yesterday was day 24 on the snohaus build. it goes slowly, because i want the structure to be stable and if you're not in a hurry the best way to do that is to let things sit a while after you disturb the snow.
digging INSIDE the hole goes very slowly because of that and because of my clautrophobia; there are only so many times in a day i can force myself to go on in there. still, the attractiveness of having built an awesome snow house outweighs the fear, but only by so much each day.
then there's the additional consideration of hypothermia. if i'm only building the outside, i have minimal contact with the snow, but once i go inside i am sitting or lying on the snow and that sucks the heat out of me pretty quick. extra layers help, but wear too many of those and when i'm active i only sweat.
even if i get the layers perfect for the day, moisture seeps into my clothes and once my outer shell is wet, i'm done for the day. i don't mind changing gloves and most days i wear three different pairs because they get wet as i work, but i only have the one shell that's good for digging in the snow. it's light enough to work in and has all the appropriate skirting to keep out snow, but once i'm crawling on my belly the arms get wet.
the tunnel is by far the scariest part, and the slowest. i'm digging it toward the second dome and because i haven't done the math but only eyeballed the distances, i'm not sure exactly where the tunnel will come up into the second room. and i'm still just building that second dome. even to make it a small room means a HUGE base, because its floor is a good three feet at least above the floor of the main room, and that means i haul in a LOT of snow.
one of my neighbors says that if i build it much bigger, i'll be able to ski off of it.
here's some video i shot inside the hole to show you what it's like digging in there. one thing you probably don't notice is that i do not go in or out of a hole without my yellow scoop in hand. sometimes i leave the shovel behind, but i always keep the yellow scoop with me.
in case of a cave-in. the structure is well-packed and it sets every day and i'm confident of its strength, but just in case, you know? if part of the structure collapses on me, i'd better have a tool to dig with.