I just returned from camping in the snow where I spent three days building snow caves and battling the cold. We took both the boys and girls from West Ridge up to Timpooneke Campground in the Mt. Timpanogos area. I went with the girls and we split the two groups up by about thirty minutes. We trekked in on snowshoes pulling sleds, and the views of the surrounding mountains were astonishing. It was a classic trip of humans surviving the elements, and that is something I really look forward to conquering whenever I go on a trip. To me it makes an adventure even more awesome.
Because the girls took a little longer to hike up to the campground, we did not have enough time to build snow caves for the first night. I had never snow camped in a tent before, and I would not recommend it. The wind nearly tore my tent apart. The next day I was determined to build a snow cave and sleep in it. I piled up the snow, packed it down with snowshoes, and proceeded to hollow out a cave. Now, you may be wondering how sleeping under snow is better than sleeping in a tent, but let me tell you the advantages. A snow cave is very insulating – from what my internship supervisor told me, it never gets colder than 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you are in a 0 degree rated bag with a fleece liner, you cannot go wrong. I could not hear the wind at all which was also comforting. A snow cave usually will not collapse on you if you have packed the snow, but it may sink a few inches during the night due to breathing. If you carve out the ceiling high enough, this is not a problem. The last thing I will say about sleeping in a snow cave is make sure you lay a tarp beneath you, along with a good sleeping pad. Put a bivy sack around your sleeping bag and you are set for having a pleasant experience sleeping in a snow cave.