Spring ‘officially’ arrived on the 1st September. Weather wise, it’s still a mixed bag. You layer up in the morning when it’s cold, regret wearing anything more than your underwear at around 1pm. Upon checking the snow reports for the mountains (it’s become part of my daily routine) I noticed that a place nearby, Castle Hill, was expecting snow. Quite a lot of snow.
I thought it was going to be a great opportunity to say goodbye to winter. It’s unlikely that I’ll get the chance to go skiing again before the season ends, so this was one final last hoorah to winter. Given that I’ve had cold weather now for almost 9 months, I am excited to be warm.
I have visited Castle Hill before, but this time was even more spectacular. The drive down The Great Alpine Highway, or State Highway 73, is still mesmerising. Flat plains, hilly climbs and meandering valleys. The mountains in the backdrop were loaded with snow, the vegetation had gained a spring colour and there was a smattering of snow on the ground.
The weather for the day can be described as menacing and threatening.
We knew snow was on it’s way. You can just never be quite sure when. As we arrived, an ominous cloud started sweeping through the valley and the temperature plummeted from fairly mild, to freezing. Minutes later, the snow arrived! Snowflakes falling gracefully from the sky just makes me smile, especially when the background is like it is here. It feels so magical.
Now, there were a few near misses with falling off these rocks. There were some very strong gusts of wind and it was difficult to stay balanced when you’re staring death in the face. There’s something satisfying about pushing your comfort zone and conquering a route that, at first glance, you had deemed impossible. We all made it back in one piece though, thankfully.
It’s been a general theme of New Zealand so far, push your boundaries, open new doors, push a little bit further, become a little more open minded. Try harder, accomplish more. That kind of thing.
P.S I just want to live in the snow. Maybe I should head to Antarctica next.