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How I did it: We started building our quinzee in the morning after breakfast, and after hauling all our gear on sleds for an hour. Since the snow was quite deep - about a foot and a half we didn't have to travel far for the snow to make the quinzhee. We shoveled snow into a huge pile, trying to make it more domed shape than conical.
Here is our pile of snow. We piled another foot on top of this.
Once the structure was large enough, we had lunch and went snowshoeing for an hour. The snow has to settle in order to stay strong. We placed sticks a foot long into the quinzhee. Once you are inside, you have no idea how close you are to the outside. The branches let you know when to stop shovelling.
You can't really tell from this picture, but John is inside shovelling the snow to the door. My job was to move it away from the door. The brown dots on the sides are the foot long sticks. I could not reach to the top of the quinzhee to insert sticks there.
There was a surprisingly large area inside the quinzhee.
We smoothed out the sides with a frizbee. A candle is placed inside the quinzhee to glaze the inside in order for condensation to slide down the sides and not drip on us as we sleep.
The quinzhee was surprisingly warm - about 40 degrees F. It was also very quiet. In the morning I had to look through the small entrance to see if it was light out.
The next day we had our picture taken with us standing on our quinzhee. Yes, it was strong enough to support our weight. We tore it down before we left. Read how I did it… 2 years ago