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 - West Chilcotin Blog
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The Unbelievable February!
has been quite a contrast from the three months before
it, although the last half of January was quite warm and
we had some sun. But I have never seen a month like this
February before anywhere that I have ever lived. After
warming up in January it just never cooled down so that
for about six weeks, all it has done is melt every day.
We did have the odd couple of days here and there where
it spit rain, and we got a little skiff of snow for two
days in a row here at the end of the month, but otherwise,
this month felt like April normally does.
We saw lots of sunshine and the temperature often didnt
even dip below freezing at night for weeks on end. Of
the many feet of snow we had on the ground going into
February, there is only about a foot and a half left in
the woods. Out in the open there is only about
a foot and in our yard where its exposed to sun
all day, probably half that again and in many places the
lawn is showing. In fact, I was really concerned that
there wouldnt be enough snow left for a friend that
is coming up in March but the weather has cooled down
in the past few days, the nights are much colder, and
the melt has pretty much stopped. That recent fresh snow
slowed things down quite a bit too.
Fresh snow also meant more people have been out
snowmobiling this weekend because theres enough
to lubricate the tracks of the machines now. Such
a hard crust has formed on the snow that if you were on
a trail instead of off in the woods, you risked overheating.
I can finally try cross country skiing again. I had the
trails, but they melted out and then froze, and without
fresh snow in the past many weeks, it was just too icy
to use them. The snow on the lake melted down to just
a thin crust on the ice which was great for walking on,
but neighbours tried going out on it a few weeks ago and
said it was just too icy for skiing on.
Lots of folks have been able to ice fish on the
lake a lot more comfortably without standing knee deep
in water like they were in January. With all the
snow melted off the ice, its popped up instead of
sinking under the weight of the snow and any overflow
that was on it has long since frozen. Kids from the school
were roasting goodies over a fire off our point on Friday
and a few people have been skating on the ice rink. Its
a little late for ice fishing now I think. People are
still out there doing it but I should think theyre
a lot more likely to catch spawners this late in the season.
Our ice road is still holding up although if it hadnt
cooled down at night this past week I think we would have
drilled it to see how it was doing. Were still driving
on it with diesel pickups, one of which is a one ton,
but most people have been parking up on the boat ramp
rather than drive on it. I expect theres still at
least two to three feet of ice on the road itself but
we should check here in a couple of weeks or so.
Its been a cool month for lake sounds. The
thin layer of insulating snow on the lake ice, and the
variation between warm sunshine and colder night temperatures
means the lake has been just booming. For a couple
of weeks now, particularly with the new moon this past
week, the lake ice has been rumbling, thumping, and muttering
all through the night and first thing in the morning.
Ive said it before and really dont have a
better description. It sounds just like far off mortar
fire and often if you walk out on the ice after a noisy
night, youll see loads of cracks crisscrossing the
Weve also had some marvelous sunsets this past month,
and I mean vivid! Sunny, clear days often have led to
a little haze moving in from the west about the time the
sun is going to go down so weve had some great color.
I understand there have also been northern lights but
though I check quite often out the north side of the house
before going to bed, I havent seen any yet this
The deep snow drove a lot of game down out of the
hills so there have been a lot of moose and deer around,
particularly cow moose with calves. Unfortunately,
its been a slaughter because our so called keepers
of the land like to hunt cow moose this time of
year when they can most easily run them down with snow
machines and with the moose this close in, they dont
have to look very hard to find them. One woman I
spoke to said its been horrible around Anahim Lake,
but even here theyve been shot. Ive
been following the tracks of one big cow that must have
been really heavy with calf, and her full grown calf,
all winter. One day as Andy and I were walking back on
the trail following her tracks, we heard two shots up
on the other side of the highway and I said the, Well,
there goes our cow. And sure enough, I haven't seen
any sign of her particular tracks since. A friend of ours
was also out walking one day when she came across really
fresh tracks up across the highway. Minutes after
she came across them she heard a snowmobile and then shots.
Then the snowmobile start up, go a little distance, and
then back down toward the reserve, probably to get help
to pull the moose out. It just made her sick.
There goes another cow dead, probably carrying a calf
and so the potential of 40 to 60 animals in the next 10
years gone. Yep, gotta protect those 'traditional hunting
rights'. I wouldnt have any problem at all with
someone hunting traditionally if they were doing it on
snowshoes, and not with the white mans rifle, white
mans snowmachines, and white mans ATVs.
Theres nothing traditional at all about taking advantage
of our inventions to go out and slaughter game stocks
that are already teetering on the edge of being wiped
out. And yet our so called keepers of the land
scream bloody murder when white people enter a hunting
draw for this side of the highway where only six tags
are made available in the fall during hunting season for
bull moose, using a paid for hunting license and tag,
money that goes back into our fish and wildlife protection
branch. Soon we wont have any game left here and
the Indians wont have anyone to blame but themselves.
Not that they will ever take the blame. It will always
be someone elses fault.
It amazes me how screwed up our world is and how tilted
our system has become.
Well, our wonderful spring like weather has finally
come to an end. Friday and yesterday it was still
sunny but there was a bit of a cold winter breeze, something
we havent had in some time. Friday night the temperature
dropped to 20C or 4F, again, temperatures
we havent seen for six weeks. Today, it started
out overcast and though its made it to just above
freezing, its been peppering a light snow down all
afternoon, even though I didnt even think weather
forecasters were calling for snow. It will be nice for
The long range for the next couple of weeks in March is
calling for much cooler weather for the west, which probably
means a bit of a warm up for the east. That will
be a huge relief for eastern Canada and the US.
They have been experiencing a brutal winter and selfish
as it may sound, I am ever so glad its them, and
not me. At least were late enough now in the season
and the days longer, that it can turn ugly for the next
two months, but were probably not going to get long,
long cold spells or more than another couple of feet of
snow. On the other hand, we know what happens when I say
stuff like that. It invariably tempts Mother Nature to
dump on us!
Oh, and one last note. I had a fellow contact me last
fall and I promised him I would put this information into
a blog for him and I kept forgetting. Here is his email:
"I worked at Rimarko Ranch the summer or '68.
If anyone worked there at the time, or knows of anyone
who did, I would be exceedingly grateful to make contact.
I'm particularly interested in tracking down the Dorian
family (Doug, Carol and Cliff) and a girl who worked there
called "Jude". Unfortunately I can't recall
her last name, but she was from Vancouver Island and must
be around 64 years old. Gratefully Billy "Whiskers"
If you would like to contact him, you can reach him at
last blog is at January
Don't forget that you can find regular updates on the
Facebook page at Facebook/TheChilcotin.
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!