It took some residents living in a remote area of the West Chilcotin six days to dig out from the winter storm that hit the region on Friday, Nov. 27.
“After we got over three feet of snow in 18 hours, we spent lots of time clearing a trail out,” Jennifer Toland who owns Eliguk Lake Lodge Outfitters with her husband Arön told the Tribune.
Their lodge is located along the famous Alexander Mackenzie Grease Trail, at 3,600 feet near the base of the Itcha Ilgatchuz mountain range.
“With the weight of the snow it caused havoc on our trail systems into town.”
They cleared more than 500 fallen timbers from the trails in order to get out while packing three to four feet of snow each day for 35 km in to pack a safe trail out.
Toland said there are four homesteading families living in the area and everyone was trapped until Wednesday, Dec. 2.
“Arön and I, along with a neighbour spent the entire day from dusk to dawn fighting the long trail with snow machines and Argo, to get out for supplies.”
Once they reached their truck, the Tolands spent Wednesday just inching the rest of the unplowed road with their Dodge truck.
The snow had packed down and set up, making it ‘incredibly’ difficult to get through, but Toland said with chains on and experience they ate through the 14 km driveway in three hours.
“I’m finally in town, trying to organize a way to get a plow truck to our neighbors, along with food and supplies as we are all out of livestock feed, pet food, fresh groceries and fuel.”
The amount of snow all caught everyone by surprise, she noted.
“My longtime Chilcotin neighbours say that we haven’t had a snowfall like that at once since the 70s.”
The Bella Coola Valley and Anahim Lake areas also received lots of snow, which resulted in more than 900 customers without power in the valley.