Well, I told myself that I would get out for a solo winter camp close to town, just to see how I was able to cope with the cold damp winters here. As it turns out, I did pretty well! Got a good nights sleep in the tent, which is rare for me, even when summer camping! My 0C sleeping bag was just right for this temperature! I usually sweat in it if I don't open it up. I think the tarp acting as a wind break really helped too. I was quite surprised how dry my tent was in the morning too. it is usually a soaker by morning if you touch the roof! maybe that extra layer of insulation prevented condensation as well as keeping the wind off.
Cougar tracks? a bit too melted to tell, but they have been around lately!
Tried to hike down to the ocean, it was a bit too steep and slick for my liking! Beautiful sights though.
I had not checked in to the weather before I left, and by mid-morning the wind was really picking up!
Had I checked the weather network, I would have seen that there were sustained winds of 90 kph, with gusts up to 120kph! Coming back, there was a backup on the Malahat from a giant tree that fell on the road at suicide corner. Luckilly I hit the backup just before Finlayson Arm Road.
This was the Zoo of cars on the way back to town! This road is full of single lane sections, hills and blind corners! It reminded me of that television series where the ice road truckers went to northern India to try the roads in the Himalayas. People were inching by, folding in mirrors ,backing up, and one person in a front wheel drive car was stopped half way up a hill, half in the ditch to make room. When he wanted to go again, he started creeping backwards, his driven wheel in the mud! he had to back all the way down and try again!
Of course I was able to sneak by most of the jam up, so it was kind of fun! The locals are obviously used to it, they were doing traffic control through some of the narrower sections.
It was insanely windy by the way, I was getting blown all over the road, and I was glad not to be doing battle with a tent in a forest. The power was out in a few intersections, and must have been out earlier at my apartment, clocks flashing 12:00.
This was the weather warning I saw when I got home:
An intense low pressure center is moving across the British Columbia coast. Strong southeast winds of 70 to 90 gusting up to 120 km/h have developed over the British Columbia coast. In the wake of the low the strong winds will shift to southwest with speeds up to 90 gusting 110 km/h in the evening.
The wind was literally shaking my 4 story building.
Funny, on the Island, They don't bother to give a wind warning unless its more than 90 kph! yet 4" of snow shuts us right down!