Our first night up in the mountains proved to us the importance of proper equipment, and we were very thankful that our sleeping bags fulfilled this requirement, and were able to keep us warm even at temperatures well below freezing. The snow storm had continued until shortly before sunrise, and even though we had dug holes at the sides of our tents to place our bags under the cover of the outer layer, they had been covered in snow and we had to use shovels to find them again.
The snowstorm settled down at sunrise, and gave way to an amazing, snow-covered landscape.
Despite everything being frozen, over the course of the day (aside from doing a series of survival courses), I did spot a bunch of wildlife in the area, and was even able to photograph some of it.
Here’s a side note: the bird in the photos below were really trusting and at times even sat on people’s heads while they walked around, even though they weren’t fed by anybody in our group.
The second half of our day was occupied by the process of building an Igloo. Here is an instruction on that, though it is in Spanish (just for the sake of it). Basically what you do is that you build the igloo from the inside – you cut out blocks from where the floor of the Igloo will be, until you are about two layers deep, and assemble the blocks to a dome over your head. You will need assistance from outside in the end, because effectively what you are doing is building a dome around you, and will need someone to dig a hole under the “snow level” for you to leave and others to be able to enter the Igloo.
I also want to note that it can easily be warmer in an igloo than in a tent, thanks to the large amount of air that is trapped in the snow and keeps in the heat very well. Especially if you’re in the igloo together with three other people, which I was, it can get almost a bit too warm. Almost.
Another day had come to the end, and with it this short “practice expedition” was also nearing completion.