Trail in Namibia Trail in Namibia

Snow and Ice Patterns

I’m just back from some micronavigation in the Black Mountains in Wales.

I should get a chance to blog in more detail in time, but for now I just wanted to share a couple of nice clues I found in the light snow and ice I walked amongst.

The first photo shows the first snow I encountered on a climb out of the Vale of Ewyas. We are looking east in this picture, the only snow to have survived the thawing warmth of the day are the thin strips hiding in the shade on the south side of the path. This technique is analogous to the one using puddles on the south side of west-east tracks.

The sunlight can be seen lighting the hillside in the background and unsurprisingly there is little snow to be found there. It is only in the shadows that it survives on the lower slopes.

On reaching the ridge and the Offa’s Dyke Path, the snow and ice were a little more abundant. In the photos below, notice how there are lines in the ice, sculpted by the wind. These lines proved consistent over the local area.