Monday, January 5, 2009

Building an Igloo

Yes, it is cold here in Truckee, no doubt, and we get lots of snow.  So far this year, though, the snowfall has been a bit lacking.  Nevertheless, "lacking" here is "shitloads" elsewhere, and we've got lots and lots of snow in the yard.  Tom decided to get busy, and that plus snow plus cold apparently equals . . . IGLOO!

Each igloo starts with snow bricks . . . 
He cut some of these off of a pile of snow that we routinely shovel from the deck.  A lot of them, however, came from the sides of our street, where the plows have packed it, then the town's huge industrial-sized snowblower further tamped things down.

He picked a spot just a short walk from the house, packed down the snow, stuck in his ice axe as a center point and used a bit of rope to inscribe an 8' circle -- the igloo floor plan.

Then the walls start going up . . . 

Tom did all the work himself up to this point.  Later, I help him by handing the snow bricks over the wall or in through the door.  Other than that, though, the work is all his.

This is the second day and final day of building.  The last half goes quicker than the first, as the blocks lean inward and the circumference shrinks.

Not much time left now!  The skis (with AT skins in place) are there to help hold the blocks in place as I hand them to Tom.  For the last few blocks, we put them on the shovel and haul them in through the doorway.

Tapping in the last few blocks.  This was very tricky, and Tom did it with some skill, even though this is his first igloo . . . 

The finished product, after all the rough edges are chinked in.  All in all, it took him about 8 hours from start to finish, largely alone.  He wants to put a bit of water over it, so it freezes and glazes the whole thing, adding strength and durability.  Oh, and he plans on putting an ice window into it as well.

Oh yes, it does have electricity!

And it glows in the dark!!

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