Saturday, 21 July 2012

North to Mica

Bill's first destination - with two hours on the new engine - was Mica Dam. This spectacular, 800 ft long earth-filled dam was completed in 1973 as part of the Columbia River Treaty, negotiated by Canada and the United States to provide power and flood control to both countries. NOT a popular outcome here, as land along Arrow Lakes was expropriated, and communities flooded.
Son Chris collects pictures of BC Hydro sites, and we are always glad to have an excuse to fly! Here are his choices from the images of that flight:

upstream of Mica Dam at 5,000 ft

Mica Dam, downstream, closer view

Mica Dam reservoir (Kinbasket Lake)
If you feel you are flying into wilderness on that route, how comfortable do you suppose the drive would be?
Mica Dam is located near the apex of the Big Bend highway.  Constructed in 1940, this was the road link between Revelstoke and Golden. Bill was on the highway crew in 1962 that completed the TransCanada highway through Roger's Pass. The next time you are stopped on that route for avalanche control, consider that you could be adding 160 km and 7 hours to your trip!


  1. Great photos of Mica! When it was built it was the world's tallest earth filled dam. Its current generating capacity is 2,000MW but, in 3 years, once turbines 5 & 6 are added (3,000MW total), it will have the largest generating capacity of BC Hydro's 31 dams in the province. We have the third lowest electricity rates in North Americx because of Mica and multiple other dams build in from the late 1960's to early 1980's.


  2. Cousin Mike In Toronto26 July 2012 at 14:18

    Hello Cousins,
    Wow Jill, as usual great photo's, great comments!...between you and Chris it feels like a geography lesson!! Sorry haven't had the chance to have a look at your blog until now, really looks good, and a new "stove" and zero timed prop for your, ahh Bill', aren't they pricey bits for an airplane. I'm sure you'll get many trouble-free years of enjoyment from them.
    So where is your next adventure planned? I'm off on the 1st with some local flying around the region, to your old stomping grounds to be exact, I'll mention your names at Changi.
    looking forward to following your blog.


  3. Hey Mike!
    Great to hear from the family Heavy pilot!
    The next time you are up in the flight levels over BC, please snap a photo and I will post it here. Perhaps you can give your passengers a little deviation over God's Kootenay Country?

  4. Hi Jill! This is a great photo of the Mica Dam. I would like to request to use this photo in one of the Parks Canada exhibits, if you grant your permission. Could you please answer to my email about that, as I could not find you contact information to send you a direct request? (
    Thank you!