Sunday, October 7, 2007

mountain adventure #2

Storm clouds dispersed and Taranaki shone in his fresh snow covering. Seeing this after days of unfavourable weather, causes a quickening in heartbeat and excitement to get climbing. Early morning drive to North Egmont car park a bit of an adventure in itself without the benefits of a four wheel drive on ice. A bit of a slow crawl up the mountain road with the car sliding and spinning at times. Fresh snow down to the car park.

The usual wander up Razorback, this time snow deepening with altitude. Beautiful fresh snow with my footprints being the first, well first human as there was loads of evidence of possum, hare or rabbit and some birds going about their business, using the track as a thoroughfare.
Not such spectacular ice sculptures as I saw last visit. However the lovely ice drips from vegetation under banks caught my eye.
Having a problem, with insufficient light and no tripod I experiment using the flash, which normally I do not like to do. However interesting result.

Further up I find an overhanging cliff coated in icicles all glistening in the light and demanding my attention. Again no tripod, and no flash, just very sore and cold knees and elbows kneeling in the snow!
I find the contrasting tones and shapes intriguing.
Plant life providing a starter from which the icicle grows, also provides rich and vibrant colours, and interesting textures. Look closely here and find a lake shore with cloud or whiter mountains in background.

This wonderful fuzzy little plant totally encased in ice, protected.
All smiles at Tahurangi Lodge with the summit behind. Yet another day and Taranaki did not allow me to summit, due to very high winds. He will let me when the time is right.
Such a different environment to my last visit. The complete ice covered surface of the last visit, this time replaced with deep fresh powder in places, unstable wind blown grapple snow, and small patches of harder slightly icy parts.
Walking across one small face I notice slabs of snow breaking away and sliding off as I go. Interesting and maybe avalanche sign?
Another beautiful day on Taranaki, body, mind and spirit all refreshed and stimulated.