Bill Bryce (on ladder) and Eric Sargent get to work on the power washing of the Pilot Bay Lighthouse.

Pilot Bay Lighthouse gets a bath

The Pilot Bay Lighthouse underwent a spring cleaning earlier this month in preparation for the summer season on the East Shore.

The Pilot Bay Lighthouse underwent a spring cleaning earlier this month in preparation for the summer season on the East Shore.

On May 1, Eric Sargent, Maurice de St Jorre and Bill Bryce from the Friends of West Kootenay Parks Society were joined on the project by senior ranger Tom Roos and area supervisor Hugh Ackroyd from BC Parks and Wildfire Unit Crew, Lee-Anne Fournier-Beck, Viktor Olynyk and Orry Grant. The crew spent the day at the Pilot Bay Lighthouse pressure washing the building down in preparation for painting.

The first snag of the day occurred when, to everyone’s surprise, the ferry was switched over to the Balfour at the 8:10 a.m. sailing and one of the team had to leave their vehicle behind. Fortunately, all of the supplies that needed to be taken over made it on.

The Unit Crew set up their truck and pumps at the trailhead and laid out hose for the pressure washer (they also pulled the washer up the hill for us) while Bryce and Sargent suited up and got ready to spray.

And then the second snag. The pressure washer took most of the dirt off, but not all so everyone set to work with brushes loosening up the dirt so it could be hosed off. It took around four hours of work to clean, but now it’s ready for paint.

Assisting with the ladder logistics were Mike Jeffrey, Garth Norris and John Smith.

The Pilot Bay Lighthouse can be seen from the Kootenay Lake Ferry on the East Shore. It is located in the Pilot Bay Provincial Park and can be accessed by hiking trails along the Pilot Peninusla. Primarily marine accessed, the park can be reached by road.

If you’d like to help, the Friends of West Kootenay Parks are looking for volunteers that could be ready on a few days notice to spend some time painting. The Friends anticipate that it may take up to six days to finish the job (weather permitting) so any time you can commit would be welcome. People who could work mid-week would be especially appreciated.

Contact Bryce at 250-357-9734 and leave your name and phone number or by email at

For more information about the Friends of West Kootenay Parks Society, visit their website at

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