Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Snowy Month

Shortly after my last post January good weather and the cold spell at the start of the month turned into snow.  We had a week or 10 days of snowy weather which finally got the ground covered in the lower valley by up to 12" of snow that has held on and is only starting to shrink with sunny days and wind.

So far we still have nothing to complain about this winter, possibly a light snowpack in the mountains and smaller runoff will be the outcome.  Grizzly

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ice Fish

If you are a coho salmon fry in the Bella Coola River, its a perilous existence.  Under normal conditions there are otters, kingfishers, mergansers and herons always looking for a meal, not to mention the voracious Dolly Varden trout and other larger fish.  An unfortunate but completely normal and common event that happens is fry trapped in small pools that freeze to the bottom or lose oxygen in the remaining water under the ice.

While walking along the Bella Coola River today we encountered one such pool that was likely a lovely place in the warm weather we had in January and the coho fry looked healthy.  Unfortunately their home entombed them when the cold weather came and some 2-300 were frozen in the ice.

Now they will just be food for the crows when the ice goes.  Grizzly

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sun and Ice

The last part of January and so far the first week of February have been a story of Sun & Ice - both here in the Bella Coola Valley and the entire Province of British Columbia for the most part.  Very cold temperatures and clear skies came after we were spoiled by double digit high temperatures in January.  Nearby Chilcotin weather station at Puntzi Mountain has been steadily recording -39 C to -41 C lows this week, the coldest place in BC (the news media usually misses that fact because it's only a tiny community). The weather station isn't on a mountain its actually right beside the large paved WWII runway very close to Highway 20.

In the Bella Coola Valley, Environment Canada has had us under a weather "Arctic Outflow Warning" advisory all week.

To locals this means the "east wind" or "outflow".  It's been a low of -10C to -12 C all week and depending where you live in the valley fairly windy -30-40 km/h and gusts of much higher.

These events always end with some sort of twist, like a big snow fall or freezing rain.  For this one they are forecasting snow, which would be notable because there is no snow in the lower 2/3rd of the valley since just after Christmas.  Grizzly

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spectacular January Weather

I think most people would agree we have been quite a few years in Bella Coola since we have had a January like this one.  We have been 10 days or more without any significant snow or rain and the days have been sunny and nights not very cold.  One day earlier in the week hit a high of 10 C.  It's perfect weather for getting out fishing on the river, the ocean or doing hikes in the lower valley where there is no snow.  If you like snow though, the skiing is good at East Branch where there is 3 1/2 to 4 feet of snow (about an hour away).  Grizzly

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January Days more Like March Days

I heard there were some cutthroats stirring in the Bella Coola River so I took a walk and made a few casts. While I didn't land any trout, the river was sure beautiful.  My oldish yellow lab thought it was a good outing as well, but she nodded off for awhile on the river bank because there wasn't much action.  I think I'll try skiing tomorrow...Tweeds has been working very hard this week to get the cross country trails in top shape.    Grizzly

Thursday, January 16, 2014


So far January has been a good month.  We had one snow storm that dropped some snow but it only took a few days of rain and warm winds and it is gone.  It is a January with bare ground and days in the high single digit C temperatures.  One day early this week when the strong windstorm hit the coast and the interior we had a high temperature of 10 C which quite quickly melted any of the remaining snow in the lower 2/3rd of the Bella Coola Valley.

The Bella Coola River today is in nice winter condition.  Grizzly

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January Sunset

Living in deep U-shaped valley with 8-9000' mountains along the sides and only a very narrow picture westward means we don't get a great sky view nor many good sunsets in the Bella Coola Valley, so when one happens like tonight you have to pause and look at it because it may be a awhile before you see another.

So far the New Year has been kind on the weather, moderate temperatures around freezing and precipitation mostly as rain.  There is very little or no snow left in the lower or west 1/2 of the Bella Coola Valley while Heckman Pass has about 2.5 feet.  The Chilcotin has more snow to the east of Tatla Lake.  The tiny settlement of Klinaklini - amazingly has no snow, the cows are out in the field grazing. Definitely a different kind of winter. Grizzly