Winter Memories of Snow in New Zealand
Winter Desert Road, Central Plateau, North Island, NZ.
Winter Memories in Taranaki New Zealand
My winter memories living under Mount Egmont/Taranaki in New Zealand for 45 years.
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries for mountaineering skills.
The mountain slopes, on Mount Egmont/ Taranaki on the west coast of the north island in New Zealand, is a beautiful mountain, but a mountain that can be very cruel especially in the winter, those clouds come very quickly and the temperature drops just as quick.
I have lived under this mountain for some 60 years, so I'm very aware of this big hill in the sky that is so well known for its iconic beauty and snow. I never underestimate its dangers, Mount Egmont/Taranaki has a higher death toll than any other mountain in New Zealand Weather on the mountain can change rapidly, which has caught inexperienced trampers and climbers unaware.
As of 27 June 2017, 84 people have died on the mountain since records began in 1891.
Walking up the mountain to the summit should only be attempted in good weather, even then it is best to be an experienced hiker.
The above photo of the plateau is on the east side of Taranaki, on a beautiful fine day you can see it, so we are in the middle of two mountains, very pretty, makes you feel happy to be alive.
Taranaki's landscape and the mountain's supposed resemblance to Mount Fuji led it to be selected as the location for The Last Samurai, a motion picture set in 19th-century Japan. The movie starred Tom Cruise. We were very lucky to have that film made in New Zealand, makes you really appreciate the beauty of our country.
Yes, we can put up with all the cold weather, but it's the wet weather that gets you down, mud and animals just don't go together.
Dairy Farming under Mount Egmont/Taranaki NZ
You may be wondering why I started this short story with the facts at the start of the article, well farming dairy cows was no fun over the years when it snowed, sometimes I wondered how the animals survived on our farm as it was on the out-skirts of the mountain, (just below the mountain reserve,) with many rivers and water outlets coming off the mountain.
One thing we had were many trees where the animals could find shelter and animals can tell the weather forecast better than humans, they would find shelter long before the snow set in, and settle down in the herd and the warmth from their bodies would keep the snow settling too heavy under trees.
The worst time to have a snowstorm was in August - September end of winter start of spring when the cows would be calving, we have loss calves due to freezing as they were born, sad but that's the facts of farming.
Many times we had animal caught in the snow and no way to help them until the snow stopped, but we never lost any, but in my heart I will never forget the stress of not being able to help them, having to wait until the snow storm stopped.
The sleepless nights waiting for daybreak to see the snow surrounding our house and wondering how we were going to cope with the day, whether it was milking or feeding the cows.
Cows looking for Food
Most Humans loved the Snowy Weather.
If you mention snow, living by a mountain everyone thinks of skiing, but I would dread the word snow, as there were always problems like feeding of hay, as when the snow melted there would always be mud and no grass, our cows were not kept in a shed in bad weather. like a lot of farms around the world.
New Zealand is a major skiing destination in the Southern Hemisphere and Mount Egmont/Taranaki was one of the best for it, but there is so much more than skiing or snow boarding, there's the climbers, trampers, and people that liked taking photographs also many sightseers, would turn up to play in the snow, that's all enjoy, the pleasure of such lovely splendor of beauty, "snow" especially in the winter months.
Do you play in the snow?
There are good Memories about Winter
The best thing about all the stress after a snowstorm was the warmth of an open fire, in the early years of farming we had an old house with a coal range that we use for heating, drying clothes and cooking.
I think the most welcoming was the smell coming from the oven, like fresh scones and hot soup simmering on top of the range.
I can still smell that welcoming smell when I think about it.
I had five children to feed in the 1970s, I can also see them playing with their toys in front of the open fire happily waiting for their tea.
(Memories aren't they precious).
Mount Taranaki Snow Boarding
Little about Mount Egmont Taranaki NZ
Mt Egmont/Taranaki New Zealand is a great place to visit, climb and explore.
There are three roads leading part-way up the mountain.
On the eastern side from Stratford leads to the Stratford Mountain House, and the ski field.
Then there is the visitor park centers at North Egmont.
Dawson Falls on the southeast side of the mountain.
Winter isn't always here and you can have a wonderful time, so if you are traveling down our way I hope you will visit this beautiful mountain.
Outside school holidays it's never crowded and so peaceful, this is what life should be about enjoying the beauty of nature, listening to the birds, looking at the waterfalls and maybe climb to the summit.
Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand
Please Comment below about these Questions
Do you have snow in the winter where you live?
Do you farm with animals living outdoors in the winter?
What kind of animals do you farm?
Love to hear from you, thanks for reading my winter challenge memories.
Hope 2016 will be a prosperous year for you with many happy days of laughter.
© 2015 Elsie Hagley