In fact it's
a weird sensation when that happens because you can completely
lose your bearings, especially when you're up in the alpine
and have no trees or landmarks to let you know where you
are and add to that the flat light that usually comes
with the clouds and you have no sense of which end is
up. You don't know whether you're going up hill
or down and don't know where the bumps or ravines
are until you've hit them. Unless you've felt the sensation
before, you'll have no idea what I'm talking about but
suffice to say that's a good time to have a good leader
with an excellent sense of direction and a GPS so that
you can find your way back through the Pass and head for
When I see those conditions up on the mountain from down
here on the lake, I have absolutely no interest in going
up there. I guess a bunch did go up and turned around
at Goat Pass yesterday because of the wind. Most
people know to do that but I always worry about visitors
that aren't familiar with how quickly conditions can turn
on them. We have our trails going up marked very well
but it won't help you once you hit the open alpine on
the other side of the Pass. If you look at the picture
up on the right you will get a sense of why you want to
make sure you have good visibility while riding up in
The wind started howling around here yesterday and a bit
into last night. Our temperatures have finally come up
a bit. For the last few days they never got above -8C
or about 15F during the day but they're just below freezing
right now. Which is probably why so many people
are out riding today. It'll be much more pleasant
than it has been.
Lucky, spoiled me. I got a fantastic new digital camera
from my Sweetie this Christmas that will take SLR telephoto
lenses so I am extremely excited about the kind of pictures
I can take for this blog now. We just have to wait to
get the proper sized card for it and I have to read the
encyclopediac sized operating manual. That should take
about a year or so. I should have been a guy. I
hate reading instructions!
hope everyone had as good a Christmas as we did and are
all filled up with Christmas turkey, or as in our case,
This won't be a long post. Of course I always say
that and then usually by the time I'm done, I've
written nearly the same number of words that Jack London
required of himself every day of his writing career. LOL.
We have good friends from Saskatchewan visiting and since
they're only here for a couple of days, I'd like to spend
the time with them. Besides, it's the holidays.
Who wants to be reading some blog about the Chilcotin
Our company lived out here for years and I worked with
Wolfgang at the local planer mill. As a result, they both
know this country quite well and have expressed a desire
to go snowmobiling. Ah, fancy that! Just the kind of thing
we like to do, and we just so happen to have four snow
machines, so a little trail riding into the mountains
will be just the ticket!
We're supposed to have nice weather for the next couple
of days. We certainly haven't been able to complain about
the weather the last few, with today being another sunny
day. It's been a bit chilly though. At night
it's been ranging between -18 and -20C or about 0 to 5
below Fahrenheit. It comes up in the day time but even
today it didn't get much above -8C or about 20F and I
don't see it warming up before Saturday because we've
got a big high sitting over us. It looks like there's
a nasty big system coming in from the Pacific on the weekend
though. Just in time for our New Year's Party
at the community hall. Typical.
Right now there's that pretty lemon yellow in the sky
over the mountains after the sun has set, and the mist
is rising on Nimpo Lake with not a breath of wind in the
air. The other night when it got really cold I finally
heard the lake talking. It had warmed up to just
above freezing during the day and dipped to -20C that
night so there was quite a sudden temperature difference.
The lake has tightened up quite a lot but there was still
some overflow yesterday out in the middle of the bay where
the ice cracked from one side of the bay to the other.
You could see where quite a lot of water came up through
Our neighbour from the resort across the lake was
out cross country skiing on Nimpo Lake this afternoon.
She said there were still a few mucky spots but for the
most part the recent cold temps provided for excellent
skiing and you weren't even breaking through to the overflow.
So it must be time to break out the skis! I wonder where
Okay, gotta go. The company's gonna want some grits soon.
I'm not sure when I can next post because after our company
leaves we have to get the hall ready for the New Year's
Eve party. But hey, who's reading about the 'brrrr
chilly' Chilcotin during this holiday season anyway?
Don't eat too much cold turkey everyone!!!!!
Christmas Eve And All Is Quiet
Lake is very quiet this year. The heavy snow load
on the lake has caused such terrific overflow that there
is no ice road, no one walking, biking or skating on the
lake this year. No one is out there playing around on
snowmobiles, nor do you see the group of snowmobilers
that you normally would crossing the lake heading for
the mountains or just a trail ride. Disappointing, but
the quiet is nice too. We had planned on going elsewhere
for Christmas but those plans have changed, thankfully.
I love being here and I look forward to a peaceful Christmas
The Millers and their family were going to the Rainbow
Mountains for snowmachining and to sled down the ski hill
there. I'm glad it's them and not me! The first trip out
for the season is always a tough one because I spend all
fall in front of a computer. When I rolled out of
bed this morning I'm pretty sure that someone traded my
perfectly good shoulders and neck for old beat up ones.
In fact I think they traded my knees for these crotchety
things I'm walking on today too. Andy has worked hard
all fall so even though he and Logan did the lion's share
of trailbreaking yesterday, I don't think he's feeling
it quite like I am today.
I think that this time of year is a special one. Not for
the zany craziness of shopping or cleaning and cooking
for company but a time for reflection.
All of us will or have lost loved ones, many just
before Christmas. Everyone has their own beliefs
whether religious or otherwise that come to the fore at
this time of year and I'll try to not step on any toes
here. I believe that everyone should live their life to
the fullest possible extent. I'm selfish and I believe
we all only have a short time here on earth, and so number
one should always come first. But there should always
be room for making other people happy, whether that's
your spouse, your family, your friends, or the stranger
on the street. A smile costs little, laughter even
Giving or receiving gifts have far less value to me than
giving a happy piece of yourself away. Because when you
are gone, you are gone, but we all leave a piece of ourselves
behind in the memory of everyone that knew us. I believe
that you are reincarnated every time someone thinks about
you. Every time they bring up your name or tell
a story about you whether funny, oddball or poignant.
I like to think the memory people will have of me will
mostly be happy ones. I try to live my life that way,
anyway, and I very much enjoy the company of others that
do as well.
On that note, I would like to wish everyone out there
a very Merry Christmas. For my sweetheart, our family,
friends and acquaintances. I would especially like to
thank all of you who read these articles and send me emails
of encouragement, have allowed me to use your stories
and pictures from visiting here. I wish you the
very best in these holidays and in the New Year.
had just an awesome ride today. Our friends from
Quesnel that have so kindly loaned me many of the pictures
I use on this blog came down with family for Christmas.
Bill and Anita are just a hoot to be around and their
family super. Anita's brother and his wife have two kids,
a girl in her teens and a boy just turning eleven. Those
kids are so great it almost makes you think you might
want kids of your own, and both are welcome to my house
The family joined us for supper last night and the Millers'
wicked sense of humor manifested itself more than once.
We enjoyed a bonfire of beetle killed pine out
on the lake and super conversation that ended
just too early because we wanted a good start on riding
Because both the kids and their parents were doubling
up, our intention was to make our snowmobile ride an easy
one of only a few hours. But when a day starts out sunny,
only a few degrees below zero and some of the most perfect
snow you have ever seen, it's hard to stop.
Because Nimpo Lake is so bad for overflow,
we went the long way around on trails through the trees.
That alone was a very nice ride but our intention was
to go only up to kilometer 24 on the Charlotte Main. There
we could overlook the mountains and Charlotte Lake, which
is still wide open this time of year. It probably won't
ice over for another month or so.
Snow conditions were so good that the guys broke
trail right up to Goat Pass, and then we played
around in Serenity Valley just beyond the Pass for awhile.
We then broke out another trail back down the mountain
where the snow was so deep our trail blazes were sitting
just above the snow. The snow was so amazing that even
though it was deep, you didn't break through. Instead,
it was like riding on velvet. As a result, we had
very few stucks today, even with two double ups,
and that makes a trip up the mountain even nicer.
Since it was the first ride of the year for us and a pretty
long run, it was a bit exhausting. I suspect everyone
will sleep very well tonight. I know I will!
I've started a new week so you can check out last week's
articles 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!