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Wilderness Adventures - March, Week 1/2012

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.


12/03/2012 12:15 PM

Happy March

Hi Everyone. I know it's been a long stretch again but we just got back from the Okanagan at the end of this past week and our plates have been full, as usual.
I got my computer back but wanted to finish the painting I had started prior to leaving before getting back into the office. Once here, I'm usually stuck here for a while. My Brother-in-law did a miraculous job of repairing my computer. Apparently that Trojan I got hit with infiltrated most of the computer in a very short time and he spent about 15 hours clearing it out and restoring my desktop. (Yes, I had a top of the line anti-virus, firewall, etc. for those of you wondering. I do not know how it got past my computer defenses other than apparently the new viruses are more like the flu and mutate faster than the anti-virus software can update.) At least it didn't hit my data which is on a separate drive in my computer, so that wasn't affected, and that's the most important stuff. Programs I can always reload it's just that it takes about a week so I was thankful my Brother-in-law could get everything back where it was supposed to be. The machine is much slower now, and I'm not really sure why. Some of the icons and fonts seem to be different and a few other things as well, but it's running and that's all that matters right now. I expect my other half is also grateful to his brother for getting my computer back up and running. The flood of reno ideas will slow now, much to his relief I'm sure.
We have some really wild and whacky weather today. Yesterday, too, for that matter. The temperature made it up to three degrees above freezing yesterday and then all of a sudden the wind started up, there were snow devils all over the lake and the temperature dropped five degrees in less than half an hour. Then we ended up with a sideways blizzard as landmarks began to disappear until all we could see was the edge of our deck. At least that didn't last too long but it sure was ugly and happened about the time I was between painting jobs and planned on going for a walk with the dogs. That never happened because the weather never did improve before dark.
Today we've got a wicked wind out of the east again blowing snow across the lake and bending the trees in our yard right over. Looking at the radar on the Vancouver news hour at lunch time, it looks like we're getting the back side of a wrap around low pressure center going right over the top of us. The winds have been a lot worse for the Lower Mainland though, with ferry cancellations, trees down and power outages to several thousand people. I wouldn't be surprised if we lost our power only because our winds don't come out of the east that often, and even more rarely at the speeds as we're seeing.
All I can say is that our weather is considerably uglier than it has been for most of the winter but Andy figures we'll see winter for the next three months now. Actually, the weather guy on one of the channels said that March, April, and May are supposed to be colder than normal. Oh, goodie!
Ah, well, it was to be expected. We got off very lucky with our winter so we were bound to get slam dunked some time this spring.
Since we got back from the Okanagan at the end of the week, we completely forgot about the Poker Run this past weekend. I had already planned on painting the basement walls while Andy worked on baseboards when we realized it was on Saturday, but decided to stick to our original plans. One of the reasons was the temperature. It was pretty warm out and the snow sticky and my snowmobile has a tendency to overheat in those conditions so I don't like taking it out under those circumstances. What's particularly bad is if you're running in the middle or back of a pack of a lot of snowmobiles going slowly. That's when my machine really overheats. We figured too that conditions would mean lots of stucks and according to Ted Hlokoff, it did. He sent me a write up about the Poker run that I'll reprint here. Those are also his photos up on the right.
The Annual Nimpo Lake Poker Run started at 10am in front of the Public Boat Launch (beside the Ice Road). Richard and Leah Simon organized another great Sledding Poker Run this year. Inital count was 24 sleds at the start. Waiting at Hooch and Charlotte Main were 5 entrants from Anahim Lake. We drew cards for our poker hands at that location and headed down the trail to the Charlotte Alplands. Several volunteers ride throughout the group to help get people unstuck and handle any problems that may come up. I normally ride at the rear and try to keep track of stragglers, we check that no one gets left behind.
The group started off with Myles Pare being towed on his snowboard. An ice divot caused a wipeout and blown bindings within the first few miles, forcing him to become a passenger. We made a few stops and picked more Poker cards as we rode the trails. Several riders got stuck, as that is part of the fun of snowmobiling ... and we had fresh powder for this ride. Climbing into the Mountains the sun came out. Perfect setting for the hot dogs, smokies and Pringles donated for snacks around the Bonfire.
Our "prep group" (Logan, Bill, Kevin and I) had stacked the firewood in a protected area of the trees where the view of the mountain slope was spectacular. As always the view is best when there are expert riders (Darwin, Mark, Dustin and a few others) stunting, climbing and jumping in it. The kids had a blast sliding down the Mountain slope towards the bonfire as well! After a couple hours of fun, it was time to head back. The ride was nearly 40km each way.
Everyone was enjoying the ride back and Richard used a different trail coming down. Bonnie Berwin felt a little adventurous and following old, snow covered tracks (mine), she was surprised when the snow opened up into a creek right in front of her. She reacted correctly by squeezing the throttle and trying to jump the creek. Unfortunately the little Indy Lite wasn't powerful enough and didn't make the jump. Squeezing the throttle Bonnie did manage to keep the nose up, but stuck into the bank. I rode up, saw her laughing, I jumped the creek, parked, brought out my rope and went to help. With the people available it was a minor delay to pull the sled back onto the trail and continue.
We stopped in several meadows and drew cards for our Poker hands which allowed people to have fun and "goof around". Katana and Richard found a few tree wells, with Clint following, so several people got to work helping get them unstuck. This was a great family event that was fun for everyone.

Thanks again, Ted, for the photos and writeup.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's posts at February Week Three
.


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!
Large group of snowmobilers.
 
Guy holding another by his ankles in a hole in the snow.
 
Group of snowmobilers going toward Goat Pass.
 
Woman in the creek with snowmobile.
 
Several people around the creek hole where Bonnie went in.
 
Out of the creek with the machine covered in snow.
 
Two snowmobilers watch as the girls sled down the hill.
 
Snowmobiler jumping a cornice.
 
Jumping with a snow machine on the poker run.
 
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