It had been a stormy night even here at the leeward side of the hill. The morning wasn´t much better with heavy rain squalls and the odd hailshower. I left the hostel in the late morning when it had become a bit lee wet and drove north. Up on the moors it became dark again and relentless hail and snow showers battered the road. Very soon a layer of half melted ice covered the road and when I approached one of these dales that the road passes with steep descents and ascents, the traffic came to a halt.
First I was afraid that there had been an accident down at the valley but after a while the cars started to drive again. It was a very slow drive though, barely faster than pedestrian speed. There was no accident to be seen and I realized that the halt and resulting traffic jam was caused by the drivers just being too frightened to continue driving. Later I heard that the reason for the typical breakdown of British traffic once a few snow flocks cover the roads is, that the cars usually do not have winter tires. This seemed to be an odd behaviour in a country that has wet weather fairly often and regular snow fall in a couple of areas. It seemed even more odd considering that they usually – at least pretend – to take security very serious, as can be experienced when there is a small road repair site which gets protected by hundreds of blinking bars for a good mile in advance.