The Marine Isotope Stage 19c (MIS19c) interglaciation is regarded as the best orbital analog to the Holocene. The close of MIS19c (~777,000 years ago) thus serves as a proxy for a contemporary climate system unaffected by humans. Our global climate model simulation driven by orbital parameters and observed greenhouse gas concentrations at the end of MIS19c is 1.3?K colder than the reference pre-industrial climate of the late Holocene (year 1850). Much stronger cooling occurs in the Arctic, where sea ice and year-round snow cover expand considerably. Inferred regions of glaciation develop across northeastern Siberia, northwestern North America, and the Canadian Archipelago. These locations are consistent with evidence from past glacial inceptions and are favored by atmospheric circulation changes that reduce ablation of snow cover and increase accumulation of snowfall. Particularly large buildups of snow depth coincide with presumed glacial nucleation sites, including Baffin Island and the northeast Canadian Archipelago. These findings suggest that present-day climate would be susceptible to glacial inception if greenhouse gas concentrations were as low as they were at the end of MIS 19c.