Like many of the world’s most beautiful mountains, the Southern Alps in New Zealand owe their beauty to the constant storms that coat them with huge amounts of ice and snow…and which cover them with impenetrable clouds most of the time. I spent a week in 2010 prowling around the west coast of the South Island trying to get a break in the weather for a few decent shots, but it just wasn’t happening. The trails were closed and the guides didn’t mind, they could spend the Christmas holiday with their families.
Christmas morning came the break in the weather, and that is always big news at Fox Glacier — big enough that Christmas comes in second. I scrambled around for transportation and was able to get about 10 clear minutes on the glacier for a nice framing of Mt. Tasman before the weather closed in again. I was the only one to get a shot that day, but what a shot it turned out to be. The dramatic darkness of the sky, the lacy detail of fresh snow on the cliffs, and the approaching clouds produced a scene from which you can hardly turn away. (Pricing Schedule C)