Too Cold for Snow, Sunshine, and Mountain Climbing

Today the weather was clear skies and I saw the sun for the first time since I’ve arrived at Gordonstoun. However, when you’re this far north, the sun doesn’t rise higher than a few inches above the horizon. It kind of looks like the sun is constantly setting or rising, depending on the time of day. Even though it wasn’t raining today, it was still freezing cold, or specifically -2 degrees celsius. All of the puddles from previous rains froze, and even the rain drops on the handrails have formed miniature icicles. The top layer of the lake was also frozen. During my free period with the Australians, we walked around and explored with our cameras, taking advantage of the dry weather and sun for some photos of the old buildings here, such as G-House and the Round Square Building. These buildings, which are also boarding houses, are rumored to be haunted…

I still had my hopes up for snow, but according to the girls in my house once the weather gets into the negatives it is officially too cold for snow. Instead, we get really heavy frost. This looks like snow at a distance, but when I walk on it, the frozen grass cracks under my feet. The pebbles on the walkways are frozen into the ground. Though I haven’t fallen myself, I have witnessed a few tumbles onto the ice while walking from class to class.

The weather today also caused girls’ hair to freeze. Those who were unfortunate enough to have to swim in PE today had to defrost their hair into sinks in the Chemistry room after their PE lesson. Trust me, frozen hair isn’t fun. I’m hoping the weather will warm up by Friday, when I will be swimming (though it is a naive hope).

The days seem longer here. That is probably because the students never leave school, so there is no actual ending. Having 6 days of school sometimes seems very long, but luckily my week was just shortened a little bit when I received an email saying that I had gotten the last spot on the mountain skills trip this weekend. We depart Friday afternoon and come back Sunday afternoon, which means I miss Saturday classes to go climb in the nearby Cairngorm Mountains (score!). I’m really excited to try ice climbing and mountaineering for the first time. I figured, when will I ever have the opportunity to ice climb in Scotland again?