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 Two/2014
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.
Happy Valentine's Day!
have been pretty lucky so far with regards to snow. Maybe
it was because we were so prepared for it. We did get
two inches on the ground one morning of the light fluffy
stuff, but the big snow fall called for by weather
forecasters has yet to materialize. It looks like
so far, the huge storms coming in off the Pacific are
either splitting around us or sliding down to the south
into Washington State and Oregon. Not that Vancouver hasnt
gotten some rain and the Island got a good bit of snow
at higher elevations. Mt. Washington ski hill was opened
up again after a big dump of fresh snow after being shut
down in January for lack of.
One system after another is still coming in and
the next one expected to get us is on Saturday night
and looks to be a mix of freezing rain and snow. Well
see what happens when it gets here. Its not like
we can change anything. :-)
It's shocking to see the mountains baring up again. It
was pretty apparent when we got up the morning after our
little snow that it had been raining up in the mountains
at higher elevations. Our close in mountains had a fresh
white mantle but the bigger mountains were black.
The temperatures have been marvelous since the warm
up. Nearly every day it has been well above freezing,
although we were in Williams Lake on Wednesday so not
sure how it was here but judging from how warm the house
was when we got home, we got lots of sunshine. It was
a beautiful, calm, blue morning when we left and not that
cold, so we may have missed a pretty nice day. It wasnt
that bad in town other than it was overcast by afternoon
but at least we werent getting in and out of the
truck in sub zero temperatures. We were running around
town without jackets so it was pretty mild.
It got up to 4.7C or 40F today in the shade
but the sun was shining so it might have been much, much
warmer had the wind not been blowing. Its been howling
for most of the week and it looks like its not stopping
anytime soon. Were it not for that, it would be hard to
keep me here at my desk. As it is, I kind of have to plan
my walk based on the wind and keep to the woods where
I can and my back to it the rest of the time. Skiing
out on the lake is out of the question. Not only
is the snow drifting pretty badly out there but you would
be blown over in the wind. Its a good thing we only
got two inches of snow but its still amazing how
much that amount of snow can move around. I swear, nearly
all of it has ended up on the ice road. Andy has had to
re-plow it once already and Im sure it needs it
Its so nice to see folks out and about now.
The weather warming up and a little bit of snow has made
a huge difference. The odd snowmobile goes wheeling
by and lots of people are out walking now. Someone was
out ice fishing across the lake from us and this weekend
is the ice cutting party down at Wilderness Rim where
theyll be bringing in their summer supply of ice
for their ice house.
We had a gorgeous clear full moon last night coming up
over the horizon. It hit some haze about the time I tried
to take a photo, which as you can see, did not turn out
well. I just cant hold the camera still enough for
that long and since we were in the middle of supper, I
didnt really want to bring the tripod out. It
always surprises me when we get warm weather on a full
moon, although it has been getting pretty chilly at night.
I have three website orders on the board with a tight
time limit on the one Im working on right now so
Ill keep this short. Happy Valentines Day,
Here Comes The Snow .... Maybe
the past three days since the last post, we have been
warming up ever so slowly. Only be a degree or two in
the mornings and the same in the afternoons until yesterday
when we hit 8C or 18F when I came back from walking
the dogs down to the gun range. As usual, it was sunny
and pleasant out except for some arctic outflow winds
from out of the east that chilled things down considerably.
About the time I got back a high haze started to move
in and the temperature continued to climb as the sun became
I dont think it ever got below 16C or 3F last
night, quite a drastic change from our normal night time
temperatures in the past week! We kept waiting for
the massive snowfall predicted by the weathermen when
this warmer and wetter air mass started pushing in from
the Pacific, but it hasnt materialized so far.
This morning a bright sky turned to heavy grey clouds
that obscured the mountains and the sun while this ominous
wall moved toward us across the lake. Here it comes!
We thought. There was a bit of a driving blizzard for
a few minutes and Andy counted 18 snowflakes on the ground,
but then it cleared out, the sun was shining and blue
sky opened up. It kind of did that off and on several
times today but just never amounted to more than a skiff
of snow that quickly melted anywhere the sun could reach
The thermometer made it up to a tenth of a degree
below zero before it started to drop back down today.
It just couldnt quite crack that freezing mark.
Im sure it will tomorrow. I think the weather forecasters
were all a bit embarrassed today trying to explain why
the big snows didnt come to all the areas they predicted
but its pretty tough to predict this kind of system.
Its big, warm and wet so if it hits big, cold and
dry, its probably going to cause some major precipitation
but who knows when or where? It looks like it did hit
some of the mountain passes throughout BC as well as many
ski hills Because they were talking about the increased
avalanche risk at higher elevations.
Forecasters are still calling for snow when the
next low comes in from the Pacific tomorrow night and
were under a snowfall warning right now,
but we might end up just being on the edge of it too.
Or we might get a huge dump of the white stuff. Who knows
until we get it?
Andy got both snow machines moved out of the way so that
he can use the Bobcat to plow without obstruction in the
yard if a lot of snow does hit. He also took the Bobcat
over to the other side of the lake at the public boat
launch. He was putting in an ice road with the plow
truck a couple of days ago when he realized that there
was a real problem over there. The New Years
Ice Party was held right at the boat launch this year
and organizers had put up a bunch of tall ice blocks around
the perimeter of the party area. Those had proceeded to
melt down into stubbier blocks just short enough that
if they were covered by snow, would not be seen by snowmobilers.
If they hit any one of them hard, the damage to machines
and riders would be hideous, so Andy took the Bobcat to
that side of the lake, knocked over the ones he thought
might be a danger, and pushed them up against the bank.
Normally where we have had snow banks in the past around
the party area, weve left the Christmas trees
up in place so riders could see where the snow banks
is, but weve also never had it so close to the boat
launch. Now people can drive down onto the ice road with
their vehicles without any ice pillars being in the way
and snowmobile riders dont have to worry about hitting
them. It also gives us a place to turn the plow truck
around at that end before making another pass on the ice
road coming back.
The new ice road is a little rough because
so many of us ran over the ice with snow machines when
there was a lot of overflow on the lake. Once the slushy
track freezes it forms ruts and there isnt much
you can do to take those out. You just have to drive over
them. It was hard for Andy to plow over the frozen ruts
though and the plow made a godawful racket going over
them. Now we just have to see how much snow we get and
if its going to cause more overflow on the lake.
You can certainly tell the day time temperatures
were more pleasant at the end of the week than they had
been earlier because people started moving about more.
We had a plane land on the lake while Andy was plowing
and the guys left it on the ice and walked up to Nimpo.
Pilots often do that if theyre going up for a bite
to eat just for an excuse to get out and flying on a gorgeous
winter day. Friends of ours were ice fishing down on the
Short Arm toward the outlet of the Dean at the same time,
and as usual, the kids have come down to Oscars
skating rink nearly every day but one or two. I even saw
a snowmobile go down the lake this morning, the first
in a while. Not many snowmobiles out and about what with
the lack of deep snow right now, but that might change
if we get this big snowfall.
If its warm tomorrow I wouldnt mind
trying to get out on the lake skiing before we get too
much snow, and re-break my ski trail. But it depends
on whether theres a wind or not. There was certainly
a nasty wind for a good part of the day, today and while
its bringing in warmer temperatures, its still
no fun to ski into the teeth of it.
This will be the first time the dogs wont be spending
part of the day and all night in the garage as they have
been for over a week and I expect every single critter
out there will be relieved this cold snap has finally
broken. I expect to see lots of fresh tracks tomorrow
in the back woods when things start moving around if I
walk instead of ski.
No matter what we get for weather now we cant
possibly complain. All you have to do is look at the flooding
in England to feel better about what we have.
The worst flooding in 250 years! Boy, that's something!
Lots of other places in Europe including coastal France
have been seeing drastic weather as well as Japan, and
China. Then there are the fires in Australia. Those poor
folks just cant cut a break. And then theres
California where theyve gone from midwinter forest
fires and drought to heavy rains and terrible flooding.
I think well just sit here and count our blessings.
A little snow never hurt anyone
as long as its
just a little.
Last week's blog is at February
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!