A Patch Of Snow That Has Nearly Never Melted

Samuel Reason | July 18th, 2019

In Britain’s highest mountain, a patch of snow exists that has a nickname. You may wonder why a patch of snow might garner such affection but the story is that it has only ever melted seven times in the last 300 years.


Known as the Sphinx, this patch of snow exists on the Garbh Choire Mor on Braeriach, and in all of the Scottish mountains, this snow patch is historically the longest lasting. Climbers that regularly trek up and down these mountains, even use it as a point of navigation, calling it Scotland’s Glacier. In recent years it melted completely in 2017 and 2006, meaning that it stayed put for eleven years.

The patch of snow is so famous it is also one of the most studied by snow experts and researchers around the world. Many experts, such as Stirling based Iain Cameron, record the snow that survives around the highest mountains. They believe it is an important way to tell how climate change is affecting the mountains. However, recently it is more simply the mild and wet conditions of recent winters that have caused the snow to melt.

Ben Nevis which is Britain’s highest mountain was also strangely snowed free during the summer of 2017. However, snow is much more random in the Scottish mountains. If the Scottish winter of 2016/2017 was very mild, you only have to look back a couple of years to find records of tons of snow falling in 2013.

According to the records put together by experts who have crawled through years of family stories from the highlands, the Sphinx previously melted in 1933, 1953, 1959, 1996, 2003 and 2006. A biologist by the name of Dr. Adam Watson has warned that it appears to be melting faster than usual and the snowy peaks do not stay snowy for long in modern times.

A sign that pollution and climate change are making notable changes to the north of Scotland, which could completely change the region. Garbh Choire Mor is described as being remote and having an alpine feel, but without snow will it be the same?

Next Article
  • The Tragic Story Of How Smallpox Claimed Its Last Victim

    Smallpox was thought to have been eradicated across the whole world, yet in 1978 the last known case of smallpox was reported, and it led to the death of 40-year-old photographer Janet Parker. So how in the world did this disease turn up in Britain’s second-biggest city? Janet Parker was...

    Read More
  • The Creator Of The Sims Lost His Own House To Fire

    There is a certain panic when all your The Sims characters start to run around like ducks, scared of the impending doom of fire. Some players can react and call the fire brigade, or grab an extinguisher - yet others just panic along with their virtual gamer counterparts and well that means losing everything you...

    Read More
  • The Scientist Who Used A Nuclear Bomb To Light A Cigarette

    Forgot your lighter? Then you would probably ask your colleagues or someone you saw smoking on the street, well that was too easy for the American scientist Ted Taylor who in 1952 decided a better option would be to light his cigarette with a nuclear bomb. That's right, a nuclear explosion was used to light...

    Read More
  • The Secret Atlantic U-Boat Attacks Of World War II

    On January 13, 1942, German U-boats began their campaign on the Eastern Seaboard of North America, targeting merchant ships and oil tankers. And for the next seven months, they dominated the waters off the East Coast. German U-boat captains loved to be assigned to this region as it was an easy place to rack up...

    Read More
  • Humans Are Not The Only Species That Likes To Get Drunk

    Veterinary doctors around Northern Australia are used to the giant influx of parrots found on the streets being brought in for check-ups periodically throughout the year. They have dubbed it the drunken parrot season. A period of the year when the Red-collared lorikeets decide to get completely intoxicated and tipsy off natural brews. [caption id="attachment_9734"...

    Read More
  • Broccoli Is A Man-Made Plant And Is Never Found In The Wild

    Ever walked through nature and said wow that's beautiful broccoli growing over there. No, you never have, and never will do. That is because you will simply never find broccoli growing out in the wild. Never has anyone walked through a forest and gazed upon rows of wild broccoli. And the answer lies in its...

    Read More
  • World's Greatest Waterslide Was Tragic

    One would think the story of the world's greatest waterslide would be a terrific tale of excitement and wonder. Unfortunately this is far from the truth. The story of the world's greatest waterslide is one of sadness, lies and deceit, which ultimately ended in a tragic accident. Coming in at...

    Read More
  • The Classic GoldenEye Game Was Made By A Team Of Nine

    If you have ever played N64 then you definitely at some point played the iconic and classic Goldeneye 007 game. Based on the James Bond movie this game became an instant cult classic. Either you played it for hours with friends or you spend hours training to beat levels at...

    Read More