On our way southwards down the west coast of the South Island, we drove along the Southern Alps. These very mountains are snow covered all year long and are always clad in mist around their peaks. Indeed they look like Misty Mountains.
Not surprisingly they have been chosen to portray the Misty Mountains in the LOTR trilogy. In the movies they appear on several stages. The fellowship tries to climb Caradhras, the countless aerial views in all three parts, the lighting of the beacons, Gandalfs fight against the Balrog and many more.
It was kind of cool to have them on our left all the time. Impassable indeed they seem and even in this age there are but few roads that actually pass through them.