On Thursday, February 22, 2007, we spent the night sleeping in the quinzhees we had build. It was a great evening with temperatures around -15C and a light dusting of snow.
The week prior to our night out was used to build the quinzhees (Check out the link on building a quinzhee). This involved about two days of piling snow and another two days for digging out our snow mounts. Most of the group spent Thursday putting on the finishing touches. Finishing touches in our quinzhee included a nice sleeping platform, shelving for our candles and glasses.
Thursday began with a demonstration on fire building, which was followed with a gathering of firewood and each individual building their own fire. Once a successful fire was going, the small fires were amalgamated into a cooking fire. Dinners were cooked over the fire, which saw everything from canned noodles to hot dogs and hamburgers. Our dinner consisted of a satay stir fry and a freshly baked (in the dutch oven) chocolate cake for dessert. We had to improvise the ingredients for the cake as I had forgotten the eggs; good thing that sprite is a great replacement.
The evening was spent around the fire. Most sat around, drank hot chocolate and chatted, while others were making smores and practicing boot dancing. As the evening went on, the wind picked up and we headed for -15C (the temperature was -5C when we started in the afternoon). At about 10:30 pm, we had the last call for bathroom use and brushing our teeth, as the school would be locked until about 7 am the next morning. We followed this by throwing the last of the wood onto the fire and as the fire turned to embers, we all headed for our quinzhees and a good nights sleep.
This was one of the warmest starts for me to sleep in a quinzhee, which was followed by a wonderful nights sleep. All was quiet and toasty warm. The morning welcomed us with beautiful sunshine and a nice temperature. After clearing our quinzhee, we quickly disposed of the campfires and proceeded to wake up the rest of the group. Most seemed to have had a good night, although some were chilled and used their sleeping bags to hop back to the school (apparently because their shoes were frozen).
All in all, I believe the group had a great experience. Don't let me speak for the group though, please look at the pictures and read the postings from the other members of our group.