Building a Covered Snow Trench in Shallow Snow

Making a covered snow trench takes way less energy and time than making a Quinzee, but is best made in deep snow, like snow that is 4 or more feet deep. However, a snow trench is possible at about 20" of snow. Gary made a covered trench is such shallow snow, and we learned a few things doing it (I got to supervise it). 

One, you need to have a snow shovel and a serious snow saw.  

First you tromp down a construction site with snow shoes or skis, wait an hour, then cut blocks, and set them aside the trench that you form from removing the blocks. 


We'd rather the sidewalls of the trench be 25-30" deep, and remove the blocks vertically.  The snow wasn't deep enough for that, so we cut the blocks from a horizontal layer, leaving short sidewalls. 



Once sufficient blocks are cut and set aside, you start forming a roof by leaning the blocks in from the side. If we did this again we would first set a layer of blocks along the sidewall, to make the trench deeper in effect. 


Gary slept in this low roofed structure, but it would have been roomier with a course of blocks under the roof blocks. When the blocks are placed they seem pretty fragile, but they set up like concrete overnight.