Snow Business – Part One

“A Mish a Day” #20 Snow Business – Part One. Hakatere Conservation Park. 25.6.2013. Snow, a burden or a pleasure. Something that can stop a city or start up a ski field. Some people hate it and the cold that is associated with it. And some relish the opportunity to go play in nature’s natural ground lubricant. As a winter lover, I find pleasure in stepping outside in the morning and seeing my breath thick in the crisp, cool air…

A stroll in the outdoors during the cold months is always an amazing experience, as long as you have the right clothing. I love the crunch of frost under my feet, or the squeak of snow as it compacts and temporarily makes my boots disappear. An area covered in fresh snow will always draw my attention, and for me looks much better in photos. Of course, along with the cold temperatures, the simple task of hiking does become much more challenging. And after Canterbury received a record amount of snow during 2013 I knew that I had to get amongst it and enjoy the winter wonderland. I finally had an opportunity to go for a mission with my cousin Chris Crouchley into the mountains. After years apart we needed to do some catching up. This was the perfect opportunity to do a mish together and we didn’t let the fact that it was an exceptionally cold winter stop us.

Winter has arrived in Hakatere

Like on so many of my missions with mates, we headed into a snow-covered Hakatere Conservation Area with the plan of taking our snowboards up to Double Hut, an awesome location near Lake Heron. The drive across the plains was excellent, with snow visible right down to the feet of the foothills that line the western edge of the Canterbury Plains. We took the road towards Lake Heron at the Hakatere turn off and had to avoid a bunch of road works cones on the road? We then headed into the Lake Heron Basin, which looked incredible on a perfect bluebird day, with a thick layer of fresh snow covering everything. The gravel road had recently been ploughed, so we had no problem driving towards our planned destination. We couldn’t turn into the Lake Heron car park as this road hadn’t been ploughed, so headed down to the Lake Heron Camping area. Fresh air greeted us as we got out of the car and readied ourselves for our adventure. Just before we closed the car doors for the last time we were confronted by a very angry snowplough driver wondering what the hell we were up to? He asked us to leave (using a few words I won’t repeat), and we then decided as a plan B, to head to the Mt Somers Track and hike to Pinnacles Hut. As we followed the road to the start of the track we could see that the snow was thick, but with stubborn enthusiasm we pushed on towards the next part of our epic adventure…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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