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2 Dec 2010

Carry on up the Cairnwell

The Schaf was due to be on the News Channel over lunchtime, but he was mysteriously supplanted by Susan Powell {i} et al.

The mystery was soon solved, as The Schaf informed us that has travelled up to Nowheresville! Perhaps it's to atone for *that* incident; I hope the locals don't make him into a wicker-man, to keep themselves warm.

I jest of course: The reason he has been sent up there, is because the BBC recognise his worth, his enthusiasm over the possibility of a record low temperature and we can't wait to see him report up there. He is off the Braemar in Aberdeenshire, where it's likely that the temperatures may reach below -27.2C. It was here in 1895 and 1982 when temperatures dipped to that record low; in 1995 temperatures also dropped that low at Altnaharra (Scottish Highlands).

Tomasz has kindly supplied us with a picture at Braemar, the bench giving some indication of the depth of the snow:

Tomasz explains:
I'm off to Braemar in Cairngorm, Scotland today with the BBC. I'll be reporting on BBC Breakfast and the News Channel tomorrow morning from what could be the coldest place in the UK. Near record temperatures are possible down to minus 25C.

Tomasz is sensibly taking a 4x4 up Cairnwell, rather than cycling up there. For those who like trivia, "The Cairnwell" is the highest public road in the UK, at 665m (2181ft). The highest road in the UK is to an aircraft-radar station upon Great Dun Fell, at 848 m (2782 ft)-- the second highest point in the Pennines.

So what is causing these low temperatures, you may ask? When there is not snow on the ground, by day the ground absorbs heat from sunlight and the air; by night this stored heat is gradually drifts into the air, giving some relative warmth at ground level. However several inches of snow on the ground; it acts like lagging, and keeps any stored heat in the ground (also sunlight reflects off the snow). This factor, combined with clear skies and cold winds, give us the plunging temperature.

Thankfully temperatures are not so cold elsewhere, only a predicted -7C round my way tonight, hope it isn't to raw where you are.So make sure you tune into BBC Breakfast tomorrow, to watch His Loveliness live from Aberdeenshire. Also the News Channel around the same time. Stay safe Tomasz!


  1. FYI, Altnaharra is a 'mere' 145 miles from Braemar (or probably at least 7-8 hours by road in current conditions even with a 4x4) and as he apparaently flew into Inverness rather than Aberdeen (presumably for weather-related reasons) according to his tweets, he had to go in an entirely different direction to get to Braemar.

    Looking forward to seeing him on Breakfast TV in the morning though :)

  2. Oof, exposing gaps in my knowledge there Bill [haha]. I shall duly correct my posts, apologies for the laxity.

    As for Tomasz's latest venture, a missive shortly follows.

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  4. PS: Well, if he flew into Inverness, he wouldn't have come along Cairnwell Pass perhaps, but the route would've been via that if he had come via the nearest airport.

    Besides I chose to reference Cairnwell, because it sounded like a Carry On movie title and it alliterates.

    As for the 145 miles thing: When you put it like, not so mere after all.

    It's all relative though. The Earth's circumference is about 24,900 miles, so 145 miles is... what... 0.005% of that-- so not so far after all in perspective.