Back in January when it was waist (waste) deep snow DeathRider had the vision that this season would make for an excellent winter kwɪnzi (Quinzhee). With deep snow and deep cold the snow shelter is ideal.
The trails to it are less than ideal as 11 inches of snow fell the day before and roads are nasty. We have to push (called hike-a-bike) for a few miles and then down into deep snow.
It was a slog and if it wasn't down hill we both would have dislocated an arm dragging wood. Yes, wood. With 4 feet of snow you can't find anything small to burn.
It's cold but the wind outside is horrendous. It's blowing 15 knots maybe gusts to 18 or more. Temps are in the singles but a large wind break and fire hold the cold back long enough for dinner. I roast some veggie sausages (because they are good and a lot of grease is hard to deal with in winter) and Death goes more Australopithecus and roasts meat on a stick.
The wind and cold get to us after a short time and the shelter is relatively warm and quiet. We are drawn to it to escape the howl of wind and cold blowing snow. It's sanctuary. We plug the door with my yellow waterproof pack and nest in for the night.
Some breakfast in bed after a nice night. This was my first overnight in a Quinzhee and it beats a good 4 season tent like a hotel beats sleeping in a car. Temps hardly fell below 20 yet it was -0 or more outside and the wind didn't make it flap like a trash bag. I'm completely sold on snow homes if it's going to be cold.
Up and at em we have to ride back. I have ice diving to get to and Deathrider has plans as well. Friday night camps make extra long weekends at no cost so long as you have fluffy blue down booties. :)
The trail is a little packed in from the trips in to make the shelter, minus a huge snow fall plus two hikers dragging 50 pounds of wood and bikes.
9:30am Saturday and the traditional group photo (sans quitters, you know who you are) at the very end.