Weather at Ginty Creek
What else should we talk about for the New Year at Ginty Creek? We were promised cold sunshine. They were half right. We got cold, but very little sun. Temperatures were usually in the mid -20s at night but never got above the mid minus teens in the day. Often the mountains were hidden; sometimes there was a glimpse of them above the fog.
Once in a while the sky cleared.
and we once had a colourful sunset.Two days later we had a bit more sun although it started foggy. A gleam hit the cottonwoods beside the river.
And the mountains behind the internet tower almost appeared.Then it snowed.Each fall we’ve had has been about 4 inches. Because it is so cold, the flakes are pure fluff. After each fall I must start the ATV (with difficulty – it doesn’t like cold starts) and plough the road. I cannot let the snow accumulate too much. It is a pretty chilly job that takes 2 and half to 3 hours.
I still need to charge the solar batteries with the generator every 3 or 4 days. When I went to town before Christmas, to buy the ATV, I also took the generator in to have the gas leak fixed. So now, when I want to heat it up, I can bring it closer to the stove.
After the snow we had another partial clearing of the skies. The snow is too fluffy to stick well on the branches of the trees.It was sunny enough to entice me on a snowshoe trip. Although it has remained cold, the river has opened up a bit. It rarely freezes solid and can never be trusted.Tatla Ski Trails
A friend, Renata, was driving from Prince Rupert to Bella Coola and I met her at Tatla Lake. The community maintains a really great network of cross country ski trails. I am a terrible skier and in fact prefer to snowshoe – I fall less and it is easier to get up again! So we didn’t stick to the trails but headed down the middle of a big shallow lake behind the gymkhana grounds. It was chilly, but gorgeous.I have not walked on a frozen lake since I left Nuk Tessli and it was a wonderful feeling. Renata took this picture of me.And this really great shot of Harry.The next day we hiked on the dunes near Ginty Creek but it was cold and grey again.A light snow started to fall. It was the kind where every flake is a jewel and I took these shots on Renata’s dark jacket.
The following day we had another 4″ snow. There is a bit over a foot on the ground now. It is so fluffy that it will sink down a lot, even before it thaws. We really need at least twice this amount, although because 2016 was so wet, we might get away with a low snow winter.
Cold Again at Ginty Creek
After the snow, the sky cleared completely, and the temperature dropped into the -30s again at night. It has not been rising above -18C during the day, but this time we have glorious sun.I re-broke the trail to the viewpoint on the south bluff.It is harder to take interesting pictures when the sky is cloudless (but I’m not complaining!) The snow, however, blocks out the background and reveals tiny vignettes.Although it was not windy at my elevation, it must have been blowing a hurricane on the high ridges.As the sun set, the mountains were rimmed with fire.This is what dawn looks like at -33C.The afternoon was quite pleasant, though, and off I went up the dunes, where Renata and I had been a few days before. But it was very different.The sun still has a low trajectory.Despite the forecast’s Extreme Cold Warning, with threat of frostbite in minutes, there was no wind and we could enjoy the sun. It was cool enough, though, that Badger did not have to seek the shade!Daylight is still very short, and the sun was getting low as I headed for home.And there is my house to welcome me. (The green tree is the now defunct Solstice tree – I stick it by the bird feeder to give the little guys extra cover.)There has been no thawing, even on a warm afternoon, since early December. In Williams Lake on the 20th December, the snow was a big, slushy, muddy mess, but as I drove west the temperature rapidly dropped ten degrees, and it had obviously stayed below freezing at Ginty Creek. We are supposed to get another night in the minus thirties but then it is finally slated to warm up. Everything takes longer to do when it’s cold. Any trip outside, to the woodshed, outhouse or bird feeder, necessitates piling on the clothes. There are extra chores, like bringing the dogs’ metal food dishes into the warm room before I can give them their dinner. I think all of us are looking forward to easier temperatures – I just hope it doesn’t thaw.