Nivation is a collective noun identifying a set of geomorphic processes, comprised of an indeterminate number of elements and of unknown relative importance, for which there is little likelihood of ever producing a precise definition. Instead, attention should first be directed towards the relationships between snow-packs and individual geomorphic processes. The relationship between freezing amplitude in the bedrock, snow cover, and aspect at an Arctic site in northern Norway and an alpine site in the Front Range, Colorado, U.S.A. is complex. Comparison of field data and laboratory criteria permit several conflicting interpretations. If oscillations across 0°C, regardless of freezing amplitude, are critical, the alpine site is potentially a more active freeze-thaw weathering regime, with a primary springtime peak and a secondary fall peak. If a freezing amplitude of –5°C is required for effective freeze-thaw weathering then the alpine site is largely inactive and the Arctic active (but with only a single fall peak). Chemical weathering is much more important at snow-patch sites than has traditionally been recognized. Mass wasting at colluvial sites subject to snow patches is dominated by interaction between overland flow and solifluction when the site is unvegetated, and by solifluction when it is vegetated. Given contemporary knowledge of snow and glacial geomorphology, there appears to be no threshold, only differences of intensity. Resolution of the disruptive mechanism associated with bedrock freezing and its constraining temperature and moisture requirements is the most pressing present problem in the field of snow geomorphology.