Snowcave Like a Girl
Tropical palms in Southern Utah bent under the weight of 10 inches of snow a few weeks ago. And it took me back to our last winter in the NorthWest…the night my 16 yr old daughter and I took the challenge to provide our own shelter in the dead of winter.
We trudged through waist deep snow looking for a good place to dig a cave and bed down for the night. This was our night to snowcave like girls!
Nope, it wasn’t even on my bucket list, but Joss was determined and I’m game to try just about anything …once.
It was 3pm with nightfall about 3 hours away. The men and boys on the outing were racing the sun for their own shelter so we were on our own.
We found a 6 foot mound piled up under a stand of trees in Edison Snow Park at the base of Mount Bachelor and with no experience scoping a site, thought we’d call it home. As we dug down to carve an entrance and create some living space, two things surprised me.
One was how inconspicuously still felled trees can lay under the snow, until you plan to run a sleeping space through them…which is when they get all crazy and keep popping up everywhere you want to go.
The second was, how fast and furiously you can dig when racing against the sun for shelter. We dug from 3 til dark without a rest, pushing big boulders of icy snow out of the manhole size opening onto a tarp.
The snow was hard and heavy. Images of working “chain gang” in a siberian rock mine danced through my head… but by dusk we had enough room to comfortably sleep two or three and began setting up for the night.
- Memory foam sleeping pads, check.
- Movie theater area, check.
- Gear shelves, check.
- Snacks, triple check.
- Scented candles, yep, we have lift off.
The candles danced flickering light off the icy ceiling. By dark, news of the princess pad spread through camp and at 10pm the inviting glow drew Maddie, the only other girl on the mountain, inside for the night.
A couple things to know about sleeping in a snow cave are that if you build it right, you’ll keep a steady 38-40 degrees all night, which is comfy in a good bag.
Secondly, you’ll want a complete change of clothes once the digging is done. Your outerwear gets completely soaked with snow and your underclothing, with sweat. And climbing into your bag 100% dry is an important part of your comfort for the night.
But the biggest surprise of all was the icy blue glow of dawn reflecting through our ceiling the next morning. Breathe taking. Mesmerizing. Incredible.
We knew what that meant. We’d DONE it. We conquered a winter night in the wild. And the realization was exhilarating. #tryanythingonce #chickswithshovels #exploregon
You definitely don’t have to freeze your toes or nose to win this one friends. Create in the kitchen, the garage or at a musical instrument. Pull out your pencils and sketch book. Or needles and thread. Go build a fort with the couch cushions, whatever comes to your heart and mind.
If you just heard yourself say, “I’m not the creative type”…think again. Creation is your natural vibrational energy. You were born for it. After all, you are patterned after the great Creator, and destined with every advantage to become as He is.
“The more you trust and rely upon that hopeful voice within, the greater your capacity to create.” Dieter M. Uchtdorf
Please share a creation of yours and how it felt in the comments below. #CreationCelebration