It is not the voyage of nature which constrains enthusiasm
rather the nature of the voyager
Falling steeply 3000 feet to the valley floor, the dry rock slopes and tussocky faces of the Alpine fault mountain line wore a different face winter to summer.
Rain made for heavy going. Eroded rock faces & washed out passageways caused delays, turning parties around completely, driving them home. Rivers could wash out bridges, or carry away the stock, the dogs, even the horses, at a moments notice.
The same rain that held the party back for days meant comfort in the right conditions - a sweet drum to lull, soothing on tin roofs at night, immense waterfalls cascading over sheer drops, engendering wonder.
On any given day the wind and sun could wear you dry, even after heavy snow. Parched landscapes offered little shelter. Being caught for too long in the summer could mean sickening heat-stroke, or worse. Nevermind the sunburn. They say the nor'wester drives men mad some times. With good cause.
We're prone to think of mother nature as static and unfeeling - Summer hot, winter cold. But here exposed upon the land we find her - dangerous, vivid and brightly alive...
Only the falcon's call
the thin air
and a long way down
Whatever the challenge on the day, musterers and hunters of the high country dealt with each as it arose.
From frostbite to floods, fires to gale-storm forces, the elements took turns working with and against the explorers.