Snow? In the summer? It sounds like climate change gone mad and given the weather recently it could be quite feasible. However, this is not the snow that Christopher Nicholson seeks. Most of the snow doesn’t last past the summer, clearing before the winter returns, but he is obsessed with the finding those patches of snow in the Scottish Highlands that are left over when the rest have gone and because of the size managed to survive all year.
Nicholson heads alone into the hills braving the elements, it is late summer after all, in search of these ghostly remains of winter. Not every year has them though, a warming climate is ensuring that, but the ones he finds vary in size from a few feet across to huge ones that you can get in underneath. Some of these patches of snow have been there for years, the layers building up to create some truly deep drifts. There are even some that you can crawl under bathing you in this eerie blue-white light as is passes through the ice; they have even been called snow cathedrals.
I have been high in the French Alps in July and see pockets of snow and where we were in Tignes there was a glacier where they were still skiing on. To read about snow pockets was something that I had never expected that we still had in Scotland. There is more to this book than that though, there are musings on the weather, other walkers and a touching tribute to his late wife too. All through the book are hauntingly beautiful photos of the snow caves that he finds on his walks and the fragments of snow set against the dramatic landscape of the Scottish mountains.