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What if there is no snow?

Snow Hole Expedition

On December 21, 2016 By Rebecca Field In All things hiking News Winter

One of the most frequently asked questions for those joining our winter courses is what if there is no snow. Although we can’t control the weather we can almost guarantee there will be snow. Especially on the high peaks during winter and early spring. But for those of you that still have concerns, let us put your worries to rest.

Snow Hole Expedition

Digging in for the night in the Cairngorms

What if there is no snow?

If for some reason the winter is mild and the snowfall doesn’t stick; fortunately for you, it’s not the end of the world. If you are joining Scot Mountain Holidays on a Winter Skill course, snow is actually only one of three factors in the course going ahead. Arguably the two most important factors to consider are in fact wind (for drifting) and the huge Cairngorm plateau (for snow capture) on the windward side of our chosen sites.

Keep in mind that the Cairngorms are home to Britain’s most permanent snow-beds. And the snow (if at all) will generally only melt in July and early August. Plus, though there might not be enough snow cover for skiing, for the winter walker/climber, complete snow cover is fabulous but not essential. Thick deep snow can make our day out more strenuous than necessary.

Summer snow patches in Scotland

Guests enjoying a patch of snow in the Cairngorms in July

This means that, in the fifteen winter seasons that Scot Mountain Holidays have been running winter skill courses and hiking holidays, a course has never been cancelled due to lack of snow.

Man in snow-hole

Enjoying some light reading in a self made snow-hole

Scot Mountain Holidays winter courses teach many skills to deal with a variety of snow conditions. The hard icy snow that develops after a thaw and subsequent refreeze is ideal for teaching the crampon skills. Often a new blanket of snow won’t add any additional benefits to our winter skill courses.

Remember, if there’s no snow on the lower lands this shouldn’t affect any winter skill course you are participating in. While snow is a very strong likelihood on the peaks and where our courses take place, there are many other factors that will make your experience very memorable.

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