30-31 January 2004

It's often claimed that the Eskimos differentiate between 30 different types of snow. In an attempt to see whether this many forms could be found in England, we headed off to the Lake District.

It soon became apparent that there are in fact only 2 types of English snow: (1) freshly fallen snow, and (2) thawing snow. During the week before our visit, that in the Lakes had passed from (1) to (2) before disappearing. We therefore switched our attention to rain: how many different varieties could we find?

Teams were duly dispatched. Some to the top of Grisedale Pike. Others to the depths of Newlands Valley. Another group checked out Blencathra. There was even a group of intrepid mountain bikers exploring the Back of Skiddaw.

The results were clear. There is only one type of rain. There is lots of it, and it is very wet.