Sunday, July 17, 2011

The pleasant aftermath of quite a storm

This weekend we've experienced the positive benefits of quite a spell of wild weather. Front after front dropped up to 2 meters of snow on the local ski areas, and probably double that back in the Southern Alps.

It was a pretty unusual cycle though, as a lot of it happened accompanied by gale force south west winds. This is not a usual wind direction for winter storms around here.

Lake Wanaka with Roys Peak on the right, when it cleared on Friday morning. A year and a bit ago I traversed this ridge from right to left just before the winter snows arrived. Now it'd be quite an undertaking, but one I prefer to just imagine in the current conditions...
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As the storm petered out many southerly fronts tried to reach us, but we're just a bit to far away [this is not the case for nearby Queenstown which is open to the south]...
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A tele shot of Roys Peak as the weather finally cleared...
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A few of my friends have ski toured it this weekend, but it's not that good a run, but what is unusual right now and when I did the same many years ago, and it's a "full on" alpine proposition, and this is rather unique being so close to town. That's me taking a break on the way up...
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As the storm cleared a full moon was revealed...
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An 8 sec time exposure looking towards Treble Cone [groomer lights] and Black Peak to the the right...
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And so when Sat. arrived everyone who skied went skiing.

Up the Cardrona Valley this unusual cloud formed at about noon...
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By the time I'd skied to the saddle near Bob Lee hut it'd morphed into this amazing affair that seemed to magnify the sun...
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With winter now in full swing, there is more than just cross country skiing to engage the interest...
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One thing we discovered at the comparatively new Meadow Hut is that the side walls lieing to the sun do a lovely job of warming up cold backs. Here my friends Vicky, Mario, Hill and Sarah test the facility...
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Moving on we enjoyed this view of Mt Aspiring and a sun bathe out of the wind in the shelter Bob Lee hut. I know I've published shots of the vista before, but it never ceases to grab my attention. There are just so many mountains, and of course trillions or more snow flakes have fallen on them...#alttext#

And swinging the eye around the right a little in the foreground are the historic Criffell Diggings. The highest altitude in NZ where gold mining has been carried out, many years ago...#alttext#

On my return to town I could not resist making this image as cold and silence settle on us for the night...
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