Steeves: Stay in the valley rather than heading uphill this weekend

Anyone heading out into the backcountry this coming long weekend had better be prepared to run into snow at higher elevations.

Anyone heading out into the backcountry this coming long weekend had better be prepared to run into snow at higher elevations.

In some instances there is eight times the normal amount of snow for this time of year in the watersheds around the Okanagan, and that’s where we all like to enjoy the outdoors: camping and hiking, fishing and hunting, cycling and biking.

It’s been a very late, cold spring, and there’s been new snow added to winter accumulations in the mountains around us just in the past few days.

Even worse, you must be wary of high water in creeks throughout the area, because a bit of warm weather, particularly overnight thawing, will get some of that snow melting and when it begins to melt, streams are going to swell, eroding banks and making riparian areas unstable.

The creeks themselves will be dangerous too, with high, muddy, fast-flowing water that could easily swallow a pet or small child that ventured too close.

So, be careful out there.

Instead of heading to the high country, you may prefer to take in some of the activities in the valley.

In addition to the 54th annual Knox Mountain Hillclimb; the 14th annual World of Wheels in Peachland Sunday at 11 a.m. and the impressive activities that are part of the Rutland May Days celebration, there are opportunities to discover Nature’s Secrets with a Discovery Backpack from the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park; or Go Fish in Shannon Lake or at the Hall Road pond in Mission Creek Regional Park.

The latter includes an opportunity on weekends for youngsters under 16 to catch one rainbow trout a day without a license. Help will be available for those who are inexperienced and a limited number of rods and gear will also be on-site.

It’s a joint project of the regional district, Peachland Sportsman’s Association, Lonely Loon Flyfishers Society, Kelowna Fish and Game Club, ministry of environment, Freshwater Fisheries Society and Summerland Trout Hatchery.

There are other things to explore in the valley bottom, and one book that makes that particularly interesting is the Kelowna Geology Committee’s Geology of the Kelowna Area,

And last week, a companion book for the south Okanagan was released: Okanagan Geology South, Geologic Highlights of the South Okanagan, edited by Murray A. Roed and Robert J. Fulton, of Kelowna.

If you were ever curious about the origins of the dramatic Giant’s Head, McIntyre Bluff or Spotted Lake natural features in the South Okanagan, there’s a nice clear explanation available in this book.

In fact, it brings history to life, with interesting tales about the valley’s early days and how the valley was formed, including the Okanagan Valley fault and the relationship between geology and wine terroir.

If you’ve ever been curious about landforms in the southern part of the valley, this book is a must-have guide book, while the Kelowna version provides similar details for this part of the Okanagan.

Both are available at Mosaic Book as well as other local bookstores.

 

 

 

 

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Kelowna Capital News