Tales of snow and other things

Yesterday we had a little taste of winter. The weather was bleak. There was a wild, bitingly cold wind, hail, rain, sleet and snowflakes, and temperatures that barely rose above freezing point. Oh,  and a few moments of sun, as well.  I stayed indoors and tried not to mind the ice and cold whipping around the house.

This morning the storm was gone and the sun was shining again, but not with a lot of warmth. We ventured out to view the world. It hadn’t been cold enough for the snow to stay on the ground, at sea level, (where we are), but the hills of the city were covered with snow.

As we looked at the snow from a distance, we listened on the car radio to the story of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Sixty years ago, today, they reached the summit of Mt Everest; the first people to succeed in climbing to the top of the highest point on earth. Two humble climbers; one remarkable moment.

It is a great story, that first successful ascent of Everest. One part of the story that I  particularly like  is this; there were two New Zealanders on the expedition, Edmund Hillary and George Lowe. When Hillary descended from the summit, he was greeted by George Lowe and this was their exchange :-

Lowe, waiting at the South Col with a thermos, called, “How did you get on?”

“Well, George, we knocked the bastard off!”

“Thought you probably must have,” replied Lowe. “Here, have a cup of soup.”

For more information on this day, sixty years ago, try the following links.

(http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/8729855/Hillary-stands-atop-summit-of-NZ-fame) (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10872850)

And, here are some of the photos I took, today, of the first snowfall of the year. The scenery may not be up to Himalayan standards but it has its own charms and is a lot easier to access.

© silkannthreades


37 thoughts on “Tales of snow and other things

  1. Clanmother

    I just found this post! I am having problems with my reader and my e-mail subscriptions. (didn’t receive any notification of this post either way) So now, I am checking on a regular basis. I am constantly amazed by how well our technology works that I am always in a dither when it doesn’t… 🙂 Great post, as always…

  2. terrytrekker

    Ah Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa Tenzing! In high school we read of his exploits and I wanted to climb Everest too, but I get frozen too easily, so gave up the idea. The man was a marvel!
    I forgot it was your winter. Ninety degrees F. here today! 🙂

  3. valeriedavies

    My husband broke the news to Hillary’s parents, and got to know Ed quite well ( including writing his biography)… he has some hilarious stories of those days back in ’53 when no-one was prepared for all the publicity, and everyone was so innocent compared with today….

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yay! Yay! So exciting 🙂 that you have this connection. Perhaps I heard something about your husband’s role, on National Radio the other day. Such innocence back then; you are right.

  4. Sheryl

    As we near the summer solstice in the US, and hot summer weather is arriving, I can almost sense the cooler winter air as I read this post. .

  5. tyler4turtles

    Very inspiring and humorous post, my friend! I couldn’t help but chuckle after reading the quote, “here, have a cup of soup.” I will think warm thoughts for you, now in the throes of winter 🙂

  6. Tracy Rhynas

    I didn’t know Edmund Hillary was a New Zealander! I sometimes think I should have payed more attention at school….. That really is a classic understated exchange with George Lowe on his descent – I am almost surprised it wasn’t ‘here, have a cup of tea’!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Me too! Edmund Hillary mentions taking a lemon drink near the summit but I can’t remember just now if it was lemon tea or a lemon juice.

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Most likely; it just seemed so quaint to take lemon tea to the mountains but perhaps that is a well known drink amongst mountaineers.

  7. utesmile

    You have winter coming, as it seems and we have no outlook for summer….cold and rainy…..below average May temperatures. Do keep warm! A nice cup of cocoa and a warm blanket and some of your medlar gelee sandwich! I do remember the 50th anniversary of the climbing of Everest, how time flies, 60 years now. Where has time gone!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Where indeed? And you will be happy to know that I have this very moment just finished a cup of cocoa. It seemed exactly the right drink for another cold and frosty night.

  8. ordinarygood

    Lovely photos of the snow on the hills very near you! I gather there was snow on many high hills and mountains in the Wellington area. We had our first frost here this morning.

    I doubt that Sir Ed would have agreed to any great fuss or commemoration instead he ploughed so much back into the people of Nepal.

    Keep very warm.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Certainly a hard frost here this morning. Yes, I was listening, on National Radio, to an old recording of Sir Ed and he says how surprised they were that there was so much fuss about their achievement. His commitment to the people of the Nepal was wonderful.

  9. teamgloria


    love the understated chaps-conversation post-summit 😉

    the american’s would have named a day after them and a street and a festival.

    but a cup of soup is plenty grand.

  10. Clanmother

    Happy Mount Everest Day! I wonder if the mountain even took notice that a human “knocked the bastard off!” I marvel at the courage of anyone who would climb higher than a ladder. Edmund Hillary was so right when he said: “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Actually, I think the poor old mountain is probably quite tired of all the people who clamber over it. And it is interesting that Edmund Hillary, despite his first famous words, was clear throughout his life that one doesn’t conquer mountains/nature.

  11. lensandpensbysally

    It’s spring on the East Coast, USA, but today and next few are forecast for low 90s. Spring, really? Last week we have night temps in 40s. And you are getting ready for winter.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, we are, and it is a strange process here too. This morning there is lovely sunshine and warmth and one can hardly believe how grim it was two days ago.

  12. Forest So Green

    I think the story of the mountain climbers is interesting. I think of al the tech gadgets and clothing that people use they days that were not able to the explorers in years past. I think that reaching the mountain top was amazing. Stay warm 🙂 Annie


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