As cold fronts move in and more snow and sub-zero temperatures are forecast, Britain's elevated pubs and inns brace themselves for another influx - that of hundreds of men hoping to get snowed in for days on end with nothing to do but play dominos and get drunk with each other.
Tan Hill Inn landlady, Christianne Palmer, confirmed that when the rambling season ended, it was bonanza time for Yorkshire Dales pubs as the 'extended lock-in hopeful season' started, and droves of men sought to find any excuse to be cut off from the outside world for 'up to a week or more' with nothing but alcohol and the odd game of scrabble to distract them.
'This year it started early. Once you get a forecast of snow, you know you'll get a few dozen wannabe 'strandees' shuffling in, hoping to get trapped by a snow drift so that they can live out some Chilean-miner-lite fantasy of having no choice but to hang out in a pub for a week with no mobile signal, no WiFi and perhaps be featured in a page-eight Sun article.
In the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge, near Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, ten lucky customers hit the jackpot, having to remain in the pub for nine days when 20ft of snow engulfed the building.
After spending a week in the 16th Century pub and bed and breakfast, the group from Surbiton doggedly followed a snow plough for five miles before finally managing to prevent it from opening the road to the pub, lengthening their stay by another two days.
With heavy snowfall becoming more commonplace, however, high-altitude pubs and their stranded clients worry that local councils and government will learn to cope with cold weather, making 8-day winter lock-ins a thing of the past.
'Clearing the roads is exactly the sort of short-sighted policy we've come to expect from this flip-flop coalition government,' protested escapist misanthrope, Stephen Woodburn. 'This will just drive us all overseas and straight into the arms of Somali pirates.'