The First Squamish of the Season

Howe Sound is a fjord. That means that it is a glacier-deepened riverbed.  During the last period of glaciation (25000 to 12000 years ago) the ice here was about 1800 metres deep. Today, here in the Sound, all that is left of that great river of ice is the mighty Pemberton Icefield, the valley of the Squamish River, and Howe Sound itself. Often in the winter the cold air from the interior gushes down that corridor bringing frigid winds. Since they seem to flow down the Sound from the port town of Squamish, we who live in Howe Sound call these violent gales: a Squamish Wind. Oddly, on Friday the main weather system was approaching from the South, but locally the wind was an icy blast from Squamish.

That day I watched as the wind on the Sound blew steadily from the North-Northeast, and its velocity rose from 66 Km/hr to about 78 km/hr when I headed for bed. About 4 am I was awakened by the beeping of my UPS signalling that the power was out. We stayed warm in bed until late Saturday morning. Then we used a cell to call a family member in town to check BC Hydro’s site and find out when power would be resorted. “Depends, either 6 PM or 11 PM.” My wife announced we were going to town so she could work in her office.

Windy Howe Sound

It was cold and windy as we headed out on the ferry, but the sky was clearing, and we could see fresh snow on the mountains almost all the way down to the Sea To Sky Highway.

At the end of the day the wind had died and there was alpenglow on the local mountains catching the final rays from the sun.

Alpenglow on North Shore mountains, from Prospect Point

Mt Seymour from Prospect Point with alpenglow


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