Welcome, Igloo Ed!
I'm glad to see that you're here. Thank you so much for such an awesome tool. It's served me well since we last chatted on email after my Denali trip. As I told you before, we were the envy of every climber on the mountain! We woke up so much more refreshed than any other climber. We definitely had an unfair advantage. All the guided expeditions hated us.
My follow-up on this thread:Solo Construction:
I've built around four 7' igloos solo. My fastest time (with incredible snow) was around 1 hour. Usually, they take around 2 hours (my experiences are very similar to Igloo Ed's). Don't go too fast, though: you'll work up a sweat! I usually build 8' igloos when I have one partner, and 9' igloos with two partners (my pictures showed an 8' igloo on Denali, and a 9' igloo in the Sierras).Chimney Construction:
I've found this to be essential! It is so nice cooking from inside a sleeping bag. To build a chimney, I first complete the regular igloo construction. I then dig out a trench between sleeping surfaces to give more headroom, and to make the entrance lower than the sleeping area (to conserve heat). Then, from inside the igloo, I poke sticks (trail wands, avy probes, etc) through the igloo, aligned with the width of the trench, at the head area of the igloo (feet go by the opening, opposite the chimney). The goal is to extend the trench through the wall of the igloo. On the outside of the igloo, I then cut away an opening by the sticks, and place chunks/shovel loads of snow around the opening to give it more height and to protect the opening. Does this make sense? Look at my third pic of me in my sleeping bag. The trench is below my sleeping bag, and the chimney is next to my head. In my first picture, the chimney is on the right side of the igloo. The entrance is just to the left of my climbing partner (Chuck), and between the pickets and snowshoes. (Yes, it's below ground level.)Trips: Long's Peak:
I'm definitely planning on a Long's Peak trip. (I still haven't climbed Long's yet!) This could be a great place to get everyone out and build some igloos for fun. This would be really cool because the igloos will still be there for parties that follow us. No need for them to carry tents, either! I'm very flexible on this trip. Anytime, perhaps as early as next weekend (conflict with the Halloween climb, though), will work for me. Let me know who's interested, and we can try to coordinate schedules on this one.Snowmass Lake:
I also would like to schedule a trip to Snowmass. I want to ski this one, so this might be more of a March/April trip, depending on avy conditions.Chicago Basin:
I'd like to spend 4-5 days next spring (April?) in the Chicago Basin for some skiing and climbing.Others?
Suggest some other trips (Missouri Gulch, Elbert/Massive, Harvard/Columbia), and I might be able to make it up there. I also plan on spending several weekends in Silverton and Ouray this winter.Sierras?
I'm also always interested in heading back to the Sierras. Let me know if you're out in the Sierras, and I'll try to meet up with you there. (My parents live in Reno.) I am planning on another Mt. Shasta trip in April/May.