With half the country covered in a blanket of snow today it seems a rather apt time to write about my obsession with snow. I love snow and always have done. When work ask for volunteers to be on a list to come in when it’s snowing, my hand is the first to shoot up. When it snowed heavily about 4 years ago it was brilliant seeing all my familiar places covered in a soft blanket of white. I’m not sure when the obsession developed. I remember being a small child and getting up throughout the night to check if there was snow whenever it was fleetingly mentioned in a weather forecast. I suppose it’s worth thinking about whether it’s an obsession or simply just something I enjoy. An example of the obsession taking hold would be when I was really unwell on a holiday in Scotland, but there was fresh snow on the ground and the forecast was for a blue sky day. There was no way I could stay indoors recovering. I pushed myself to climb 2 high mountains that day, coughing and spluttering my way up. I ended up on antibiotics and steroids when I got home.
Snow has made some fantastic memories for us as a family – epic walks off path in Scotland, sledging down mountains on our map cases. We once sledged down an entire mountain like this and had a very long walk back to the car. Watching snow ‘pin wheels’ roll down slopes, wearing our crampons on icy ground, making great big giant snow men and marveling at crazy ice formations. Walking in great big Scottish forestry plantations which feel like we’ve stepped into Narnia, seeing the footprints of all the animals that have been out there before us. Sending small stones skimming over frozen lakes to hear the melodic sound they produce as they fly. Learning how to move over snow and figuring out the best ways to stay warm and dry and how to pack kit in the best way for a cold winters day. I remember the first time I was on Snowdon in the snow, I didn’t have much hiking kit at the time, so improvised with tights under my hiking trousers, I’m now much warmer in merino thermals!
As soon as there’s a sniff of snow in the mountains I start obsessively looking at the weather forecasts online, holidays are often planned so we can get up to places with snow, such as the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands. I’ve been known to cry before when I’ve wanted to go to the mountains but have been physically unable to get there. Sometimes I have to stop myself looking at social media as the green eyed monster will start to gobble me up.
I love the dulled silence snow brings to the outdoors, the creaking of fresh snow under boot, the satisfying nature of stomping through frozen snow and ice with crampons on my feet. Fresh snow makes everything look so clean. The air somehow breathes differently on a snow day and hot food on the hills is like a warm hug. A perfect snow day brings me great joy and just looking through photos to post for this blog has filled me with happy memories. So obsessions can’t be all bad.