Pitt and Fraser Chilled

CK Wright Photo Trips

When it comes to my take on the recent cold spell in Metro Vancouver, I would say that the glass is certainly half full…and in this case, with the other half filled with ice!

Prolonged periods of cold temperatures do not happen that many times in a winter and in some years not at all here on the south coast. When it does occur, it offers unique photographic opportunities such as floating ice in the Pitt River and the Fraser River.

With the forecast on Sunday calling for snow in the afternoon, I headed out before first light to the Pitt River along the Poco Trail. While the sunrise was not overly dramatic, I soon made an interesting discovery.

I have walked this area on several occasions and have always felt that the view of the Pitt River and surrounding mountains would be better out on the sand/silt bars. I have never attempted to venture out there on those past visits as those bars are normally too mucky to attempt. Well, guess what? With the week plus of below freezing temperatures all of that muck was frozen hard. With a low tide, it was possible to venture out from the shore and to have confirmation on the amazing views up the river. I should offer a word of warning, ensure the ground is frozen hard and keep an eye on the tidal influence as it can move quickly across the bars.

Here are two table sized chunks of ice remaining when the tide went out. Notice the interesting pattern in the frozen silt.

The ice patterns were also very impressive. I really like these large splinters of ice at the various angles.

With the clouds massing to the west, we headed east to Brae Island Regional Park in Fort Langley to check out the Fraser River.

The clouds were starting to build up as we arrived at Tavistock Point, but the mountains were still visible across Russel Reach on the Fraser River.

Here is a tighter composition of those left side mountains. Right to Left, Blanshard Peak, Edge Peak, a valley, and then Golden Ears all in Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Here is Mount Robi Reid in the Garibaldi Range framed by old pilings. Seeing ice in the Fraser River is always a treat given the infrequency of it.

With the increasing clouds and the resultant subdued lighting, it was time to work on ice compositions. Here are my favourites.

After a few hours here on Brae Island it was time to head home before the snow storm arrived. We had one last stop on the southern end of the island to capture the layers of sand along the bank.

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