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Wilderness Adventures - Jan., Week Two/2012

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 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.


11/01/2012 5:15 PM

Already the second Week!

At least this winter seems to be going by fairly fast, so far.
I have to apologize yet again for not posting in nearly a week. I screwed up my back and so can't sit for any period of time which means my computer work is backing up and a blog has been out of the queston. On the good side, we've been going for long walks which I think has been helping, although staying out of the computer chair probably helps the most. In any case, this might get written over a period of hours or days, or I'll just keep it short. I'm not sure so I guess we'll see.
Up until a couple of days ago, our weather was great. It was warm and often didn't even drop below freezing at night. During that time, we got a little rain and unfortunately, it turned everything to ice. You're taking your life in your hands even walking in your own driveway, or anyone else's for that matter. It is nasty with a capital N out there. Wind, sun, the rain and warm air slicked up everything so that the main road and even my back trails are really slippery and you could skate anywhere on the lake. Even the ice road is too slippery for my taste now. The temperature dropped to within spitting distance of -20C the other night although I think it only went to -13C or 8.6F last night and hasn't gotten very warm during the day. As a result, there is no give to the ice anywhere which is what makes it so slippery. It's as hard and glassy as could be. We're under a bit of an arctic high right now but I'm hoping we'll get a little snow by the end of the week that will stick to the ice and give us some traction again.
You still see the odd person using the ice on Nimpo Lake to get around up to the Post Office and store or to a favorite ice fishing hole, but getting there by snowmobile is out of the question now. Well, maybe not if you have a fan cooled machine but most of the sleds around here are mountain machines with high paddles that prevent the sliders from being kept cool except in deeper snow. Even the track on a fan cooled would have problems gaining traction on the ice so most people are using their ATV's or vehicles. For a change we don't have overflow on the lake so you can drive anywhere. One thing we haven't seen a lot of in the past week is people walking out on the ice. That is well nigh impossible even wearing chains on your boots. And there's definitely no one skiing, which is really too bad because it would be a good year for it. But we're going to need snow before we can do that.
We've had a fellow in a small plane on skis land a few times on the lake ice in the past couple of days. Boy, what a clatter that is when those skis whip over the ice! I have no idea how the pilot gets stopped but it takes him a while and it doesn't look like he necessarily has a whole lot of control over where the plane goes when he does land. I just hope he's keeping it tied up securely over at the place he's staying across the bay because we've had some high winds this winter. The lake is so icy that a wind would push his plane all over the place. Hey, Mabel! Where did we park the plane?
We've had a full moon so the lake continues to thump and growl through the day and night. It's particularly loud now because there's no snow on the lake, the sun shines on the ice during the day, and then it cools quickly in the evening. And as I mentioned before, I'm certain the moon must have a large effect on it. It's pretty cool to hear but too cold at night to be standing outside for long to listen to it. I wonder what the fish think of all that noise.....?
Interestingly, we're not seeing as many rabbit tracks on the back trail now as we did earlier in the season. I'm not sure if it's because the snow is so hard that the tracks aren't showing up, or if most of them have been eaten. There's been a very large dog or smaller wolf cruising the back trail constantly as well as the odd fox. We also saw a set of lynx tracks last week and it might not have taken him long to clear out the rabbit population and move on. It was certainly a bumper year for the jumpers. I haven't seen as many tracks as we did earlier this winter in some years, but the numbers are definitely down now, presumably because of predators. I haven't seen any grouse on the back trail for some time this winter either and I'm not sure why. We've certainly seen them in years before so either they're staying awfully still and quiet when we go by, or their numbers are down as well. It could be that if the four legged predators are cruising that back trail constantly, everything is simply laying low.
I think that our melt last week may have taken that pressure ridge down a little that I mentioned last week, but I can still see some of it sticking up. I didn't have the room in last week's blog to post the photos of it sent to me by Ted Hlokoff but I'll include them up on the right this week. Some time we've got to get out there to take a look at it but it won't be until we can get some traction on the ice from a snowfall.
Oh, and check out the Inukshuk on
Picture of the Day. Sent to me by Melodie Gano, it's the same as the one on the right, but you won't be able to see the detail on the small photo or that someone is frozen in it. Thanks, Melodie!
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's posts at January Week One..


Anahim 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!


Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Small plane landing on lake ice.
 
A high pressure ridge of ice forced up in folds.
 
Remarkable barrier of ice.
 
Person in ice Inukshuk.
 
Car on Nimpo Lake ice.
 
Bronze colored vehicle on the ice road.
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