Ed, thank you for your help in securing an ICEBOX.
We were just east of Snoqualmie Pass here in Washington state. We were on a ridge at relatively low elevation (2900′), and it snowed the entire time we were there. It was windy, with gusts to 35-40 MPH at times. One of the other leaders and I built a 9-foot igloo with the ICEBOX. It was our first with the ICEBOX and took us around 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete. The snow was what we call “Cascade Concrete,” very wet, dense, and heavy. That type of snow (and some graupel) fell all day. At night (after we were done building) it turned to a more flaky snow.
Our 11-12 year old patrol worked on an igloo and some snow caves, but they were not able to complete them. The other leader and I ended up allowing the 5 boys in that patrol to sleep in the 9-foot igloo we had built (and we slept in a tent).
Our 13-14 year olds worked on an igloo with a snow saw, but they cut the blocks too thin and could not get the walls high enough to complete it. They then used the ICEBOX and started an 8 foot igloo. We forgot to tell them to pack the snow well (especially this wet stuff), and they weren’t able to complete levels 7 and 8 because their lower walls weren’t packed well. At that point, it was dark (and cold and snowing), so we tarped the top of their igloo so they could sleep there (there’s a picture attached showing this igloo with their other one in the background).
In the morning, the boys in the completed 9-foot said “what wind?” They slept well–except for the little bit of snow that had blown in through the ventilation hole. The boys in the 8-foot with a tarp slept well too, though with a little more wind noise. My Hilleberg tent did fine in the windy stormy night (about 12-18 inches of new snow piled on the sides of the tent in the morning), but the wind gusts made for a loud evening. I wished I was in the igloo!
Thought you might enjoy the pictures attached. They were all taken the following morning (after the stormy evening). The adult person you can see clearly in the one picture is my assistant scoutmaster who helped me build that 9-foot igloo he’s standing in front of.
Again, thanks for a great tool. I am sure it will get much use in the coming years and bring much pleasure to both the scout leaders and the young men in our scout troop.