Igloo site selection parameters

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Joined:Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:29 pm
Igloo site selection parameters

Post by Hiatus » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:02 pm

I'm planning to build an igloo up near Cameron Pass so I can use it multiple times over the balance of the winter. I've built several igloos in the past generally on flat open ground since all I wanted to do was gain experience and they were for one-time use. Now I want to have an igloo that will be good for a longer period of time and comfortable at 11,000 ft. That has me asking some questions about siting:
  1. What's the best slope? Sketching this out I figure I can build an 8-foot igloo on a 20-25°slope with a 40" high doorway below the sleeping platform elevation without scraping dirt. I'm just concerned about the difficulty of packing the platform if I'm starting on a slope this steep.
  2. What's the best aspect? A north aspect will be the coldest which is good for the igloo but not so good for the campers when they are outside. East aspect would get the morning sunshine, still cold average temps. West aspect you would have late day sun, higher afternoon temps. South aspect, sunshine most of the day and warmer average temps so igloo useful life will be reduced.
  3. How about tree cover? Is it better to build an igloo below tree line? Do the trees help protect the igloo from wind and sun shine? Does it prevent drifting?
I'm looking forward to the discussion, feedback, and conclusions.

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Igloo Ed
Joined:Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:44 pm
Location:Lyons, Colorado

Re: Igloo site selection parameters

Post by Igloo Ed » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:17 pm

I look for a flat spot on a slope, not just the angle of the slope itself. I don't know what angle it is but if the back wall of quarry/pad is two feet tall, it is getting to be work to build the platform. I've built with 3 or 4 foot walls and it works but it is more work.
The igloo likes shade from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. A spot with trees is better than in the shade of a mountain for being able to enjoy the sun. If you are above the trees, it doesn't matter so much as it is colder up there but the sun still has some influence on the igloo.
In the trees does stop some of the sublimation of the igloo being out of the wind. Drifting snow can bury the igloo quickly in the wrong spot and it doesn't drift in the trees.
The trees take away the chance for a room with a view though so higher is what I like.

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