Building a Quiznee and Steel Wool Photography

December 17, 2012 at 8:06 am

Story

A quinzee is shelter that is made out of snow. It is different and much faster to build than an igloo because you start with solid pile snow and then dig out the inside. You want to ensure that where your starting has a significant amount of snow on the ground.

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If it’s a hike from the car you may need snowshoes, especially with all that extra weight from your gear. We brought two shovels, one of them being a small avalanche shovel that made digging out the inside much easier.

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Oh.. You caught me mending my fences <—- Link

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The snow was EXTREMELY dry and powdery that day, it was almost like shoveling sand. We did our best to pack it down as we went but we were beginning to think that with such powdery snow it may not hold together well enough to dig out later.

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Even with the -10c temperatures that day, we had to start shedding layers from the work out of shoveling all that snow.

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Despite the quality of snow, a few hours later we had enough piled. At this point you want to let it settle/cure for at least 2-3 hours. Even with powder snow, it should solidify pretty well.

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To pass the time we made some tea and played frisbee on the frozen pond.

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Once it was dark we still had a few hours to kill before we could start digging it out. I had brought some steel wool to try some long exposures with it. Here is a link I found on how these kind of shots are achieved.

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We did the final exposure with my brother standing on the quiznee.

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With enough time passing, we started the process of digging out the inside. At this point you always want at least one other person with you, in case of a cave in.

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It wasn’t long until we had enough removed to fit inside

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We had one final cup of tea and called it a night. I had used the snowshoes as a windbreak for the stove. Despite the -10c temperatures, we were both warm the whole night inside the quiznee.

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