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 - Feb., Week One/2011
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.
More Snow Balls
We've hung in with the pleasant weather for several days
now but Mother Nature decided to wake everyone up a little
last night. It started snowing really fine flakes yesterday
evening and just kept at it all night and into this morning.
Every time I turned on the lights out on the deck,
all you could see was the white stuff just pouring down.
I kind of thought to myself, Geez, we could really get
piled up on here, especially since everything weather
wise that we were watching on TV was indicating a good
snow storm. I talked to one of our road maintenance guys
and he said their weather information was calling for
a big dump of snow. Mind you, a lot of that could have
been for Heckman Pass because they get way more snow at
the top of the Bella Coola hill than we ever do. Of course
snow was the last thing they needed up there. There
was a rock slide last weekend that shut the Hill down
for a few days, caused by the weather we were having.
On the weather channel we could see that the jet stream
was going right over top of us and that often can mean
high precipitation for us if warm moist air is hitting
cold coming down from the north.
It was still snowing this morning when I got up and Andy
told me I should take a look at the one news station's
weather forecast for us. According to that one, over half
the province was under a snow fall warning including us,
but all together we only got between four and five
inches of snow. There might be more to come yet
if the weather forecaster is right at all, but right now
we've a little toe nail of a new moon hanging in the sky
and it looks pretty clear out there. If we're going to
get snowed on more, it'll be later and I don't know how
long it will last. It looks like we've got a high pressure
system moving in with some cold air, and that usually
means clear skies.
Suits me. I'll just take it as it comes. Like I
have a say in the weather, anyway. :-)
I took a walk through the back woods and I only did the
short trail today because it was a real slog through the
snow. Because the snow ended late this morning, there
wasn't a single track on the trail. It was as fresh
and white as could be with no rabbits, coyotes, fox or
moose marking up the pathway. A bit boring for
the dogs maybe, but pretty for me with the sun filtering
through trees along the trail and fluffy bits of snow
floating down over the perfectly unmarred path. I was
wishing I had brought the camera with me but this time
of year there's no room in my little pack full of leashes,
gloves, ear muffs and such.
When I got back Andy quit running Bobcat long enough to
run trails with me on our snow machines. That way the
newly packed paths should set up over night and be reasonably
solid to walk on by tomorrow. We screwed up because
we walked on the trail in the afternoon the day before
yesterday when the snow was at its warmest and we kept
falling through the layers of snow. It got pretty
cold through the night so that by yesterday when I went
for a walk the track was rock hard and I could dodge the
ankle breaking holes we put into it the day before. I
didn't get so lucky today with those deep tracks covered
with snow and wrenched various body parts when I stepped
into one. After that I watched Mocha closely and
every time she lurched and did a face plant in the snow,
I knew to watch for a hidden hole. Which is why
I came back determined to run over the trail with the
machines and fill those deep tracks in. I figured it would
prevent injury on all our parts.
Now if the main road, our driveway and our yard could
be fixed as easily. We got well over a half inch
of rain a few nights ago and boy, did that make a mess
of things! It was one of the reasons we were falling
through the track in the snow on the trail. Everything
got saturated and where the snow was packed, it turned
into ice, especially after the temperature dropped the
other night. It turned into hard ice that you can't scratch
and that sand doesn't stick to. As a result, taking the
dogs for a walk down the driveway and out onto the road
to the trail is a precarious endeavour at best. Even more
so coming back since part of my figure eight route is
on the main road. Nothing like mincing down the
road from one less icy spot to another, searching
out little areas where sand has stuck and melted into
the surface of the road. At least it can be done when
you can see it. Put five inches of fluff on top and good
luck with that one. Tricky doesn't begin to describe my
return walk today. Even the dogs were slip sliding all
over the place. Slogging through snow in the woods trying
to avoid our man made holes was much safer!
The ice road is now officially a mess. All that snow last
night settled into all that water laying on the road yesterday
and the whole thing now looks like a giant slushy,
including our little ice road driveway that joins with
the main one. I'm not betting on the thing ever being
usable again this winter. I had high hopes that if the
snow on the lake melted enough and absorbed enough overflow,
that when it froze, it would be solid enough to drive
on and forget the ice road. But with this new snow, it
seems highly unlikely we'll have solid ice again before
break up. I'm hoping I'm wrong, but....
I haven't seen the otters out at the point now for at
least a week and I'm beginning to wonder if something
happened to them. Several days ago we saw some blood
out on our driveway and in our yard and neighbours across
the lake to the east and south have seen the same thing.
They think it's their local fox and it has a wound somewhere.
I wonder if the two go hand in hand. Did something foolish
try taking on the otters and get wounded in the process?
Did that cause the otters to move somewhere else where
they aren't so exposed? Or is it all coincidence? It
seems strange to have seen the otters for so long in the
same area, and suddenly, nothing. Nor are there
any otter tracks around our place or the neighbours' any
more as there has been for the last couple of months.
I hope they have just moved on and nothing got them. Who
knows? Maybe they over fished their area and had to go
somewhere else. There won't be any way to tell until the
lake gets solid enough to walk or ski on and go take a
look out at the point where they've been living.
I'm leaving the Picture of the Day the same. I think it's
a really cool photo and I don't have anything to replace
it right now, anyway. Check it out if you haven't yet.
Whoo Hoo! It's Warm!
I would love to do the spring dance, but I know if I did,
Mother Nature would kick my butt. She would get me back
in a BIG way. I just know she would. So I'll just be quietly
For the last three days our weather has been terrific!
It's been above freezing with each day getting
warmer and warmer. Today we hit 7C or 45 degrees Fahrenheit
and even though we had a warm 16mph wind and it tried
to spit rain, I loved it! The only thing is.... the lake
is just an unholy mess. It looked fine for most of the
day. I went down to the shore line after we came back
from a walk to the gun range and took a look at the snow
on the lake. The snowmobile tracks and spider hole depressions
were all full of water and the snow was starting to look
slushy. I looked out the window when I got in the house
and the spider holes were looking pretty wet but the snow
was still white out on the lake.
Not so an hour later.
I looked out at about 3:30 this afternoon and the snow
had started to turn really dark in big patches all over
the lake and the spider holes were really opening up.
You could tell that all that water that had been laying
under the snow was starting to seep up from the bottom
while the warm air flowing over the snow was melting it
from the top. I fully expect to wake up tomorrow and see
an entirely grey lake from the snow being saturated, which
might happen if the temperature stays up. It's still 4C
out there. That's the very best thing that could possibly
happen. If that snow saturates with water either
from overflow or melting and then freezes, we'll be able
to use the lake again. It might be a little crusty
for snowmobiles until the next snowfall, but at least
we could drive on it. I would love to ski on it again
as well but all those crazy spider holes have me worried.
Andy said he saw at least 20 along his track yesterday
going to the other end of the lake.
He and a bunch of people went snowmobiling yesterday
up through Goat Pass and over to the Cornice Hill to play
in the snow. I guess the snow was a little heavy
though because of the higher temperatures and not nearly
as nice as it would have been a few weeks ago when we
had all that powder. Andy said they went through one zone
there which was so much warmer than surrounding air that
it formed fine mist on his windshield and face shield.
It's possible today that it's even warmer at higher elevations
than it is at lower, an inversion layer more or less,
so the snow will be melting even more up there.
I know we've been warmer than Vancouver, the Cariboo east
of us and the Okanagan. Either it's because we're
closer to the leading edge of that warm front or we're
higher, or both. I think the latter is most likely because
we shouldn't have been warmer for a full three days. Either
way, I'm not complaining, although I suspect some of the
snowmobiling enthusiasts are. But we'll get more good
days in yet and if the surface of the lake freezes up,
it'll make it a lot easier to get into the mountains by
going across the lake. Yesterday most of the people actually
avoided leaving our place by lake and went around by road
to Ted's. From there they crossed hell bent for
leather to Dot Island through the overflow and no one
got stuck. I don't think you could say the same
today judging from the look of that snow on the lake.
I think you'd bog down in a hurry in that stuff now.
We're supposed to have really warm weather tomorrow and
a little cooler Saturday, and then it's supposed to start
cooling down for the whole province. It looks like a high
might be moving in that will bring cooler temperatures
and hopefully lots of sunshine. That would be cool too.
Ted sent me some pictures of the snowmobiling yesterday.
His daughter took one of him getting some serious
air that would impress anyone, even non snowmobilers.
And I've got a better picture of our spider holes out
You'll find last week's blog at January
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!