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Igloos built 300 km north of Arctic Circle - Finland

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:34 am
by Remco
We built two igloos on two consecutive nights in Arctic Lapland last week. Due to the sugar-consistency snow an 11-foot igloo took us 6 hours (getting to the fourth layer when we gave up). The second, 8-foot igloo took us 8 hours to complete. Reason: 4 feet of granulated-sugar consistency powder snow that refused to set into the Icebox. Only way to build blocks: press the snow hard and let each individual block set in the Icebox for 10 minutes, before moving on to the next block.

Frustrating, but eventually rewarding...

Re: Igloos built 300 km north of Arctic Circle - Finland

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:27 am
by Igloo Ed
Some beautiful pictures. It has been a long time since I've lived at northern latitudes and seen the Aurora Borealis. I miss them.
The igloos look good too and I hope the unfinished 11 ft. igloo protected you from the wind.
By looking at the clothes you are wearing I would guess it was not real cold and the snow should have worked. I have built at -27f. with old/granular snow in Yellowstone. It takes me just over two minutes to build a block in those conditions.
I can see a few problems in your pictures. The fifth picture shows the Toggle Handle on the bottom of the pole. It must be on top of the pole so it will stay engaged while packing. The fifth picture also shows snow against the form and the snow must be removed before moving the form so it moves freely.
The sixth picture shows the block being packed while the Toggle Handle is being held closed. The form must be steadied with the left hand on the End Panel so it doesn't move. The form cannot move when packing, not even a tiny bit. The packing must be gentle to stop the form from moving and the left hand must be very steady (ridged) to hold the form from moving. If the form moves, the block is broken and that is why you had to wait 10 minutes for the block to sinter.
I would also suspect that you stake was coming loose or moving if you were packing hard. If the stake moves, you will have interferences when you move the form and the block will break when moving the form.
How I wish I could teach you in person.