In our Fall 2009 issue, we featured some of Daan Zwick’s memories about Roy Buchanan, the first director of the Long Trail Patrol. Here’s what Daan sent us about building an igloo with Roy – just in time for winter!

On a bright winter day when we were at Bolton Lodge, Roy taught me how to build an igloo. First, we stamped out a circle about seven feet in diameter, packing down the deep snow where the igloo was to be. From a different spot, we used shovels to cut well-settled snow into big blocks. We loaded the blocks onto a toboggan, which we pulled to the igloo site. Roy stood in the igloo circle and started placing the blocks tightly together in a layer around the outside of the circle. A special feature was that the first block started as a thin wedge and each succeeding block was cut to be a slightly thicker wedge, making the first layer of blocks a long circular ramp. The second layer was placed directly above the first, as I handed the blocks of snow to Roy, but each succeeding layer was displaced towards the center, making the circles get smaller and smaller until there was just a hole left in the center of what was now a hemisphere, with Roy standing inside at the center.

The finishing touches were cutting a hole so Roy could crawl out (which would also be the entrance hole of the completed igloo), placing a big block of snow on top to close the center hole, and filling with snow the few cracks where the blocks had not fit closely. The entrance opening was made snug by building a short tunnel with a right-angle bend in it. I have spent many comfortable nights in just such an igloo. I also found that one candle in that white hemisphere is plenty of illumination. No electrical engineering is needed!