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Woss, also commonly known as Woss Lake after the nearby lake of the same name, is a small village in the Nimpkish Valley, located 75 km (47 mi) southeast of Port McNeill and 128 km (80 mi) north of Campbell River on Highway 19, in northeastern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The estimated population of Woss and the Nimpkish Valley is 200. The town of Woss lies about 3 km north of Woss Lake, a long, narrow lake stretching about 10 km in a primarily north-south direction with a maximum width of about one km, the southern portion of which is part of Woss Lake Provincial Park.
Woss is a member municipality of the Regional District of Mount Waddington, which also includes Alert Bay, Port Alice, Port McNeill, Hyde Creek, Coal Harbour, Holberg, Malcolm Island, Quatsino and Port Hardy. Woss has regular telephone service, but no cellular phone services. Woss has one elementary school, Woss Lake Elementary School, for students grades K-7.
Until the late 1960s, Woss was accessible only by rail from Beaver Cove on the Englewood Railway. During this time, most of the loggers were housed in bunkhouses heated with wood-fired steam. One of the original steam powered locomotives is currently used as a working tourist attraction. Nearby Woss Lake is the main summer recreational playground for Woss residents and the original community campground at the lake is now Woss Lake Provincial Park.
Tage Wickstrom, the school principal until his death in 1986, built the only 440 dirt oval track and field on the north island at his school in Woss. For many years Woss Lake School hosted all of the track and field competitions for School District #85 which included communities from Woss to Port Hardy. The track and field are now known as the "Tage Wickstrom Track and Field" in honour of the educator who built them.
Woss is on the dividing line between a pluton of Jurassic granodiorite and a mass of Triassic basalt; mountains to the north are basaltic while ranges to the west, south and east are mostly granitic. Surface deposits in the community are coarse with abundant gravel and stones.
Woss' summers are known to be hot and dry. During the summer months, Woss averages 8-12 days with temperatures exceeding 30 ºC (86 ºF) and is often a hot spot on Vancouver Island along with Port Alberni and Gold River. The average daily high in Summer sits between 25 and 30 °C (77 and 86 °F). Winters tend to be mild and wet. The average day-time high in winter usually lies between 4 and 12 °C (39 and 54 °F). Woss receives the most precipitation in the month of November measuring around 220 millimeters (8 3/4 in). Snowfall usually occurs in late January and early February. During the 2009 Pacific Northwest heat wave, Woss and the Nimpkish Valley set an all time record high temperature reaching 42.1 °C (107.8 °F) which was set on July 30, 2009. However, the coldest recorded temperature was set just 7 months prior to the heatwave with a reading of -16.8 ºC (1.7 ºF) occurring on December 19, 2008.
- Muller, J.E. and Roddick, J.A. (1980). Geology Alert Bay - Cape Scott Map 1552A. Ottawa: Geological Survey of Canada.
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