White Out and Prevailing Winds

My thanks to Ginny Howells for coming on a course and for this wonderful email:

I just thought I’d share how I used natural navigation to get me home during a white out – as I thought you’d appreciate it and I wanted to say thank you!! I came on your day course just outside of London (I was the one asking about natural navigation across Greenland) and if I hadn’t I would have had a tricky time getting home!

I was out for a ski (I’ve been living in Norway) and wasn’t following particular trails, I was just concentrating on technique and distance. When I set out the weather was fine but it quickly turned into a small blizzard and a white out- meaning the peaks I usually used to navigate by were invisible. However, on leaving the house I’d noticed that the snow was building up on a particular side of the tree- I’d wondered about it and recalled what you said prevailing winds and I remembered the angle of the snow build up to the house and managed to work my way home using it!

I think the one of the trees [in these photos, but not taken at the time of the white out] shows the snow build up quite clearly! I started by following my tracks back by because of the heavy snow they got covered and that’s when I remembered what you’d said about the prevailing winds.

Thanks for a great course!!!

Ginny Howells