The Last Frontier

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow Caves and Slickin'

(If the Sildeshows and Pictures don't show up, click the title of this post and they should show up there.) We live in a pretty high snow area. So far, we’ve had almost 9 feet of snowfall, which is much less than normal for this time of year. A few weeks ago, it warmed up to near 40 degrees and rained. Yuck! Then the temperatures plummeted to 20 below zero, so now there’s quite a crust of ice on everything. After a good snow, our boys spend many hours either slickin’, as they call it, or building snow caves.

The first slideshow has pictures of some of the snow caves they built earlier this winter. After their first one collapsed, they figured out that it works better to pile up the snow and let it set up a few hours or more before digging it out. At one point, we had three small snow caves in the yard. After this last snow, they pooled their efforts and built a big snow cave that all of us could have slept in. It was surprisingly strong and well built, especially considering it was built by two 6 year olds. Unfortunately, they crashed it before I got a picture.

Here are two more that they made yesterday when they both crashed through the snow nearly up to their eyeballs. Both of them were beside spruce saplings, and decided that would be a good place for a snow cave. They dug themselves out, broke off some branches, stuck them around, and then packed lots of snow around to keep out the wind. I think their imaginations will serve them well if they ever get stuck out in the woods on a snowy day when they’re older.

Zeke’s snow cave with spruce branches.
Zeke in his snow cave he made with spruce branches
after he fell through the snow up to his eyeballs.

Jed’s snow cave with a spruce tree
Jed in his snow cave he made after falling through the snow
right beside Zeke. He made it with a spruce tree.

Here are some pictures of them slickin’, as they call it. A few were taken in the yard. Most are at the lake where there’s a steep hill. Jed takes his sled everywhere. You just never know when you’ll find a good hill. (If the slideshows don't show, click on the title of this post above and they should show up there.)


  1. That is so awesome. My kids did a lot more playing in the snow when they were in Colorado with the deeper snow. We barely get any here so far. I miss the good snowfall.

  2. Slickin' thats cute!! My girls ae slightly jealous! They want just 4-5 incehs to be able to go sledding in... SO far we have had only 1-2 inches at a time..
    Imagination is a wonderful thing!

  3. Playing in snow is one of my kids' favorite things this time of the year. Of course, in Indiana, the snow is not as much nor as frequent.

  4. It looks like your boys are having a ball in all that snow. My sister and I used to build snow forts when we were kids, of course we didn't have the amount of snow you have. I really enjoy reading your posts. Have a great day!

  5. OMG - this brings back memories of when my kids made snow forts in the backyard (and even when I used to build them when I was at a kid!) ... granted we didn't have the same conditions you do but the kids sure enjoyed it. In winters when we had tons of snow here in New England, my kids would either dig out a cave or build an "igloo".. They would take a box and pack it with snow and then turn out a snow block.. Then they'd stack them up and make a fort or their version of an igloo. Some of their creations were quite big and the three kids could sit in a circle cross kneed and even have a snack. Ah, those were the days when kids played outside and did some hard work to produce something fun instead of sitting inside playing stupid computer games.
    Your kids are precious, smart and industrious!

  6. This reminds me of my childhood in Maine (1970's). My mother didn't like us building snow caves because she was afraid they would collapse and we would suffocate. But then again we weren't allowed to jump in the house because we might go through the floor so maybe she was just paranoid. We built snow forts at our friends houses anyway. It was so much fun.

    I too remember falling through snowcrust. I was in elementary school and there had been an nice big snowfall and there were lots of drifts. That morning the snow in the playground was just pristine so it fooled the eye as to how deep it was in the drifts. I went running out with friends and I got too close to a bush or shrub or something and went in over my head. I remember looking up at my friends who were on their bellies like you would be near a whole in ice, wide eyed, staring down into the hole I had just created.

    Here in Texas they don't let the kids out for recess if the temps are below 40°F. But then again the shut the schools down when it snows here so the kids get to go out and play anyway.

  7. Thank you all for stopping by and commenting. I grew up in Atlanta,and missed all this fun my boys have in the snow. I remember building snowmen all of about 3 feet high by rolling up all the snow we could find when it snowed.
    Funny, Woolysheep about your mother. It's my husband who worries most about their snow caves collapsing on them. We just tell them to go in feet first, and to keep a stick inside with them so they can poke it through if it falls in.


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