There's a good story behind every photo.
We recently spent a few days in Mount Cook National Park, out on the other side of the world. On our drive down to the park, it was a beautiful, sunny day; the mountain peak topped with snow, with the icy blue waters of Lake Pukaki reflecting the cloudless sky.
Camping at the base of the mountain was otherworldly, staring directly upwards to a mammoth creation of nature; I can't find words to describe it. Upon our arrival, a giant cloud had obscured the peak, giving a moody, ethereal feel.
Not to be deterred by bad weather, we proceeded with our planned 12km hike (complete with heavy camera gear strapped to our backs) towards the mountain. The closer we got, the more we noticed the weather start to change; Aoraki had unleashed its potential.
The wind picked up, and we started to get hit with snow, hail and rain. By 3km, we were soaked through 3 layers, and were praying our waterproof coverings protected our gear. By 4km, our faces were thoroughly windburned, our legs and feet were numb, and we could barely hear each other shouting over the wind.
At 6km, we finally reached our destination. The base of Mt Cook and the view over the infamous Hooker Valley. Unfortunately, we could barely see through the thick layers of cloud, hail and snow. Photos were attempted but to no success.
We made the 6km return hike, and proceeded to camp under the mountain. With a snowstorm coming over, temperatures falling to -12°C, and our wet gear slung over every available surface, to say it was an uncomfortable night is an understatement.
The following morning, we awoke at 4.30am for the sunrise. We decided to try our luck at the Tasman Glacier Lake, a 10 minute drive away, rather than face the hike again. By the time we arrived, the sun had already started it's ascent; cue us running in pyjamas down steep shingle cliffsides. Upon our arrival at the base of the lake, the sky exploded with shades of magenta, crimson and lilac. A few moments later, it had softened to a beautiful mixture of blues and peaches. The slight wind meant we didn't achieve the reflection of the mountains on the lake, but we were happy with the shot we got.
For us, it is imperfectly perfect.