According to the last geographical census by the Cooperative Commonwealth of the Union of Northern Gronk, the Krepost Stolitsa Territory is 566,000 sq.km in area. This does not include the Territory regions above the 70°S latitude which are inhabited in warmer months, and does not include any land below that latitude to the Glaciarian south pole. The Gronkian Glaciarian territory between 60°E and 90°E is administered by the government of Krepost Stolitsa, and is known as the Krepost Stolitsa territory. It adds another (estimated) 1.5 million sq.km of mostly uninhabitable ice and snow.
The landscape of Krepost Stolitsa is intensely forested, mountainous and filled with rivers and steams, and blanketed in lush meadows of flowering plants. The mountain range dominates the skyline, stretching from deep in the Glaciarian ice to almost the northernmost tip of the territory. Nevertheless, the majority of the country is actually cool, grassland plains alongside dense boreal forests. And while it is true that the winters here can be harsh, especially in the south, and the land blanketed in deep snow, but during the warmer months, it comes alive.
So, how cold does it get in winter in Krepost Stolitsa?
It seems common perception around Vexillium that Krepost Stolitsa is one enormous snow-covered, ice-cube. Nothing could be further from the truth: the province is intensely green for much of the year.
The difficulty in describing the climate of the province is that there is great variety along the length of just the province, much less the territory, too. The province spans from 46° to 60°S latitude, and the territory from 58° to the south pole. This means that Hridotok can be snow-covered for two months of the year, while Osushenashuma is snow-covered eight months a year, and anywhere south of roughly the 70°S latitude will be glacial year 'round. Broadly-speaking, the border between the province and the territory was meant to be the line between hospitable and inhospitable, between places where plant-life will grow and where it will not. Ermia, for example, was so-named by the ancient Nevat' because it was only habitable for them half the year. That said, the entire country receives some snow and is snow-covered during the year, and southern areas are ice-bound for several months.
The mountainous landscape of Krepost Stolitsa can mean cross-country roads wind between the mountain-sides, or tunnel through the mountains themselves. And because permafrost makes roadbuilding difficult, there is a noticable change in the number and quality of roads the further south one travels. This is particularly noticable in the territory's south, where the western and eastern coasts are completely cut-off from each other. Please be aware that roads in the south can also only be travelled by four-wheel vehicles, additionally equipped with snow-chains in the cold months.
Click the above image for a road map of the territory.
During the spring months, particularly October to December, the build-up of snow in the mountains melts, flooding the rivers and making many impassable. Along main highways, these rivers are crossed by major bridges, but on lesser roads, the roads may be designed to be flooded. Please be aware many of these may not be passable during these months. The government of Krepost Stolitsa strongly advises against attempting a crossing. Many people have lost their lives in such attempts.
During winter, however, the province does get cold, particularly in the south. Glaciaria is called the frozen continent for good reason: year-'round, the continent is blanketed in snow and compacted snow that turns into glaciers. During winter, when the sun is less visible in the province, that land of snowy winter moves north. Fortunately, however, the sea has a moderating effect on temperatures, and snow does not tend to stick around in the province for long, except at higher altitudes. So, for example, the capital city, Krepost Stolitsa, only experiences 32 days of snowfall a year:
However, in the mountains that bisect the province in the north, that figure can be 90 days.
During the southern winter months, that snow line, where heavy snows fall and remain on the ground throughout the day, moves north into Krepost Stolitsa's mountains, grasslands and even the cities. The key dividing line, while only an approximation, is the 60°S latitude — more like 63°S on the western side of the territory, and 55°S on the east — because sea ice will develop off the coast of any land mass below this latitude, and the ground will likely be frozen. This means the harbour of Alshinaie on the west coast will typically not be blocked by sea ice, but Aklinei, on the east, probably will despite being further north. In fact, sea ice along the eastern coast in February, the greatest extent, will be boxed in below the peninsula of Aknasverka'ut'a. Very occasionally, Mematane is blockaded by sea ice. Sea ice is an issue because it blocks shipping, isolating communities for months were it not for ice-breaking supply ships. For this reason, the southernmost city of Osushenashuma is mostly evacuated during winter.