Anahim/Nimpo Lake BC Header Photo
Waterfront header banner
Woman in a canoe photo.
Index
 Welcome to Anahim Lake & Nimpo Lake, British Columbia
  Accommodations
  Home
  Attractions
  Business Directory
  Fuel
  Regions 
  Other 

Back to Daily Blog
Archives
January 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
Week4
February 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
March 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
April 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
May 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
June 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
Week4
July 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
August 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
Week4
September 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
Week4
October 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
Week4
November 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
Week4
December 2008
Week1
Week2
Week3
Week4
2007 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2007
2006 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2006
2005 Articles Starting With Last Week of December 2005





[Valid RSS]



Wilderness Adventures - Feb., Week 3/2008

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 stories like 'Lake Monsters' - 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.


22/02/2008 8:11 PM

Making Movies In The Chilcotin

Happy Friday Folks! Floyd Vaughan sent a great article about making movies in the Chilcotin that I'll post for the weekend. You wouldn't really think of the Chilcotin as a place cosmpolitan enough for the Hollywood moguls to want to make movies, but then perhaps that's precisely its appeal. You want true wilderness for your movie? We've got it! However, I should think that eventually the Hollywood types would realize that making a movie in the real wilderness could get cost prohibitive because there are so few roads. That means flying everything in, and that can get expensive.
Here's Floyd's story. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

" - MAKING MOVIES IN THE CHILCOTIN
Over the years I was involved in the making of four movies, although two were short CBC documentaries and one a 30 second advertisement for Canada Dry.
The first was a documentary about guiding, and starred Lester Dorsey as the main person to show the dudes how it was done. After I flew all the equipment and camp in we were all in shock as to how much gear it took for the crew to camp in the bush for a couple of days. Lester already had his camp set up, and was peeling spuds in a pan of water for supper. When the three CBC guys seen Lester's camp, and the potatoes which were blacker after they were peeled than they were with the skins on it reminded me of the stampede that happens when the bartender calls TIME in an Irish pub. Anyway I don't think they ate anything that Lester cooked, but just ate some of the canned stuff that they had brought. I don't think they ever got over the culture shock, but in the end they got all their pictures, and seemed satisfied.
When the camera was running Lester would put on a good show for them, and gave them an education in the process. Most of the time they would tell Lester he couldn't use those words on camera, and have him do it over. Usually it would come out worse the next time, but they seemed to have lots of patience, and after a couple of days they said they had enough footage so we packed everything up and I flew them back out to Nimpo. On the way back they were doing a lot of whispering to each other. I know Lester kind of liked doing this although he let on that he didn't.

The next time I was involved in something like this I was called into Williams Lake to transport two people around to find a place to make a movie for the Walt Disney Company. They wanted wilderness settings with snow capped mountains, and lakes for the background of their production which was to be called The Bears and I.
After I flew them around in Tweedsmuir Park they decided that Chilko Lake at the end of Neamiah Valley was the best place because of the mountains and blue lake for a background. I tried to explain to them that Chilko Lake was much too rough for float plane operations most of the time. The area seemed perfect for them as there was a road to transport all the tons of equipment and caged animals plus the camp for up to 80 people. Of the two people from Hollywood that came to scout this out one was a woman from Ireland. I think Disney sent her to appeal to the English side of our government, but they couldn't have made a worse choice, because she hated the English with a passion. At the time I didn't know about the hate between the Irish and the English until we were in Williams Lake one night when at the Legion they played 'God Save The Queen'. The occasion was to thank them for spending all that money making the movie. When she didn't stand up for 'God Save The Queen' her companion told her she was supposed to stand, and she said in a loud clear voice that almost everyone heard (AND SURE SHE'S NOT MY FOOGIN QUEEN!).
Anyway they moved all these vans to Chilko Lake and started shooting the movie. They built a dock down on the lake that the wind broke up about every other day, so we kept the airplane on a lake just east of where they were shooting. They built a small town, and about ten acres of pens for the animals they were using in the movie.
One time when they were shooting a crew putting out a forest fire, which was pipe and propane, one of the fire trucks rolled down the hill after everyone jumped out to fight the fire. It rolled down through the fire, and into the pens holding the animals, letting most of them escape.
There were bears, coyotes, deer, badgers, skunks, bobcats, and a cougar all running loose in Neamiah Valley. They called some of the Indians to round them up with horses, but when the cowboys showed up with rifles the animal trainers threw a fit. I'll tell you it was some funny listening to the trainers try to talk the Indians into catching them without their rifles.
Later that winter I took a crew back in to film the winter shots. They had these stuffed bears that were to ride this runaway sled down the mountain while the hero chased them. The stuffed bears were on springs so they looked kind of real except that about every ten or twenty feet the sled would tip over or run into a tree.
While we were there the pineapple express hit, (
extremely warm, above freezing temperatures.) and my airplane was sinking into Konnie Lake so I told them we had to get out of there. I had fixed penetration skis that were almost useless in snow or anything else. With three inches of water that was on the ice I couldn't get off, so after about three tries I took the skies off and got off on wheels in a shower of water.
The whole movie looked so phony to me that I thought it would never make it. I saw the movie about two years later and couldn't believe how real the shots looked that I thought were the worst.
The next time I was involved with these kind of people was the C.B.C. again filming Tweedsmuir Park. They wanted to show people canoeing, and fishing so they talked Don and Phyllis Irwin into doing the acting. I did the flying this time with the helicopter so we could get some shots up in the glaciers. Anyway they wanted bigger fish than they could catch in the Turner Lake chain so they caught some Nimpo Lake fish, and I hauled them to Turner Lake. We put them on Don and Phyllis's line and they landed them after quite a fight.
John Edwards had built some cabins at the west end of Turner Lake, and they wanted to interview him on how to build cabins in the wilderness. When they had their cameras set up John was doing his best educational instruction, and stuck the end of the tape in a log then ran it up to where he wanted it marked to cut it off, then swung the axe and cut the tape causing it to make a zinging sound and fly all over the place. When the tape was cut it rewound into the case and John looked at the camera, and said, "Can I do that again?" After I saw the picture a year or so later they had left that part out.
They wanted to get a picture of the helicopter hovering down the face of Hunlen Falls so talked me into doing it. Another hard lesson I lern't because as I hovered down the falls every thing went well until near the bottom, and as the spray was fogging up the windscreen the turbulence got so bad I almost lost control of the helicopter. Anyway we finished up the shooting, and I guess it all turned out OK because I saw the documentary later and it looked good.
A few years later I was contacted to do some flying for Canada Dry for an advertisement they were doing to be used only in Europe. Again they wanted to use Chilko Lake as a background because of the scenery, and blue water. I took the Beaver to Chilko, and found an old abandoned cabin about half way up the lake which they thought would be perfect. They had to put a new roof on the cabin, and do a lot of clean up so I got Waco Aviation to help haul some of the equipment. Even with two Beavers there it took us four trips each to get all the equipment in.
The next day it took all day to shoot the 30 second ad so when we were starting to fly everything back out the wind had come up. Chilko Lake is not a good float plane lake if there is any wind, but we were kind of behind a point, so we were protected somewhat from the rough water. On the takeoff run with these big loads we couldn't quite get off before rounding the point and getting in the rough water. On the third trip Waco's pilot decided to takeoff down wind so he would be going with the waves. I don't know who told him that this would work, but this a NO NO , and should never be attempted. I watched his takeoff run in disbelief as it seemed like he went forever and at times you couldn't see the airplane because of the water spray. When he did get off one of his floats was torn off, and hanging below the airplane flopping around in the wind. I took off and got him on the radio so we could try and decide where to attempt to land the airplane. He only had one passenger and the rest of the load was freight so I suggested that he land at the east end of Tsunya Lake because it was only about three feet deep with a mud bottom so the airplane couldn't sink very far. He was having trouble controlling the airplane so he decided to land at the lodge at the north end of Chilko. The bay there was only about ten feet deep, and he would have help getting to shore after sinking. The landing went well only ripping one wing off, and sinking up to the wind screen of the Beaver. Everyone got out OK and made it to shore how be it a bit wet. I flew the rest of the equipment out, and that night this pilot was bragging how he had brought the aircraft in and saved himself and his passenger. I thought he was a complete idiot for screwing up in the first place. " -
Thanks Floyd! That ought to keep foks busy reading for a day or two. Have a good weekend everyone!
21/02/2008 11:09 AM

Catching Up

I know it's been a long, dry spell folks, and I thank you for your patience. Sadly, the remainder of February and possibly the first part of March will probably be much the same until I get this job done.
I finally did manage to get out snowmachining on Monday for the first time since before Christmas, I think.
Yep. Didn't even turn on the computer that morning. Just walked away from it and suited up for a ride on a beautiful day, and I'm still paying for it with some very sore muscles.
It was a gorgeous day with snow conditions by noon that was soft on top and once you broke through the crust, bottomless sugar. You guessed it.... that meant being stuck a lot! In fact I don't think I've been stuck that much in one day in years, partly because I was just plain exhausted and made dumb mistakes, but most of us took turns getting stuck. We also had some people fairly new to riding with us and they were on machines that didn't have adequate tracks for mountain snow, nor were they experienced enough for the trails we took them over. That wasn't their fault. That was the fault of who ever happened to be leading the pack at the time and didn't stop and think about conditions. As a result, we were all pretty tired by the end of the day. We only put on about 70 miles but slogging through deep snow to help get people unstuck, pulling on skis or pushing on the back all day wipes you out pretty good. I'll bet everyone slept well that night!
It was really warm up there and that was actually another problem. I usually put on several layers because I don't like being cold, and I always figure in the case of an emergency, more clothes are better. But it doesn't work very well when the air temperature is +7C or 45F degrees at the top of the mountain and you're dressed for -15C or 5F. Throw in some serious exertion from so many stucks, and you end up overheating pretty badly, which can be exhausting in itself. We did have a lot of fun though. We got to the top of Trumpeter and it was just one of those fantastic spring days that you don't often get up there. It was clear, there was no wind or blowing snow or fog as there often is that obscures the view, and it was really warm. I could have lounged up there all day and just studied the mountains, an opportunity the weather rarely offers. But, everyone wanted to continue on, so away we went. Before we left we heard the sound of an aircraft and although most weren't sure where the sound was coming from, Andy and I knew to look below us. Suddenly, Terry B's Supercub popped up from just below the crest of Trumpeter Mountain and roared over us. He made a few passes but didn't land this time because he'd studied the hard packed, drifted snow enough to know it wasn't worth damaging his plane. He gave me lots of opportunities for some great pictures though and I only wished I'd had my big camera instead of the little one.
Even with over ten days of warm weather there's still loads of snow up on the mountains, so sledding will be good for a while yet, provided you can get there. We're starting to get a lot of overflow on Nimpo Lake now from the warm weather, and in one spot in front of our dock the ice deteriorated completely about a week ago. It took a couple of cold nights before about three inches of ice formed over the open water again.
The caribou have come back onto Nimpo again in the last few days, and quite a few people have been seeing them. Andy drove down a couple of days ago and got some pictures for a web site I'm building while Terry B said he snowmobiled past them yesterday to within 100 yards. Remarkably, we're not seeing a lot of animals around this year compared to last year, but we are seeing lots of tracks higher up, so the snow hasn't driven them down here yet. Mind you, we don't have nearly the snow cover we did last year. And it won't be a real worry predator wise unless it gets cold again and forms a hard crust on top of the snow. That's really bad for the big game because then the wolves and coyotes can run on top, while the hoofed animals punch through into deep snow, which slows them down.
The Children's 139 Fund Raiser on Saturday night did fairly well as I understand it. The tally isn't in yet until all the bills are paid but Katherine, the fund raiser organizer, thinks we may have netted about $10,000 from the night. Not as good as years past when the mill was running full out and we had a lot more people here, but still not bad for our tiny population.
Thanks to everyone that donated items to the fund raiser as well as those that bought them. Thanks also to everyone that bought, prepared, and brought the food for the dinner, and to everyone who volunteered their time to put the event on. Special thanks goes out to Katherine, who took over the reins from Claudette this year, and did a remarkable job of nearly single handedly putting the event together. She did great! Claudette has done the organizing for years and one year, at $19,000, our fund raiser beat out everywhere in British Columbia on a per capita basis. She's been forced to move to town for work and so is retiring her position as organizer, even though she was out this past weekend and she looked pretty involved to me! So thanks, Claudette, for all the years past, and thanks Katherine, for all the years in the future!
I would also like to give a nod to our local RCMP Members, many of who attended the event in civvies and out of uniform, at least until they had to go home and change for work after dinner. We all really appreciate their effort and participation in a community event as community members. It all just helps to make the world go round.
Hey, did anyone see that eclipse last night? A complete lunar eclipse starting at 10:00 pm Eastern or in our case, 7:00 pm. We had a crystal clear night so it was really something to see. The shadow was hazy and almost smoky blood red going in, but there was a crisp and definite line coming out. It took about three hours overall and apparently, we won't see another in the Northern Hemisphere until 2010. We've been very fortunate with our night skies this February, because we also got to watch the Shuttle go over on its way up a couple weeks ago and if we're lucky, we'll get to see some of the debris burn up at night from that satellite they shot down today.
Okay, I think that's pretty much it for an update. Our weather is still really pretty with warm temperatures and sunshine during the day and cold at night. Although it looks like there's some high haze and some dirty cloud moving over the mountains so we may have a change in weather coming.
I've got a great article from Floyd about some of the Chilcotin movie making projects he's been involved in over past years but since it's long, I'll save it for tomorrow.
This is the start of a new week so if you would like to read stories about the 'old' days or the Tatla Lake Poker Run, you'll find them at February Week 2 .


Site search Web search
 
powered by FreeFind


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!
Two caribou running.
 
Fire blackened trees on either side of a group of snowmobile riders.
 
A plane on skis with Coast Mountain Range behind him.
 
A plane on skis flies over three snowmobiles parked on a mountain.
 
Snowmachine rider poses in front of the jagged peaks of the Coast Mountain Range.
 
A group of snowmachine riders stand looking at the mountains.
 
Two people pose next to a rock Inukshuk.
 
This web site designed by Vector North Web Design