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Wilderness Adventures - May, 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.


07/05/2012 9:30 PM

Moving Ice

We've been able to watch a real spectacle today with Nimpo Lake ice on the move. By last night the two little ice free ponds in the reeds I spoke about four days ago had opened up into a fairly large ice free body of water. There was a wide stretch open between the big island and the little island, some open water along all the south facing shores in the Short Arm, our back bay was about a halfway open and you could start to see open water down toward the Dean River. The ice was going out slowly and normally. Although yesterday while I was out in the garden I noticed some of the bushes along the shore line on our point shaking violently like there was a whole herd of little animals beating up their trunks. I took a closer peek and called Andy to come and see what was happening. The breeze was moving the ice around our point and because the water is up into the trees from high water, the ice was folding up onto shore and in amongst the bases of the bushes, hence the shaking. We watched the ice for a little while and at first it was moving through fairly fast, and then suddenly it just stopped moving.
It went on all day like that along two of our three shore lines, folding up ice on the shore, and then water opening up again just a few moments later. It was pretty fine ice and breaking easily so it wasn't causing any harm, particularly to two pieces of one dock that we still have in the water on the south side, which was our only worry.
Today was a whole different ball of wax.
We had really warm temperatures overnight and this morning a very brisk wind started up that by this afternoon had turned into a bit of a howler. That started all the ice in the Short Arm moving. For anyone that's been up here, that's a whole lot of ice!
There were a few times that we would look out at our point where you could see the ice sliding past as one huge pan at about the same speed as a fast walker. Then it would stop. It was as though it would get jammed up somewhere and couldn't go any farther until some melted, or something. The wind shifted a bit this afternoon and not only was it going past the point at a good rate, but it was moving in the back bay as well, with the leading edge piling up all along the opposite shore where the resorts are.
I got back home from up in Nimpo around 4:30 in the afternoon and the ice was still moving in the bay but of course the Main Arm was still locked in ice so we were confident that only so much ice would pile up on the shores and could only do so much damage. By 6:30 we watched the ice from the Main Arm move into our bay. Out by the small island a huge sweeper, a long dead spruce furry with branches that had been attached to the far headland, started moving our way while trapped in ice. We watched it closely, hoping it wouldn't land on our shore because those things are a real job to clean up. We went for a walk after supper and by the time we returned, all the lake ice had jammed up in the bay behind us and off our point with the sweeper perched in among it.
Tuesday, May 08.
I didn't get this blog finished last night so I'll pick up where I left off.
This morning when I got up the sweeper and ice was exactly where it was last night and the ice had not moved. We had some ice jammed up in front of our shore as well last night and expected that it would be a while before it moved out because the wind had switched and was out of the north, and the temperatures were much cooler than they have been.
I had work to do in my office this morning so it was probably 11:00 this morning when I came out and said, “Where did the ice go?!!!” The ice that had been against our shore had moved out into the bay and there was very little of it left. There was no ice off our point, and the sweeper was no where to be found. The only ice left was a considerable amount jammed up on the opposite shore where the resorts are. Hopefully none of their docks were damaged.
We saw that there was no ice left on the Main Arm when we went for our walk last night, and only a small amount pushed into the many small bays along the length of the lake. By this afternoon when I got home from Anahim Lake, all the ice was gone except for a small line of it still on the opposite shore. I stopped down at the North end of the lake where I guess a considerable amount of ice had pushed down into the bay there, but there was nothing left by this afternoon. I have no idea where the ice went to, but like magic, it was just gone. So now we're back to our blue water vista for the next six months. Hallelujah!
Of course that doesn't mean that summer is here. It was snowing when I left for Anahim Lake at around lunch time and there was a bitter cold wind blowing. But it warmed up to 10C or 50F this afternoon and the sun was shining off and on, so the day didn't turn out badly. The whole province is supposed to see a cool down over the next two days and then it's supposed to really warm up for a few days, which has the southern parts of BC worried about flooding. There's a massive amount of snow in the mountains so many rivers in the province are going to be running high if we have a long warm spell. Of course that's what we all said last year and we ended up with one of the coldest springs on record.
Chris Czajkowski sent me the link to her blog indicating her recent experiences with the road into her place. If you want to see mud and truly stuck vehicles, you've got to see this! Go enjoy at www.wildernessdweller.ca.
As I mentioned earlier, I drove down to the North end of Nimpo Lake where highways finally got the road open for the folks down there. I know the guys are doing their best and passable is better than impassable, but it's still a horrendous mess to drive over. It still needs some drying weather, that's for sure!
Our road is better because they had the loader on it today trying to smooth it out, but it too is no great shakes to drive on and the mud holes haven't exactly picked up and gone elsewhere. Andy tried to do some road improvement work on the mud hole closest to us and he's done a much better job putting in gravel and smoothing with his finishing blade than the guys on the loader can do, but we're still staying off of it. There's still one spot that undulates under your feet so we would just rut it up if we tried to drive on it with a vehicle, but at least our clothes don't get as muddy from stuff being thrown up by the ATV now when we go over it, and you don't sink into the mud now when you walk over it.
Even though walking or driving a fourwheeler out to our vehicles is a pain, it's still a good time to be alive. The loons have been talking like crazy at night, the grouse are drumming, the sandpipers are skittering around, the tree swallows have arrived, we've got blue water, and the mosquitoes haven't come yet, so being outside is still great. That will change, but in the meanwhile....
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's posts at May 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!
 
Large ice pans on the lake.
 
White ice along shore line.
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