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. 

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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. 

 

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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. 

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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. 

 

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