Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Igloo

Today I built an igloo. I've always wanted to do this, ever since I saw a film as a child of a real one being built. I've built shelters in the snow before, but never out of "bricks". I used a plastic storage box as a mould, and made the bricks as one would make sandcastles.

The finished result was a bit on the small side, but it would take one person comfortably. Karen and I took some photos of it as it was being built.

The first course:




Almost finished - just a few more blocks to put on:


Making the doorway:


The finished article:


I thought of spending the night in it (there's just room) but chickened out!

30 comments:

Niamh B said...

I'm so jealous - that looks brilliant. is it true? is it really warm inside?

Rachel Fenton said...

Without making your bed elevated or a sink pit for the cold air, you'd have probably frozen to death if you'd lept in there! Just an observation from a sub-tropical island...dum de dum...It looks totally awesome though!

I am missing snow!

Rachel Fenton said...

or slept!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Have you thought of renting it out?

Poetikat said...

Bravo Dominic! That is just fantastic! It does look a tad on the small side (for sleeping anyway).

Kat

Dianne said...

Thanks for this,
bet you had the time of your life
my 3 boys will be trying it in the California mountains in 3 weeks!

luck!

Dominic Rivron said...

NiamB: I suspect it gets warm if you build a "U bend" type doorway: trhe cold air sinks into the bend, the warm air you generate rises into the igloo. It will get warm, as snow is an insulator. See what Rachel says, and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igloo

RF: Yes. I also forgot to snooth the inside walls (still time) - if you don't you get mercilessly dripped on!

TFE: No. Now there's a thought.

Poetikat: Feet have to stick out the doorway, but I could build an entrance tunnel.

Dianne: As I said to Niamh, check out the wiki page. Also:

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-an-Igloo

Rachel Fox said...

An admirable effort. I feel we should give you a badge of some kind!
x

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love it - but not enough to enter it! May I just add that you are certainly a chip off the old block.

BarbaraS said...

That's brilliant, Dominic - I've always wanted to do that too, but the snow here isn't deep enough. Did you light a candle inside to see how warm you could get it..?!?

Dominic Rivron said...

RF: Thank you. Perhaps the Scouts have an "Igloo Building" badge.

WG: An apt metaphor in the circumstances. I might build another...

Barbara: The advantage of the "sandcastle method" is you don't need very deep snow. You just need to wander around scooping it up. I've not lit a candle in it yet: I'll have to smooth the sides first, I think.

Pauline said...

how very cool (no pun intended)

the watercats said...

that's so cool!... (hahahah geddit!)... *throws own eyes to heaven.
We're still waiting for snow, it's like the whole world has it except us!.. we just have perpetually frozen pipes, roads and fingers!
bboooooooo!

The Solitary Walker said...

I think you should still sleep in it. Definitely. But block up the door.

John Hayes said...

What a fun project! Eberle's nephews make ice houses when they visit E's parents in McCall (land of interminable winter) & they do sleep in them, but then, they're in their teens. I think you made the right call, sleep-wise!

Denise Burden said...

It looks great! You will have to behave or me and Karen will push you in there and block it up!!

Dominic Rivron said...

Pauline: very, very, very cool!

watercats: What a swizz. All the pain, none of the pleasure.

SW: Daniel, friend Alick and I did go camping in Edale one January (I might have mentioned it). It was fantastic and I keep meaning to do it again. We decided that winter capming in the cold was at least as good if not better than summer camping. Several layers on - never take them off. Meths not gaz (gaz freezes). Less to do than summer, as you don't have to wash and dress. If I sleep in the igloo I'll have to prepare carefully!

John: Why not have a go yourselves? It sounds great.

Denise: feel free to come round and get in it yourself. The light inside, filtering through the snow, is uncanny. Once seen, never forgotten.

willow said...

Oh, this is too fun! We made one when our kids were young, back in 1994, about the same size as yours. It took forever to melt!

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I live in Canada. I haved lived in the north. And I have never made an igloo. But I have seen speciallly designed tools for creating the bricks. Did you make an airhole in the top? I have heard that's essential.

Poet in Residence said...

Congratulations on making your first igloo. There must be some good use you can put it to. But, for the moment, I can't think what it is.

Dominic Rivron said...

willow: Great fun, isn't it? So much so, I'm thinking of buildong a Mk 2.

GOML: I think the wiki page said make an airhole in the side - this would make sense, as you want to keep hold of the rising hotter air.

PiR: I know what you mean. It is better to journey than to arrive.

I could store snowballs in it, I suppose.

Susan at Stony River said...

Wow, what a project! Congratulations on getting it done. And now if we have any more of this white stuff, I know what to send the kids outside to do LOL

I love that bottom photo.

Dominic Rivron said...

Get them igloo building!

Mine, sadly, started to sag a bit due to the slight midday thaw, and has now more or less collapsed. Oh well, Mk 2 this weekend, time permitting.

Celeste Bergin said...

Holy Moley---where are you the antarctic? Great igloo!

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I spoke to an Innu friend who said you have to put the airhole in the top to let out fumes from cookfires and lamps. However, in an igloo your size you wouldn't have a fire would you? Interesting. I'll have to try one next time I have enough snow and sub-zero temperatures.

Dominic Rivron said...

CB: No, Yorkshire, UK.

GOML: Your friend sounds a better authority than wiki! I'll do that next time (if there is a next time - there's a bit of a thaw on at the moment).

ArtSparker said...

Wow, that's beautiful. Nice when things go the way they're supposed to go.

Dominic Rivron said...

It is. Sadly, it's melted. That heavens I didn't sleep in it when it did. It now resembles a fried egg. (Perhaps I should be pleased. It's a first. I don't thing anyone has ever made a snow fried egg before).

swiss said...

igloo comparison!
http://212.58.226.143/1/hi/uk/8454588.stm?ls

Dominic Rivron said...

Interesting. Same building technique here. It took me about 2 hours. There's was a lot bigger: 16 hours.

In the film Nanook of the North, apparently, it took him 1 hour! He must have had more practice. To quote wikipedia:
"In the film, Nanook (real name Allakariallak) builds a large family igloo as well as a smaller igloo for sled pups. Nanook demonstrates the use of an ivory knife to cut and trim snow blocks, as well as the use of clear ice for a window. His igloo was built in about one hour, and was large enough for five people."