Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This is officially the coldest place in the North

I've never had e-mails like it. This one from Justin, came in about three hours after Sue's e-mail about cold weather. I don't know him, but apparently he travels in Russia and would not like to spend time in a Gulag. Personally, I'm still going to give my vote for the hardiest person to Craig, who has to lecture to the Inuit in mid winter. There is not a lot of joy in that.

Ps, it is about time we had a cold photo. This was taken on the top of Ben Nevis on Castle Ridge by Cassio Cassio. See his photos on How cold was it? Very, very. John

Neither of you are even warm yet, when it comes to coldest.

Oymyakon, in Eastern Siberia, has an average winter temperature of -96F The little village is home to 900 permanent residents, who endure winter for nine months out of the year, and considered −30 F "balmy"

This area is in the East Siberian taiga (northern coniferous forest) and is so cold because it is located near the eastern end of the world's largest land mass and blocked by mountain ranges from moderating oceanic influences.
Even in the middle of winter, places right around the ocean, even though they are much farther north, don't grow as cold as those farther from the ocean.
The Russian Vostok Station in Antarctica holds the record for the coldest official temperature on Earth, -129 F, recorded on July 21, 1983. The average low for August there is -103 F. This station is on the Antarctic Plateau, where the South Pole is located, but even farther from an ocean than the Pole.
2,000 years ago Scotland was almost tropical. It was still pretty warm when the Vikings were invading the North West Coast.

  • Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland

  • The Vikings in Glencoe, the Terror, the Glencoe Battle
  • New Battle starting in North America

    Can't resist another Spring picture. It is not even Valentine's day yet.

    No sooner had I posted Craig's e-mail about the frozen North of Canada than we had our other pal back on the e-mail - Pokey Sue - from Maine. This is what she has written this morning.

    Now, now boys and girls. (Its only fun.. I think the last time there was a serious outbreak of violence between the two was in 1812. We were involved then, too. Take care Craig, she is married to a Campbell)

    Hi there, John, happened to check your blog to see what's new. Those Canadians are always trying to prove it's lots colder in Canada than Maine.

    I wouldn't believe a word of it, all written under the influence of Labatts or Moosehead. Though, come to think of it, the only place I've ever seen beer freeze in a bottle while trying to drink it was in Canada. Now that you mention it, maybe I'm blocking out a bad memory - was it in Canada that my gloves wouldn't work and I needed 3 coats on top of my long underwear??? Well, if they are coming to your cottage after us, I will leave them a wee pair of warm booties in case they are unused to the chill.

    Now, now.

    No, could be a good idea
    I've got to get in the link to our new page on the Vikings, because Google has indexed it but not high up on the pages. So every little link in helps. Actually, I'll have to change some of the wording to make it more friendly to Lady Google. She can be a tough dame at times.

  • The Vikings in Scotland, the Terror, the Battles, Vikings in Glencoe

  • Tuesday, February 05, 2008


    Not everything is snow covered. Here is our Camellia, on February 1st. Spring is not far away.

    So you think its been cold? Don’t go there boys and girls – we don’t know how lucky we are with our weather even in Winter. I’ve made pals by e-mail with Craig Bowman who is coming to stay with his wife at the cottage for a week later in the year. They are from Canada.

    Some of the temperatures he talks about are also experienced within a mile of our cottage. If you climb up 3,000 feet to the peak above us, Beinn a Bheithir, in mid-winter in a howling gale, you will not survive long with the wind chill temperatures easily below -20. But his experience of these temperatures at sea level is awesome.

    Here is his latest e-mail.

    I'm writing you from La Ronge SK today, about 5 hours' drive north of Saskatoon. It is currently -41 C with windchills below -50, and only 7 of the 20 or so people who were supposed to come to my talk came today. I blame the weather. My hotel here has some rooms that face the outdoors (not mine thank goodness) and two teenage girls were frozen (by that I mean the door wouldn't open) inside this morning. The hotel guy had to get a space heater on the door, then took a ladder to get inside from the window, and then pushed his way out from the inside. Many hijinks ensued.

    -30 is truly bad but unfortunately common at this time of year. At the extreme, we get down to about -45 once or twice per winter, and the wind can feel like it's taking an extra -20 off. When it gets like that, you avoid going outside, but life goes on, so we have some coping strategies. First, you need to have an electric block heater in the car, and preferably a remote-control starter as well so you can take the edge off before venturing out.

    At those temperatures, exposed skin can freeze in less than a minute, so the key is layering & coverage - you know those facemasks you see thieves wearing on TV? People here wear them while walking the dog. Underneath a hat and scarf. And the dog wears little

    Your tears are a saline solution, so the eyeballs do not freeze up unless you're already dying of hypothermia, which happens a few times a year to drunk people walking home from the pub or stranded motorists going for help. The eyes aren't the big problem - it's fingers, toes & ears, which can freeze through and then develop gangrene. It all sounds worse than it is; the great majority of people prepare before the go out and are ready for it. Fortunately, the deep freeze in Canada really only lasts from late November to late March, and it the worst never lasts too long - tomorrow is getting up to -7!


  • Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland

  • Autumn Breaks October November December Glencoe

  • Winter breaks January February March in Glencoe

  • Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe

  • The Vikings in Scotland, the Terror, the Battles, Vikings in Glencoe

  • last minute, self catering holiday breaks scotland

  • excellent Scottish holiday properties offering short breaks and special prices
    Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Short Breaks Glencoe
  • Stories about Appin villages blog