of course there aren't many pictures for you to see.
more to the point, there are, but i can't process them.
here's one i was able to pull up without too much trouble.
it was a big day at snohaus. today for the first time i was able to slide into the cave on the sled, get off the sled, push the sled out, and crawl out headfirst.
this means that i have to turn myself around and for a few moments have to be positioned so i can't get out the door right away AND it means that for a few minutes the sled (full of snow) is between me and the exit, blocking my way.
consider my deep and sometimes paralyzing claustrophobia.
because really. what's more fun than an entertainment that pushes right up against your second-worst fear?
anyway, the cave has to be pretty big for me to be able to go in there and turn around.
strangely, if i don't turn around in the hole, i can hang on to the fiction that i am not entirely in the hole. i can pretend that my feet are still outside and for some reason if i am face down in a hole underneath three tons of snow and have to slide out backward, that's better than if i am sitting up and turned momentarily sideways in a hole large enough to turn the sled around in.
i have to be careful going in and out, though, because while the cave itself is pretty big, the door is only about eighteen inches tall and not that wide. the wall at the door is about two feet thick. it has to be that way to keep the structure safe and to minimize melting.
but if i bump up against the door going in or out, if i can FEEL how small it is, i suddenly lose the ability to maintain the fiction that there is plenty of room and i can stand up and get out right away if i need to.
and this fiction is really funny, because for safety reasons i don't go in the hole without both a snowscoop (a digging tool) and an avalanche shovel. one digging tool is in my hand at all times because IF there's a cave-in, i will need a digging tool in a hurry.
every year people die building snowforts.
i prefer to think they don't know what they're doing.
it can be dangerous work, but if you know what you're doing it's a minimal risk.
it's important to have a well-packed base, and it's important to let the thing settle and sinter before working it. you should also not work it too much at once.
snow, properly packed, can be carved like butter and sets like concrete.
get the wrong weather for too many hours and it will fall like souffle.