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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 mid 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 has long summers that tend to be hot and dry. During the summer months, Woss averages 10-15 days with temperatures exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) and is often a hot spot on Vancouver Island along with Port Alberni and Gold River. Heat waves throughout July and August last between 3-4 days with temperatures that soar between 35 and 40 °C (95 and 104 °F). Winters are relatively short lived, mild, and wet. The average day-time high in winter sits 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 February and early March. During the 2009 Pacific Northwest heat wave, Woss and the Nimpkish Valley set their hottest temperature on record reaching a scorching 42.1 °C (107.8 °F) on the afternoon of July 30, 2009. The coldest occurred in late January of 1980, plummeting to nearly -20 °C (-4 °F).
- Muller, J.E. and Roddick, J.A. (1980). Geology Alert Bay - Cape Scott Map 1552A. Ottawa: Geological Survey of Canada.
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