Lake Ohara. Tues 25th Feb

Tuesday we were up nice and early for cross country skiing, fully bundled up in all the clothes, and we were on the trail by 8.10am.   It was freezing.  Absolutely literally.  About -22 degrees.  We got our gear on and got moving as quick as possible; if you sat around for any length of time, all your bits started  to freeze.   The first few kms were pretty easy, getting used to up and downhill, and trying to make the skis slide nicely.  It took 3kms for my hands to unfreeze, and another before I could feel my toes – it was a good incentive to keep right on moving.

A cool start
A cool start
Start of the icicle growth
Start of the icicle growth
Just a fraction of what we can do with icicles
Just a fraction of what we can do with icicles
Bunny prints
Bunny prints

We stopped after a couple of hours, at 6km, for a hastily munched snack of solid muesli bars (sorry, granola bars) and chocolate.  They were not quite frozen solid, but pretty close.  Had to be careful to blow the water out of the drinking tubes so they wouldn’t freeze.  With mine, the plastic had frozen, but was able to drink easily.  We only stopped for about 5 mins, but our fingers started freezing again, so we had to keep going.  We both had grown ice forests, with icicles hanging from the sides of the hats.  I didn’t get any pictures of the ice farms at their peak, though, unfortunately.   They dripped everywhere during lunch.

A knob
A knob
Delicate colours
Delicate colours

Another couple of hours got us to the campground, where tent sites were a metre deep squares dug out of the snow.

A Canadian tent site
A Canadian tent site
Don't leave your food our for the bears
Don’t leave your food our for the bears
My, what a big roof you have
My, what a big roof you have
An extra snow roof
An extra snow roof

Furthur on took us past the lodge (I’m not sure if it operates during winter, but it is super expensive to stay there.  An incredible location, but I think it was something like $300 a night). Must be fantastic in summer, they have a whole pile of cute little log houses on the edge of the lake.  They were all closed up for winter, but we found one in the sun to perch on the deck and eat lunch, as the snow was too deep to do it anywhere else.  It was another ridiculously pretty place to eat lunch, with the white covered lake in front of us, and the high peaks all around.

Perfectly sunny weather
Perfectly sunny weather
A lovely lunch view
A lovely lunch view
Cute little cabins on the waterfront
Cute little cabins on the waterfront

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Lunch was interesting.  We had the cooker to  make noodles and soup, which was great..  However, our egg sandwiches had somehow manage to freeze a fair amount.  Especially the egg bit.  Frozen egg is not delishuz, not even a little bit.  Dale tried warming his up on top of the pot, and I stuck mine down the front of my jersey.  It took a couple of hours to thaw enough to eat ><
After lunch we traipsed across the lake (you can’t climb to a frozen solid alpine lake and then not walk across the middle of it!), to the deep blue of the waterfall we could see on the other side.   I’m not sure if it is even a massive waterfall in summer, but in winter it is a great, pretty wall of blue blue ice.

Warming up the sammiches
Warming up the sammiches
Ready to go again!
Ready to go again!
Across the lake
Across the lake
Sharks teeth in the upper left corner, sticky out cube rock in the left lower
Sharks teeth in the upper left corner, sticky out cube rock in the left lower
Time to go up
Time to go up

We took our skis off at the edge of the lake, and climbed up to the falls.  It was lovely, we stopped to take a few photos and videos, and saw a couple of squirrels in the trees around, and a flock of little dark coloured birds who would keep flying to the bit of the waterfall that was still flowing, and hop around in the water.   Weirdos, its cold!  I think they might be called Dippers.

Ice!
Ice!
Frozen
Frozen

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Looking back across the lake
Looking back across the lake
Under the waterfall
Under the waterfall
Dale, doing some go-pro-ing
Dale, doing some go-pro-ing
Ice!
Ice!

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By this time it was about 2.30pm, and we needed to get going, so we could make it out by dark.  Starts getting cold again when the sun goes down.  We swooshed across the lake, then started the interesting part of cross country skiing, that is going downhill!

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HI HENRI, WE MAED YOU A SNOW
HI HENRI, WE MAED YOU A SNOW
Cute cabins
Cute cabins

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Cross country skis are meant for traveling long distances, not for downhill skiing!   They are very thin, and do not have metal edges, the whole thing is plastic.  There are funny bits on the bottom, like fish scales, that help stop them from sliding backwards when going uphill.  When going downhill, you have to stick your foot out and snow plow, and you can’t steer very well because of the no edges.  I fell over a few times on the steep downhills, before I figured out how to slow myself properly with the skis.

Bunny party
Bunny party
Dale didn't do well in powder
Dale didn’t do well in powder
Picnic time?
Picnic time?

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Shadows
Shadows

Heading down was much quicker than going up, most downhills meant you could just cruise, and try not to fall over.  You sound like a train when you’re going fast with your skis stuck in the ski tracks.  Feel a bit like a train too.  Easy to derail!   It was much more fun going downhill, but by halfway back I was ridiculously exhausted.   We stopped for a snack – I had been keeping my food down my top to keep it warm, and the rest of my egg sandwich was finally unfrozen, so I got to finish that.  The last 3 kms were very hard, only because we were so tired.  We finally made it back to the car, going out took us just over 2 hours.

A lovely afternoon trail
A lovely afternoon trail

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Light and shadow over the top of the mountain
Light and shadow over the top of the mountain

Back home to Field, where we went to the local restaurant, Truffle Pigs, for dinner, to celebrate our last night (and we were also too tired to bother cooking).  Food was delishuz.

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