Post Storm Magnificence (Part Two) – Snowed in at Lake Clearwater

“On a Mish” #339 Post Storm Magnificence (Part Two). Lake Clearwater Village. Hakatere Conservation Park. 13.7.2022. Too many times the cold has been labelled a ‘bad thing’ when really it can be the cause of a remarkable sight. It might have been different in the past when clothing could barely keep up with the plummeting temperatures, but nowadays clothes are designed to keep the cold out and lock warmth in. Which means you can concentrate on the post storm magnificence that surrounds you…

When I stay at Lake Clearwater Village during the winter, I make sure that, if I stir even just a little bit, I force myself to get up and put another log on the fire. Thanks to my hip and back I wake often, so there was no risk of the fire going out that night. Having the crib toasty warm when it is freezing cold outside is a great feeling and adds to what is already a great sleep.

My normal routine is a series of long naps, so every time I woke I got up and checked to see what was going on outside. I was stoked to see the snow starting to build up and this was getting me excited to see what the place would look like in the morning. By 6am I couldn’t wait any longer so got up and boiled the billy for a cup of coffee.

It was still dark outside and the light from my head torch lit the now chunks of snow falling from the sky. For a while it was the heaviest snow I had ever seen. It was going to be a very good day!

Before sunrise I suited up for battle, this involved lots of under layers then multiple waterproof layers to seal everything in. Instead of hiking boots I went for two pairs of socks and gumboots. They might not give the same amount of comfort, but they do keep the snow and water out and that was all that mattered to me.

The snow was deep and still coming down hard. Getting around was going to be tough for an able-bodied person and I was running at about 45%. My normal stride / limp step was not high enough to get over the top of the snow, so I was plugging steps and kicking tracks right from step one. Luckily, I had nothing else to do that day so I really took my time as I hiked towards a good spot from which to watch the sunrise.

My constant stumbles did not send me crashing to the ground thanks to my hiking poles. I was very thankful for them because, not only did they give me a sort of 4wd power, but also at times I would have to poke and prod around to see where it was safe to stand and what was a deep puddle. Going into knee deep water wasn’t on my list of things to do!

The darkness of night had been replaced by a lavender haze. I kept hiking east looking for the best spot to see the sun appear and before I knew it, I had hiked quite far from the village. My hip and back were screaming at me to stop, however the allure of the rising sun mixed with the snowy environment was yelling just a little bit louder…

Post Storm Magnificence

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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