Stormbound Luxury at Glacier Bay Saloon, Alaska — Day 10


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 3, 2015      

Zachary Winters

One drawback: The tent is so tall with our dug-out kitchen that there's only one method to close the upper vents. The Glacier Bay Circus!

One drawback: The tent is so tall with our dug-out kitchen that there’s only one method to close the upper vents. The Glacier Bay Circus!

“I wonder if I should be doing something… I don’t know. Man, I’m bored.”

As we idle through our tenth tentbound day, Louie isn’t the only one having such profound realizations. But thanks to our extravagant basecamp setup, boredom is among the worst of our worries despite the intensity of the storm raging outside.

The foundation of our glacier castle is the burly and cavernous Pantheon Dome from First Ascent. This 49 pound behemoth is an octagonal dome tent with a 15 foot diameter and 8 foot tall ceiling (approximate dimensions). We have bisected its 170 square feet of area into a sleeping quarters and a kitchen area (ideal for spending about half of our storm time sleeping and the other half perfecting our backcountry culinary visions).

Entering from the east side, three stairs descend into the dugout kitchen area and across to the snow couches. A couple of my favorite touches are the overhead boot liner/sock/climbing skin drying lines and the storage cavities we have dug under the stove and sleeping area (we have dubbed these the “sub-neve gear portals”). To keep things private and relatively comfortable in the storm, our most recent addition is the “shigloo”, a small wind protected igloo privy. Please enjoy this two-dimensional tour of our dwellings, where we’ve now spent more time hunkering down, playing cards, crafting a glacial ice whiskey luge, and binging on bacon and Jelly Bellies than skiing.

The floor plan of our glacial castle. Here's the key: 1: Sleeping quarters. 2: Kitchen 3: Sub-neve gear portals 4: Stairs 5: Snow couches 6: Glacial ice whiskey luge (homemade) 7: Wind wall fortifications 8: the 'Shigloo' 9: duffel/extra food storage

The floor plan of our glacial castle. Here’s the key: 1: Sleeping quarters. 2: Kitchen 3: Sub-neve gear portals 4: Stairs 5: Snow couches 6: Glacial ice whiskey luge (homemade) 7: Wind wall fortifications 8: the ‘Shigloo’ 9: duffel/extra food storage

Hanging out outside during one of the rare and fleeting breaks in the storm.

Hanging out outside during one of the rare and fleeting breaks in the storm.

Our setup from the inside. Glacial luxury!

Our setup from the inside. Glacial luxury!

Jason suited up to battle the elements on the way to the shigloo.

Jason suited up to battle the elements on the way to the shigloo.

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Caption: Jason suited up to battle the elements on the way to the shigloo.

Counting down the days until the next high-pressure with card games.

Counting down the days until the next high-pressure with card games.

Outfit your next camp kitchen here.

(WildSnow.com guest blogger Zachary Winters is an avid coffee drinker, splitboarder, photographer, and rock climber who calls the North Cascades home. Living in the small town of Mazama, Washington, you could encounter him on the trail working as a Wilderness Ranger in the summer months, and the rest of the year he is chasing good snow, working on his photography, and looking for wolverines. Check out his outstanding photos.)



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Comments

13 Responses to “Stormbound Luxury at Glacier Bay Saloon, Alaska — Day 10”

  1. Patrick Winters April 3rd, 2015 10:32 am

    Holy cow!!!! You guys are dedicated…or a little crazy!!! 🙂

    Love,

    Patrick (Dad)

  2. Lisa Dawson April 3rd, 2015 10:48 am

    Patrick, after 10 days in the tent, I bet they are even crazier!

  3. Amber Ale April 3rd, 2015 11:19 am

    Nice to see that they are all in good spirits- and I’m excited to hear more stories… like how they ended up with a “beware of the dog” sign in there? (Bottom right of the first photograph). Hoping that they will enjoy a little better weather over the weekend!

  4. Michel April 3rd, 2015 11:56 am

    Ten days. It’s a good thing you guys took the time to set up such a roomy and useful camp. Thanks for sharing these shots. It’s interesting to see some of the practical and creative aspects of setting up camp in such an environment. Looks like at least one deck of cards is absolutely essential!

  5. Sue April 3rd, 2015 12:14 pm

    Mmmmm, it sounds cozy but everyone is wrapped in puffy jackets and sleeping bags. What’s the temps up there?

  6. Pat April 3rd, 2015 5:42 pm

    When all else fails, join the circus.

  7. Lou Dawson 2 April 3rd, 2015 6:20 pm

    I remember 9 days on Denali, at Denali Pass in 1973. Snowcave. I can relate although we were much more debilitated due to the altitude, cold, and cramped housing. Now that I look back, surprised we didn’t die of carbon monoxide! Louie said they brought a CO meter for the tent, we’re hoping it works! Lou

  8. Dorothy Cooper April 4th, 2015 8:14 am

    Thanks, Zach, for the great views and details – WOW, I almost feel like I could find my way around. You all will be the experts on life in a tent on a glacier for extended periods of time, like days!!….This might be a great time to market your journals. Keep those pictures coming.

  9. MJ Davis April 4th, 2015 1:34 pm

    Nice photos and article! Looks like you might get a tiny respite from the weather for a couple days…

  10. Julia April 4th, 2015 8:36 pm

    WHOA! That tent is huge!

  11. Lori Kaufman April 5th, 2015 9:20 pm

    And I thought our old family tent was big. Now I see it was bush league compared to this–oh my! Hope the weather clears and you can get some time out of it!

  12. Greg S April 6th, 2015 7:16 pm

    First round is on me at the Distillery when you guys get back to Haines. Great following your journey and hope you enjoyed the sun over the weekend!

  13. Mark Worley April 7th, 2015 10:18 pm

    Super impressive tent and shigloo.





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