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 - Jan., Week Two/2013
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great
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go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
know that smugness that might have been reflected in yesterdays
blog? I have said it before and I will say it again, Old
Man Winter loves to kick butt, particularly on smug people!
It started to snow first thing this morning and snowed
pretty much all day. It was very, very fine snow and would
probably have built up much more than it did except that
the temperature hovered right around freezing all day,
just slightly above, and just slightly below. As a result,
I think that the snow packed as it fell which may be why
weve only accumulated about four or so inches by
tonight, but boy, is it heavy! Its not wet, its
Tonight we were watching the news on television at supper
time when the receiver went out. That often means snow
has covered the satellite dish to such an extent that
it can no longer pick up a signal from the satellite.
I grabbed the broom to brush off the satellite dish but
decided to push a path to it with the shovel on my way
so my shoes wouldnt pack the snow onto the deck.
I set the shovel blade to the deck one handed, broom in
other and go marching across the deck pushing snow as
I went as gung ho as could be. That lasted about one second
until I pushed up one shovel full of snow that rolled
up over the top and then stopped. It felt like I
had hit a cement wall! The snow just packed as
I pushed it up and I couldnt push another inch.
Not one handed anyway. I put down the broom, proceeded
to push some more and made it about two inches. Man that
stuff was hard! It was like March or April snow rolling
up into walls of snow at the end of the shovel. You pretty
much had to bend over double, put the handle against your
belt buckle and take a run at it. Whew! I cant imagine
what the pavement looks like out on the highway but
this is the kind of snow that freezes and forms ice right
under your tires. It must be just brutal out there
right now for the highways guys trying to clear roads,
especially up higher at Heckman Pass.
Its sure pretty to look at, though and I imagine
the mountains are all covered in a white mantle again
instead of looking black and bare from our little warm
It has cleared off now and the temperature is dropping
a lot faster than it has for a couple of nights now. Last
night I dont even think it made it much below 2C
or so but tonight its already 6C or 21F. The
moon is just as big and bright as can be and every star
is shining. Its a far cry from today when most
of the day you couldnt even see the island out in
the lake because the snow was so thick.
I think that were supposed to have clear skies tonight
and then another weather system roars in tomorrow. I guess
well see if it brings in snow for us as well.
At least were not getting whacked with the cold
right now, but boy, central Canada sure is! Right from
Manitoba with its 45 degrees with a windchill to
Ottawa and Montreal where theyre facing freezing
cold temperatures to 28C or 19F plus windchill
as well. With the humidity there, thats cold!
While that might not seem that chilly to us, both Ontario
and Quebec have seen warmer than normal temperatures through
most of the winter to now. So this is a bit of a shock,
especially to Toronto, which never seems to get cold.
The Atlantic provinces are also bracing for more
cold with temperatures ranging down to 40 today.
For the most part everyone seems to be taking the cold
in stride, other than the complainers from Toronto who
think it should be perpetual summer there. Thats
what you get for being able to grow Wisteria. Bam!!
Youve all seen me point it out before but Ill
do it again. Any time that theyre cold in the east
we seem to be warm out in the west as has been the case
for the past week. That should change in the next couple
of days though because there is a cold front coming in
from the Pacific in the next day or so, although it doesnt
look like it will last long. But perhaps that will mean
a bit of a moderation for the east.
I got a joke in my email today giving the top 10 reasons
for living in Canada going province by province. I wont
reprint that part but the temperature conversion chart
underneath of it was hilarious and I will reprint it here.
I dont know who has ownership of this part of the
joke but since it was in an email making the circuit,
Im going to hope no one minds me reprinting it.
Enjoy the chuckle.
face it: Canadians are a rare breed.
Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart
Fahrenheit (10° C)
· Californians shiver uncontrollably.
· Canadians plant gardens. (Sadly,
this is actually true. If we didn't, we wouldn't have
Fahrenheit (1.6° C)
· Italian Cars won't start
· Canadians drive with the windows down.
Fahrenheit (0° C)
· American water freezes
· Canadian water gets thicker.
Fahrenheit (-17.9° C)
· New York City landlords finally turn on the
· Canadians have the last cookout of the season.
Fahrenheit (-51° C)
· Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
· Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.
Fahrenheit (-78.5° C)
· Carbon dioxide freezes makes dry ice.
· Canadians pull down their earflaps.
Fahrenheit (-114° C)
· Ethyl alcohol freezes.
· Canadians get frustrated when they can't thaw
Fahrenheit (-273.15° C)
· Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.
· Canadians start saying "cold, eh?"
Fahrenheit (-295° C)
· Hell freezes over.
· The Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup"
This Marvelous Week
finally looks like the end of a most marvelous week. The
weather has been stunning. What a nice midwinter
For this past week weve had above freezing temperatures
ranging from 1C or 34F to 8C or 46F during the day although
thats the lower and upper end. Its been averaging
more around 3 to 5 Celsius with the sun shining brightly
pretty much every day. There has been some high haze on
occasion or I think it would have been much warmer. For
example, it ranged right around 3C or 37F all day but
it was clouded over and I know it would have been much
warmer if that sun had just been able to break through.
We had that one amazing warm day when we got wood and
right around then I ran a trail with the snowmobile out
on the back trail in the hopes that it would set up. Its
been pretty cold for the past two nights so it stiffened
the track right up and is great for walking on.
Walking has been so fabulous with the warm temps
that weve gone right down to the gun range nearly
every day with the dogs. Its been so nice
I havent wanted it to end so Ive strapped
my skis on for the last two days after getting back from
walking and have done a quick run out on the lake to start
breaking trail for myself. I havent been able to
ski for the past two years because of my hip so Im
taking it easy right now until I see how it goes and I
can get my ski muscles back.
For the first time in days a wind finally came up by late
this afternoon just as I was coming back from skiing and
I was glad to get off the lake. Its been so calm
and warm for the past week that it seemed strange to have
a breeze, even a warm one. Theres a weather system
moving in that is supposed to break down this high pressure
system and nice weather weve been having so I expect
well get some snow.
I think that the most amazing thing about this weather
spell is the view from the window. About five
days ago I had taken note that there seemed to be a thin
black line on the ridge of one of our mountains only a
couple of days after that six inch snow and was surprised
to see it. But the weatherman had mentioned that there
was going to be that strong inversion I mentioned in the
last blog so I figured there had been a little bit of
melting higher up. The next day I looked out at
the same mountain and was stunned to see great streaks
of black showing up all over its face. In fact
I called Andy over to look at it. Every day since weve
watched more and more snow melt off the mountains and
the higher they are, the more black thats showing.
Its amazing! Right now the Coast Range looks more
like it does in May or the first part of June, particularly
the higher elevation mountains. Ill put a comparison
up on the Picture
of the Day.
Andy was in to the Anahim Lake airport and the girl there
said pilots had been reporting really high temps when
they came in over the mountains from Vancouver, 14C
or 57F that day alone! Its no wonder the
snow has been disappearing so fast up there
. I just
dont know where its going. You would think
water would be running like crazy down Bella Coola way
but I havent heard anything about high water or
This same inversion that gave us such warm temperatures
this past week brought thick fog and valley cloud to a
good part of the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan so
the weather has been somewhat cold and miserable for them.
Weather forecasters down in Vancouver have been predicting
a break out into sunshine for days now but it never did
happen. Theyll finally see a change now with this
new weather system stirring things up. I guess if it brings
snow for us then our mountains will be dressed back in
white again, which would be a little more normal for us.
I sure wouldnt want to be trying to snowmobile up
there right now and definitely not off trail. I think
you would hit a lot of rocks!
The other thing thats been really remarkable
this past week are the sunsets. I dont know
if it takes warmer air in winter or its just the
way the clouds have been building up in the west by evening,
but our sunsets have been spectacular! Night after night
the sky has been lit up by everything from Halloween orange
to pinks, purples and reds and everyone has been commenting
on it. It feels almost like summer out there
Im sure well get slam dunked yet
because its still pretty darn early in winter to
be congratulating ourselves on making it through another
one, but this weather has been such a welcome break in
the middle, especially after such a long few months of
cold, cloudy weather up to now. January is the longest
feeling month of all and we only have nine days to go
to the end of the month with still a couple more reasonably
warm days ahead, so were cherry. And besides, you
can already see the difference in the length of day. Its
really marked now, so of course that makes me very, very
We havent been seeing much for large game around
this winter, but thats no surprise with the lack
of snow. Everything will be staying up much higher, at
least until the wolves run everything down to lower elevations.
I saw some otter slides and tracks out on the point
on the lake today where at least one otter has
been crossing back and forth between the point and the
big island. Theres quite a large area off the point
where it looks like the ice was slushy and the otters
were making big holes in the ice while it was still soft
enough, probably this past week before the last two cold
nights. Speaking of which, it still hasnt gotten
much lower than a degree or two below freezing this evening,
so it must be cloudy out there tonight. Im hoping
we wont get much snow if it does come but Im
probably the only one that feels that way. I know
that everyone is looking for snow for sledding,
but more snow on the lake means more overflow than there
already is, which pretty much puts the kabash on skiing,
and I was really looking forward to getting out there
this year. But we will see. If that doesnt work,
Andy got me a dandy set of snowshoes for Christmas so
I can always see if I can go bottom over teacups doing
that. So far there hasnt really been enough snow
to go snowshoeing but that could change. Actually, there
is enough snow for snowshoeing, I just think I might
look a little silly doing it on just six inches of snow.:-)
He also got us both a set of walking sticks, and boy,
would I recommend them! Were still getting used
to them and theyre certainly not necessary walking
on the back trail, but were thinking we would like
to do some mountain hiking this year up in the Rainbows
and perhaps down in the Kootenays, and I know theyll
come in handy then. And if I go snowshoeing, they may
help to keep me from doing a major head over heels while
I learn that particular skill. But in the meanwhile, theyre
fun and we look like total tourists out walking the dogs.
Im sure our neighbours are laughing at us, but weve
given them more than that to laugh about in the past,
Im sure. And if they'll help us to get up and down
steep trails in the future, I don't care who laughs!
Youll find the last blog at January
Week One but for any of the older postings,
this is the start of a new year so youll have to
go to the menu to the left to find the 2012 blogs.
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!