Friday 26 February 2010

The Big Snow

Even in a winter as snowy as this the heavy snow of the last two days will be remembered. For 36 hours it snowed steadily with barely a break. The sky was a dark steel grey and the air thick with wet snow flakes driven on a bitter north-east wind. Sticky and damp the snow plastered trees and buildings and built up in great drifts. This was not the bright, light, fluffy cold power of earlier in the winter but denser, wetter snow with a dull off-white finish rather than a glistening sparkle. As the snow eased in the afternoon of the second day of the blizzard I ventured out on snowshoes and ploughed a way down the track from my house. Even with the snowshoes I sank ankle deep into the snow in places. Without them the snow was knee to thigh deep except in places where the wind had blown great clouds into the fields and woods. In the trees it was gloomy and dark, almost oppressive. The leaden air felt heavy and ominous. The public road had been ploughed, though there were still several inches of snow on it. I spent an hour digging a wide trench between the road and my car, left here many days ago as the track to the house was already impassable to vehicles. Cardboard under the wheels enabled me to move the car its own length close to the road. If the wind fills in my trench I’ll have less digging to do tomorrow when I shall see if driving into town for supplies is feasible.With snow lying for well over two months now this winter is becoming one that will be talked about for years to come.

Photo info: Trees weighed down with snow, February 26. Canon EOS 450D, 18-55@18mm, 1/200@ f8, ISO 100, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.6


  1. Brilliant. I need to make another trip up before the season is over. Ideally a weekend of wild camping and maybe my first grade 1 solo gully once it is a bit more consolidated.

  2. Yes Chris, what a 36 hours it was with another 3 foot dumped into our garden and more trees lost as the wet snow stuck to the branches.

    Friends down the hill from us who have enjoyed 16 ski tours in the Cairngorms this year, two in the Ladder Hils, and eight trips up our Ben found it very hard going yesterday. They skied up from their home and only got 200 yards up the Forest Track that leads up to our Ben as the snow was of horrible consistency and stuck to their skis. They abandoned their foray to get up the Ben and came to us for a cuppa instead.

    This latest dump of snow is very wet and it stuck in the sipes of our winter tyres yesterday and today we did not get traction. So on when the autosocks and we got immediate traction.

    See the following:

    The road up to Cas was closed today due to the amount of snow that fell – A real old fashioned winter – At this rate I can see fun on skis into July in some corries! I do hope this is a continuing trend for coming winters as it reminds me so much of good winters past!

    Rob fae Craigellachie

  3. As Rob suggests I think there's plenty of time for another snow trip or two Paul.

    Rob, the stickiness and depth of the snow was why I went out on snowshoes yesterday. I reckoned skis would be very hard work. However a friend arrived at the house on skis today and said the snow in the fields was now windslab and good to ski on.

  4. There's nothing like that in Formby or Southport! More's the pity *g*

  5. Chris,

    I used my snowshoes yesterday as it was the best way of getting around.

    First thing this morning the snow had indeed turned to slab but it softened as the day progressed.

    Hopefully we'll have some sun tomorrow as it has been a bit of a dour day. Sunshine so transforms the white wonderland!

    Rob fae Craigellachie

  6. Sun would be good. It's been dour here for four days with dark grey skies and dull, flat light.