For topics unrelated to bush walking or to the forums.
Sun 01 Oct, 2017 11:33 pm
I imagine many here have experienced a night in our higher parts where they go to sleep at night and awake to a land transformed by that amazing phenomenon called snow.
Those nights when it's so miserable with the wind howling and the sky like ebony that you turn in early and try to sleep while the elements rail against your tent and the flap, whop, flap of its walls is incessant, until eventually, probably thoroughly exhausted it happens. You're asleep.
Then next morning you wake and wonder how the tent survived when suddenly your world is transformed as you poke your head out to see the landscape swathed in white, sparkling in the first rays of the rising sun.
A landscape so silent, belying the battering from the night before.
There's something eerily serene about that quietness that seemingly materialises from nowhere in the dead of night, a sure sign there's going to be something worth waiting for next morning.
(Some, who venture into our wonderland midsummer and strike such occasions are probably less impressed, and vow never to return to such inhospitable places. Those of us here quietly smile, but probably don't say 'you were told to prepare' when enquiring on this great forum.)
But all my snow experiences aren't like that.
Most are observed from below, at a mere 260 metres, but with the mighty Roland dominating the surrounding country at 1200 metres.
What does fascinate me though is the way different snow storms blanket the mountain and surrounding country.
Over the years I've watched as the heaviest snow seems to come from the east.
It smothers Roland from head to toe, often blanketing Sheffield and heaven knows how thick it is way back.
Then there's the times Roland has little on it but Claude it's much lower western sibling is coated, Sheffield escapes and the Tiers are plastered.
At times there's snow everywhere but only lightly, other times the tops are dusted and none elsewhere.
As a kid I was fascinated to watch the western tiers fill with snow, day after day. Black Bluff was like a huge wedding cake sprawled across the distant horizon and Roland would come a distant third in the prize for most snow.
Climate change has seen similar natural shows but less frequently.
But always it's the direction of prevailing weather that I've seen has not changed the dumps of the heaviest falls.
I wonder how other areas fare? How snow forms and alters the appearance depending on weather direction.
I can only imagine it's similar, but then the Western Tiers and the Roland escarpment is somewhat unique, jutting out at the north of the island with much higher ground lying to the south. Massive mountains piled up, rising from altitudes where Roland runs out of puff.
I never tire of snow, and wouldn't trade this variable weather patterns we have for anything else.
Snow can be tragic, but equally it can be so tranquil, so tantilisingly beautiful, and for me life would be incomplete without it.
Mon 02 Oct, 2017 7:41 pm
It happened to me only once, in Utah. I was assured by a ranger when camping in Kodachrome State Park that it almost never rains. Sure enough, the whole afternoon it rained heavily. During the night in my small tent, I was woken up by a strange sound, rain but soft and sparse. Indeed I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it was snow. That morning I rushed back to Bryce Canyon to see it in the snow, which was magical, despite the low visibility. FYI it was in early May 2015. Luckily it snowed just enough to cover the landscape but not so much that it blocked the roads.
Tue 03 Oct, 2017 10:40 am
A fond memory from my youth was when I used to walk to the train station at 6:30 AM on new snow.
Everything was silent and I would be walking in the middle of the road.
At times a girl that went to a school near to mine, both 30 km away from our town, would be with me , we held hands in silence .
(she had a boyfriend but we knew each other for years before)