Cwm, Coombe

Hanging Valley
Hanging Valley

And not just a cwm or a coombe but also, possibly, a corrie or a cirque. You know, once we lived on the edge of a massive ice sheet. Here, I’m tempted to ask, just what is it with humanity? Give them an active volcano and they plant their crops on it, give them a poisonous plant and the use it as a food flavouring and give them an ice sheet and they potter around and make themselves at home on it. In fairness though, I must admit that the ice sheet in question had covered most of what they and their predecessors called home, so wandering up and down the edge of it was something to do while they waited for someone to invent coal mines and get global warming under way.

The minute the ice sheet melted and they could all go home, dozens of them rushed off to climb up and down mountains and scramble about on glaciers, to ask why would be fruitless. Whatever, they gave the sort of valley shown in our photo today all those different names. It’s a sort of a cup carved out of the hills by the snow compacting and piling up layer on layer until the pressure got too much for the poor stuff so it turned into ice and slid its way out of the V shaped hole we have a photo of.

Another glacier happened to be passing just then and our baby glacier was swept along in the euphoria of it all – so we have this valley hanging there, half way up the side of the hill.

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