In January we decided to join the VOC's winter longhike. It is a big party in the mountains. During the day everyone build snow caves, and in the evening everyone have fun cooking in the snow kitchen. We arrived quite a bit later than everyone else, but Christian still managed to finish a snow cave for us before most other groups were done. I am generally not super keen on snow caves as I find them a bit claustrophobic, but Christian had build a nice big one. The tunnel was very short and lend to a nice area were I could stand up. The sleeping platform was plenty big for the three of us and I could comfortable sit up. F had been very excited about the idea of snow caves, but when it was finally done she denied to go inside. We managed to get her in to the snow cave for a few seconds, but quickly realized that we would have to sleep in the tent instead. Christian walked around to determine who had the worst snow cave, he found a couple of girls with only a snow tunnel, and he donate our snow cave to them. We then enjoyed dinner with everyone else in the large snow kitchen. F had a great evening and it only became better once we went to the tent.
F gets so excited whenever we sleep in the tent, and she had not been in the tent since September. This was actually her first true winter camping experience, since we previously have only camped on snow in the spring. She never liked being covered by a blanket or sleeping bag, and the same turned out to be true for this trip. She ended up falling asleep on top of our sleeping bags just wearing her merino wool and fleece. I tried several times to cover her with a down jacket, but she would have none of it. Eventually she was in such a deep sleep that we could lift her into our sleeping bags, which made my night a lot better. In general the night was great, and this trip really marked a backcountry sleeping turning point. Prior to this trip I never expected to sleep much with F in the tent (or in a hut), but since January she generally sleeps well and only wakes to pee once a night.
Despite her not wanting to go into the snow cave, the whole event seemed to have made a big impression on her. She talked about it for days, and she even made a drawing:
Say Nuth Khaw Yum
Discovery Islands Bike loop
East Coast Trail
Recent tips and thought
Pandemic pondering and wandering
Tweaking our haul-a-day
Making kids crampons
Digging a snowcave
Make a kid towing harness