I said in my last post that the kids really loved the snow forts or houses that they had seen built around the city this winter and that I'd like to try to build one some day. A big wet snowfall during the winter holiday - hiihtoloma - gave us a chance to try it out.
I used a quinzee as our ideal, rather than the snow block-type igloo the Chief originally had in mind. Here's a good guide to how to build one. He still made some snow blocks to support and widen the enterance.
We started with a big pile of snow. Not the 7 to 8 foot they suggested, but dragging all that snow across the yard was exhausting, so we made a child-sized castle. I made the pile and continued to drag snow over during the day and supervised Pudding when she wanted to come inside.
Mouse and the Chief were in charge of the digging out, but all the kids helped.
The day was lovely, but the snow was really wet so everyone was soaked by the end. It took about 4 hours in total to build.
Mouse wanted to sleep in it, but with no door it wasn't really wind tight. I think the Finns pour water on them afterward to harden them, but we had a good freeze that night so it is tough enough for the kids to crawl on even a week later. They have made a back door now as well.
I think next time we'll not build it so close to the path as I can imagine the icy, slushy mess we're going to have when it melts. I'd also try to make it larger so we can have a shot in it. For our first attempt I'm pretty impressed.