The Weight Of Mountains 10 – Winter Storm


The storm that was promised has indeed lived up to its reputation, we are just emerging from four days of intense winds, up to 90km an hour, during which the entire landscape of the town changed due to very big snow drifts and ice.

A few days ago, the Icelandic Grapevine Newspaper said: “The Weather God is not feeling very Christmassy this year, as there’s horrendous weather predicted, with expected travel disruption, church service cancellations and danger of avalanches is some areas.” Indeed, the church service scheduled for Christmas day was postponed, and there were a few days when cars just couldn’t get from one end of the town to the other!

164A0236S11:30 am 21/12, the clouds approaching.

We had our first taste of really rough weather on the night of the 23rd. During a slight lessening of the wind at around 1:30am, Melody drove us home, as she declared it was not safe for us to walk in the wind. When we got home, Donna, wondering why the house felt drafty, walked into the loungeroom to discover that the wind had unlatched our back door and pulled it almost entirely off its hinges!!


Photo courtesy of Laura Mustio!

After we had recovered from bouts of uncontrollable laughter at the madness of it all, we inspected the door further and decided to remove it entirely (which wasn’t too hard, considering it was hanging by a couple of bent screws. We pulled it inside and propped it against the door frame in the opposite direction, and propped it up with an armchair, a plank of wood and a table. There was still a gap at the top, but we just had to leave it and thankfully, the next morning, Melody arranged for some repairmen to come and fix it up for us, so that no more rain and snow would get in!


Also thanks to Laura!


A few weeks back, we visited the Search and Rescue Centre, to be briefed on winter safety, and heard some stories of last year’s wild weather, including the story of this piece of metal which dislodged itself from a roof during strong winds and hit one of the volunteers in the shoulder. It has been mounted on the wall as a reminder of the dangerous nature of storms here.


This is the giant 4 wheel drive that the SAR uses for rescue missions!

Thankfully there have been no near-decapitations or lost roofs this year, however the weather has certainly made its mark on the town.




164A0443SAbbey removing the sheet of ice and snow which was covering our windows.

164A0406SOne night, as we walked home after some wild winds and snow, we realised the temperature must have dropped during the day, as a crust of ice had formed over the snow drifts, creating what Tem referred to previously as “creme brulee snow”. It had also snap frozen the snow which had collected on twigs and branches and cars and light posts, so everything had a wonderful translucent coating! This is my favourite variation on winter weather so far.

I am starting to learn that there really are endless variations to the weather here. “Stormy” is really not a good enough description, as that could mean one of any number of things!


This evening, Melody decided to get out the snow shovel and move the two to three foot pile of snow which had been blocking our Studio doorstep. As she began, a local in one of the big snowploughs turned up, and took over.

164A0531S“That’s not a shovel, THIS is a shovel!”

I am thrilled by the wildness and extremes of this week, I hope we will see more of this!

– Em xoxo