My job is mostly outdoors, physical but satisfying. Clearing snow from roofs (waiting for the ‘thump’ when a large chunk dislodges), breaking the ice barefoot in the creek and carving steps in the snow by the sauna for guests. The main part is keeping the lodge supplied by snowmobile along the 13km trail from the base, with the occasional guest as a passenger to chat with.
I’ve learned that living off-grid means being at the mercy of the weather. Extreme swings in hot or cold bring challenges for our energy systems (propane, generators, water pumps) and to our access trails. The start of this winter season has been exceptional (so i hear), and these events certainly make you appreciate the simple things like electricity, heat, running water.
There are a lot of simple, beautiful things around me here. The way tree branches sag when ladened heavy with snow, and how it builds up in layers on rocks - I call these snow-muffins. The large snow crystals (surface hoar) that form near the creek from the humidity. Every day is a lesson and a new photo.
The Callaghan valley is unique in being wide open, sheltered from the wind, and east facing. It makes for beautiful sunrises and a network of nordic ski trails across the valley floor -it turns out skate skiing is really hard.
I often wonder what this place will feel like with longer days and no snow - I’ll have to come back in summer!