Trip Report: Snow Caving/Camping

Snow Caving/Camping
By Heidi Schubert
SKI 03/01/2007 MOD

Winter camping takes more than a zero degree bag, you have to be warm enough when you get into it, to keep it warm all night. A group of ten WMCers, lead by Rick Thompson, were reminded of all the basic concepts that accompany just such an experience in early March. We discussed the art of building a snow cave at a pre-trip planning meeting and then went up on a Thursday evening to build it. This way we could work hard on the cave without worrying too much about how wet and sweaty we were getting. Believe me, it is tough work laying in the snow awkwardly trying to dig snow out of the cave and move it seven feet up and over your vestibule. Thursday night we all went home to put everything in the dryer and pack for Friday night. Friday night we skied and snowshoed into the caves to find the kitchen tent had already been built so all we had to do was find the stoves and the hot soup mix. A snowshoe after dinner warmed everyone back up before heading to bed. Many of us slept in our down booties and used double sleeping bags. The entire trip turned into a lesson is what it takes to keep yourself warm. Some people brought too much stuff, others not quite enough. The temperature went down to -4 F Friday night, but inside the cave it was much warmer - we could not see our breath. Safe and sound we all woke up to a gorgeous day, ripe for skiing and snowboarding. Thanks for the experience Rick.