As an escape from being an “accompanying person” (and to avoid distracting my wife from a demanding role at her conference in Chch), I drove up into the Canterbury high country. Castle Hill is popular with rock climbers, for good reason.
Even though the temperature was quite cool, with a cold SE wind, up here there were warm and sheltered spots. Like this one where folk were bouldering:
The next morning, around dawn, it was a different story (-4 C).
Looking west, the sky was dramatic:
Just 10 minutes later it was transformed:
Lots of interesting formations and outcrops
The bulls had woken up in the frosty paddock way down below
The wild rosehips were lit up
and the formations across the other side were looking spectacular
(I met a group of 4 keen photographers who had spent the night in a tent on the hill. Well, half a night. They had been up until 0230 photographing the milky way, stopping only when the moon came up. Astrophotography is getting really popular these days!)
When I got back to my car, I met a small group of students from Hurunui College. They’d been helping to tag kiwis up at Arthur’s Pass. They raced off to see the rocks close up. It was still around -2 C at that time, so look what they were wearing! The young don’t feel the cold the way I do.
Finally, to give you a feel for the country around here, I’ll include a couple of shots from nearby Mt Cheeseman skifield carpark, taken later that morning. It’s Big Country!