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Author Topic: Quinzee Building with warm weather  (Read 2265 times)

Offline Dick Waskey

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Quinzee Building with warm weather
« on: February 11, 2016, 09:20:07 am »
Just a note to comment on something. We were worried that our quinzee would collapse since it was warm while we dug it out.. 35 degrees for 24 hours...

Last weekend w had a good campout up North.
This year was the first time we brought along "Little" kids (6 -8)... they did well (I did well also).
Quinzee is 10 x 20 inside and took about 15 hours to build.
10 guys were able to sleep inside with a nice path at our feet.
Noteworthy- It froze hard after we made the pile (16) but, weather was warm after we dug it out (35 degrees) and we had no issues...
Mn Lost Boy
AKA "Two Beads", AKA "Sputze"

Having peeked momentarily into paradise below zero, their mundane lives could never again be quite the same.   -Rutstrum

Offline TZBrown

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Re: Quinzee Building with warm weather
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 05:58:59 pm »
Normally they will collapse if not stacked and stirred and below freezing during piling and dig out.

I have had them settle during the night a lot.  When we went to bed the roof was 5 foot inside at the center.  It was above freezing and in the morning the roof was at 3 feet from the floor.  Not a comforting feeling for the claustrophobic

If the temps stay cold they last all season and we even have photos of 6 adults standing on top the day after build.

The first couple of times they were built at Northern Tier, Ely MN, they wanted them knocked down after the event.  backing into them with a suburban just bent the bumper
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Offline Undersky

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Re: Quinzee Building with warm weather
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 09:06:09 pm »
Hey DW,

That's a big quizhee, and that means each of you moved a LOT of snow!

I bet it was a blast for the kids ... and for you.

Our cut-off temperature for sleeping in quinzhees in our Outdoor Adventure club at the school I teach at here in Manitoba is anything above -3C (about +27F). Reason: a school group in Ontario lost 2 of 4 students who were in a wet quinzhee collapse disaster that happened after students and leaders were sleeping. I don't know the details - the Coroner's Report has yet to be published - but it sounds like both the temperature and the shape of this quinzhee may both have played a role.

Of course there are many other factors besides outside temperature and shape that are important when it comes to snow structure stability, too: types of snow used, prep. of site, how well the snow is "worked" before letting it sinter, temperature gradient in snowpack, humidity in the snowpack, length of time after piling and before excavating, temperature change between piling and excavating, amount of direct sun, being on ice or on land, excavation procedure .... it'll be pretty interesting if the Coroner reports any recommendations.

Offline 300winmag

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Re: Quinzee Building with warm weather
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 07:16:51 pm »
My one night in a qunizhee was at -22 F. with my 10 year old daughter. She wanted to try it so I put her in two summer mummy bags and the was fine. I was in a -5 F. synthetic bag and was also good with long johns and then fleece tops and bottoms over them.

Our quinzhee was given 2 hours for the snow to firnify before we dug it out with two sleeping platforms. No noticeable sagging that night but we had two candle lanterns burning for a few hours which melted the interior a bit then froze overnight, creating more strength. With this two candle lanterns and our body heat we were warm enough to read books without needing gloves.

Eric B.