A quinzhee is a temporary snow shelter made by piling up snow, letting it set, and then hollowing it out. Temperatures inside a well-made quinzhee can exceed 45º once people are inside, and if the door is blocked or positioned opposite the wind, it can also be a significant wind block, which is handy when the windchills get dangerous. For the last four years, I’ve started a tradition of building a quinzhee every year when we’re up north for Christmas or New Years. It’s a good work out, takes about a full day, and gives you a good excuse to warm up by the fire, plus it’s just kinda fun to pile all that snow and dig it out.
Quinzhees can be slept in, and I did sleep in one during a winter camp outing many years ago. But we prefer to sleep in the warm house a few steps away. Maybe some year we’ll get one built in time to prepare an outdoor sleep. Typically, our quinzhees are for cocoa breaks and to warm up when we’re playing outside, and that’s how we like ’em. Here are the quinzhees:
We can’t wait to see what kinds of quinzhees we get into in 2023! Happy New Year!