Monday, January 8

Triple Digit Winds and Snow Caves

Today weather continued to be a factor for Colorado training. Last night wind gusts near our house were reported to be 89 mph. This morning a 115 mph gust was reported not far away. I did ride to work but other than that I decided to do my training inside. No sense in being blown over on ice and slush. Tonight after work I put in a solid 3 hours on the trainer watching Munich. Good movie and easy to follow while riding. Other than that trainer riding isn't too exciting.

In other news they who guess the weather are predicting another, yes another, storm this weekend. I'm hoping that it holds off long enough for Dave and I to jet to Moab and meet the other Dave for a ride around White Rim and some quick Fruita action before I have to be back at work Monday morning. I'll be packing my bags and prepping the Monocog the next couple days and hoping for the best.

Last but not least I decided to post the snow cave pictures today. I built it last night and it was nice and toasty despite the monster winds. Marni was still feeling sick so I slept inside the house though and today's slightly warmer weather melted the cave a bit. Nonetheless it was a very fun exercise and I'm looking foward to building another one. The way this winter is going I'm sure I'll have a chance. Onto the mini "how-to"!

To build a snowcave you'll need a way to make a big pile of snow. The bigger the better for the most part. I'm using a snowclaw (6oz) to do the digging. The pile is mostly left over from the first few storms.The next part is digging the entrance. This is the worst part in my noob opinion. I'm not clastrophobic at all and this part still wasn't fun. I dug in near ground level a couple feet before I started working upwards.After you get the entrance dug, then start digging upward. you want your sleeping platform higher than the entrance to trap heat. That's the snowclaw and my EOS in the back of the cave.Dig the cave a bit bigger than your body. The smaller the better for trapping heat if you are lacking in insulation but the walls will settle a bit overnight so you don't want them too small. I dug it big enough to turn around and store a pack . Don't forget to make a couple inch hole in the top to vent any CO2 buildup. Digging a snowcave is wet business so you definitely want your waterproofs on. I cut my Reed pants on a snow ride with Mr.Nice earlier this year and digging the cave finally make it open up about an inch and a half. A quick ducttape patch and they're good as new. Other than that no other damage to my summer waterproofs from the digging.
Happy snowcaving!


Marni said...

Thanks for not sleeping in the snow cave last night. Good thing we don't have an HOA around here -- we'd so be kicked out by now :)

Cellarrat said...

Marni At least he hasn't built dirt jumps yet!

Snow caves melt =)

Dave Byers said...

Didn't yo' mamma ever tell you not to play outside when there are triple digit winds? :)

Becky said...

how long does it take you to build one? and is the main focus that you use them in case of emergency?

Chris said...

If the snow is already piled, side of a hill or drift for example, you could build one in 30 minutes or less. In most cases you'll have to pile the snow yourself and let it sit for a bit before digging out. They are useful especially in an emergency as you can keep one above freezing if built small enough and/or with use of a small candle. They are also just fun to build and you don't have to carry a tent along if you're sure one can be built. They're warmer and better insulated than most tents and very wind tolerant. The other night you couldn't tell it was windy at all inside the cave despite it raging outside.


Becky said...

very cool, who would've guessed?