Thursday, February 10, 2011

the hole thing

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.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

This video was cool. thx

flask said...

peg, i was thinking of you when i shot it. i know we share claustrophobia, so it made me giggle a little.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I can't even do an MRI. Did it once and embarressed myself and had to be pulled out. If my head was out and my body was in that isn't a problem.
the only thing worse than being confined is cats for me. That fear is paralzying. I would go in there if there was a cat outside of it and it couldn't come in. If it came in I would just die right then and there!

I know I am an odd one. But isn't that why you like me? :-)

flask said...

yeah, i can't do a closed MRI.

i get nauseated in that tunnel, i'm so scared, but it really helps to know that all i have to do is let go of my grip and i pop out the bottom.

never underestimate the power of a really cool snowfort against paralyzing fear.

i have nightmares about it. i swallow hard and go in anyway. is that strange?

but the cat thing! yes, i remember you saying that and i laughed so hard yesterday to find evidence that a cat had been in my tunnel.

well. can't put it off any longer. it's time for today's encounter with terror.

Mad Jack said...

You have claustrophobia, so you're building an elaborate temporary structure that you are almost too terrified to enter. Additionally, the work area is uncomfortably cold and wet.

I don't know, Flask. I just dunno.

Anonymous said...

And you are doing this......because you didn't get to play in the snow enough as a child or because you enjoy terrorizing yourself? I would love to see some photos of the outside of this amazing structure. I was getting claustrophobic just looking at the video.


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