Significant Weather Event (Part Two) – Wild Weather at Lake Clearwater

“On a Mish” #338 Significant Weather Event – Part Two. Lake Clearwater Village. Hakatere Conservation Park. 12.7.2022. Mother Nature has interesting ways of showing us her beauty. While a clear blue sky can be an absolute dream to witness, a wild storm can be a memory that remains front and centre in your brain for the rest of your days. As long as I have a safe way out, I always welcome ‘bad weather’ with a gortex jacket and arms wide. The badder the better, therefore in my eyes, apart from boring drizzle, there is no bad weather. And to witness significant weather events is as mind blowing as the wind it creates…

As I slowly lugged my gear and precious firewood into the crib I still had doubts about how ‘bad’ the storm was going to be. Now safe and warm inside my home away from home, I kicked back and waited for this so called ‘significant event’. I woke at about 1am and a quick glance outside revealed no change in the snow conditions and a surprisingly partially clear sky above.

Lake Clearwater Village mid Blizzard

When I woke early-ish in the morning a few hours later I peaked out the very same window and was stoked to see a completely different world of white. Within the few hours that I had been asleep around 2-3 centimetres of snow had settled on the ground and the sky was far from finished. I watched in wonder at the impressive sight and as if to show me what snowfall really looks like, for around ten minutes or so the snowflakes were more like light large sheets of transparent paper falling from above. Easily the biggest snowflakes I have ever seen in a lifetime seeking out the very weather I was watching happen. Nothing matches the moments when all you are focused on is watching nature doing what it does to extremes. It didn’t take long for my legs to get itchy and even though I wasn’t really up to a hike in the snow, I went for a hike in the snow. Knowing what I was up against meant I layered up with all the waterproof clothing I could put on and, as I didn’t have my mountaineering boots with me, I made use of a pair of trusty gumboots! The blizzard was far from over as I trudged my way around the village nice and dry in my brilliant rubber footwear, through the ever increasing layer of snow on the ground. I scrambled up to a high point above the village and this put me into the teeth of the severe storm‘s gaping mouth. After around an hour of continual wintry blasts my day was done, and it was time to retreat back to the warmth of the fire in the crib. Even though plugging steps in the snow was tough on my hip it was an experience I now have logged into the epic section of my brain. But now it was time to warm back up and see how much snow a ‘significant weather event’ could dump…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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