Friday, 29 April 2011

Day One- Snowshoeing and Igloo Building

We woke to blue skies and sunshine, and surprisingly even -25ºC didn’t feel that cold!

A huge continental breakfast with plenty of coffee set us up for the day and we set off learning the skills of snowshoeing. For those that don’t know, snowshoes are a bit like plastic tennis rackets with metal grips underneath. To warm up we had a game of snowshoe frisbee in knee deep snow- I quickly learnt that you can’t run backwards with snowshoes…or you can but it usually finishes with a backward roll!

Then it was a lesson in uphill and downhill in deep snow, there are plenty of photo’s like this…

We made our way down to the ‘sandy beach’ at the edge of the ‘lake’, not that we could tell under the several foot of snow, but apparently it is sandy in summer, and split into our 2 igloo teams. We were with Ann and Jeff an American couple now living in Munich and set to work marking out the igloo and building a big pile of snow. We were actually building a quinzee, the Scandinavian version of the igloo, and to be honest it was more of a snow shelter.

So we spent a good few hours, digging and shovelling and were again surprised at how warm we actually were getting, ending up just in our thermals on top! Once we had a decent pile a snow we left it settle and enjoyed a much welcome break for a chicken soup lunch, then were back out on our snowshoes.

In the afternoon we headed back out on our snowshoes and into the Oulanka National Park and got told what to do if you meet a bear in snowshoes- it involves walking backwards (without the backward roll) talking nicely, doing the “Lapland Turn” then running when possible- somehow I think Eki was just having a laugh J

After walking to the semi frozen river and enjoyed the sunshine it was back to quinzee building- or digging this time. Me and Ann set to work either side of the mound, and like moles started digging a hole inside.

Much digging and covering ourselves with snow we had a hollowed out snow pile- ready to sleep in! We also made ourselves an ice ‘sofa’ on our ‘patio’.

After a great dinner of Salmon and chips it was time to wrap up warm and head to the quinzee for the night. It was a snug fit with four of us in and while it wasn’t cold and Ben made it though the night, after about 10 minutes of trying to sleep, the call of my bed 5 minutes walk away through the wood was just too much.

The Quinzee Crew

No comments:

Post a Comment