Kearney Dog Sled Races Current News & Stories

My winter home is an Igloo

Categories: Events & Activities



I’m sure you’ve built a “snow fort” as a kid, we all did.  But have you ever built a real Igloo out of ice and snow, one that you could sleep out in at forty below?   Join us during the 2015 Kearney Dog Sled Races for a demonstration of how the modern igloo is constructed, as Andrea and Paul Waldron from Algonquin Outfitters demonstrates their skill at erecting their winter house.

If conditions are right they plan on building an igloo in Kearney the week before so you’ll be able to see the finished product.  During the weekend of the races you can join them and even pitch in a helping hand as they demonstrate the process involved in building a second igloo.  Be sure to check back through out the day to see how things are progressing.

What iconic symbol goes more hand in hand with dog sledding than the dome shape of an igloo.

The following is a little bit about the tool they use to build the igloo… it can be done with any kind of snow and basically you build the igloo up in a spiral by placing the snow in a box and packing gently – then you slide it on and pack the next block. It quickly and easily makes a very solid structure.  The website listed below has more information and pictures if you are interested. 

Igloo Building Demo

Igloo Building
Modern Igloo Building with Andrea & Paul



Igloo construction toolThe ICEBOX® igloo construction tool is used for igloo building by creating sequential blocks in place. You set the clamps on the form then fill it while packing. after you have filled it you unclamp it and slide it to the next position. A pole with 8 adjustments, 1 for each layer is used to build igloos with the correct catenary shape and to help support the weight of the snow and form while packing the snow. After finishing 6 rows of the igloo you remove the outside of the form as the wall is now leaning in far enough so the snow can be packed from the outside. The snow only needs to hold its form well enough to stay in place until you start the next block. 8 total rows are built including the final cap.

Structural Integrity – The ICEBOX® igloo isn’t going anywhere for awhile. Once built, the igloo won’t easily be budged, melted, or blown away in the strongest of winds. Wind may whip around it, but won’t uproot it. The ICEBOX® was engineered to create an igloo with a self -supporting catenary curve all the way around. This means the ICEBOX® igloo will not collapse in on itself, but uses the opposing forces of ice flow pressure and natural balances of weight to maintain its integrity and structure. Three people have stood atop an ICEBOX® igloo without it collapsing. (WARNING: standing on top of the igloo could cause injury and is not recommended.) An ICEBOX® igloo will typically last for the length of a season. An igloo built at the beginning of fall, for example, will last well into winter. Ensuing snows will envelop and insulate the igloo and help protect it from the melting rays of the sun.


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