What’s the weather like in April?

 

Across to Stob Binean, April 08

Across to Stob Binean, April 08

A few months ago I had a phone call from a friend in Speyer.   She said that the choir she sang with was visiting the UK to do a concert in Spaulding in April.  She asked if she could visit us for a few days after the concert.  I said that that would be fine, but then she asked the dreaded question ….  ‘What’s the weather like in April in Scotland? Will it be nice?’

Wow ….how do you answer that with any degree of honesty?  At the time I blustered something about, it often being beautiful in April in Scotland and that it could be quite good.  After replacing the receiver I realised that I hadn’t mentioned that it could be  ****** cold at this time of year too and that we’d had several very exciting days walking the hills in the snow in April.  Indeed, on an April day a few years ago, we had very snowy conditions on the east ridge of Ben More.  April can be a wonderful month but it really is a delicate balance between winter and summer,  especially in the Scottish mountains.  Perhaps I should have added the proviso that she brings a couple of warm jumpers just in case!

 

On Ben More, April 08

On Ben More, April 08

As far as I know, Andrea is not a hill walker, so I doubt we’ll have such problems next week when she arrives.  In fact, I’ve just checked out the Mountain Weather Information Service website to see what the forecast is looking like for the week ahead …and well, it’s looking pretty good.  For anyone who hasn’t found this amazing weather service then I would thoroughly recommend it.  They provide a free and very accurate forecast for the mountains.  The forecasts are divided into different regions of Scotland and are updated every day.  There is a main forecast for the day and then forecasts for the two following days.  At the end they have a ‘planning ahead’ report that outlines a very general prediction for the coming week.  We’ve been using the MWIS forecasts for the last almost ten years and although as with any forecast they aren’t always exact …they are, on the whole, very accurate and you can plan your day out with  confidence.

We had as I think I mentioned the other week, been hoping to head up to Ben Nevis on day soon …not to climb it all the way but instead to walk up a path the gives excellent views of its dramatic northern face.  Our friend Guy has done this several times and said he’d like to take us there on a good day.  He reckons it will be an excellent place for me to do some sketching and take some photos and from what I heard, he’s right.

 

Guy and I on Ben More, April 08

Guy and I on Ben More, April 08

As usual it’s been difficult fixing dates that all three of us can make and in the end it came down to just two available days this month …today and tomorrow.  Of course though, it’s a very long way to drive for just a day trip …three and a half hours each way and so it’s only worth doing if the weather is fine and we get the views.  Then on Monday came the news from Guy that he’d hurt his leg while out walking on the hills above Largs.  A very experienced hill walker, having tackled many of the classic routes in Scotland, he had simply slipped on some wet grass just short of the main path back into town.  He hobbled back to the station  and got home but later found he had in fact fractured a bone in his leg.   He is currently sat with his lower leg in plaster …so if you’re reading this Guy,……get well soon.   As I’m typing this now I’m obviously not on Ben Nevis ….it’s grey and quite wet outside and the forecast for further north was not good enough to warrant the long drive north.  We’re keeping an eye on the MWIS forecast and may head out on Sunday instead as it looks like it might be beautiful.  Andrea arrives in Scotland on Monday so I’m hoping for glorious weather …we’re planning to take her over to the Isle of Arran one day and if the sun is out it’ll look stunning.  Let’s hope she sees Scotland at its very best.

 

On Ben More, April 2008

On Ben More, April 2008

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