Weekly photo challenge: Mountains 2

In the pink

New Zealand is blessed with the most magnificent mountains. My previous post featured Mt Taranaki (also known as Mt Egmont) as seen from the air, while this weekly photo challenge shows Mt Ruapehu; Mts Ngauruhoe and Tongariro are obscured by cloud.

These are all North Island mountains. Mt Ruapehu (also Mt Taranaki) are favourite destinations for skiers and snow boarders – anyone seeking a snowy retreat. The field and climate conditions are not quite as reliable or extensive as those in the South Island where there is far greater choice.

I first ventured out onto the snow when I was 15 years old. I booked into a ski lodge and went up on my own taking with me an old pair of wooden skis belonging to my elderly uncle (he’d be 111 now!) I didn’t know any better … they were very heavy, very long and they left a trail of splinters in the snow wherever I went. I must have looked totally ridiculous, but I didn’t care…

They had last been used many years before when Uncle Leon ended up in Taumarunui Hospital with a broken leg. I remember us having to take a family trip in the old station wagon to retrieve him!

I don’t know how I managed on those old skis – I probably kept to the learners slopes! Rest assured, I wasn’t deterred. Next time I went skiing I took much more up-to-date gear, which didn’t make me a better skier.

Nowadays I admire from afar – and keep warm.

Even in summer these mountains have a dusting of snow on the peaks. This photograph, taken from the head of lake Taupo, dates back to last December, the beginning of our New Zealand summer.

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