Monday, December 27, 2010

How to Build a Snow Shelter & Other Winter Skills

There's nothing  more fun than a romp through deep snow, and Vermont has had plenty of that so far this season.  That's what attracted us to the upcoming "Snow Shelter Workshop with Dr. Bert Yankielun" that is being put on by Vermont's Hulbert Outdoor Center after the New Year.

Deep snow, building blocks, what could be more fun with kids?

Dr. Norbert (Bert) Yankielun, formerly a researcher with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in New Hampshire, sounds like a great teacher. We are told that numerous scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, and considerable time spent in the backcountry in winter, have honed his skills as a builder of snow shelters.

In fact, to prepare the family for this course, you can check out his book, "How to Build an Igloo and Other Snow Shelters" (W.W. Norton & Company) and website

On Saturday, January 8, 2011, the Hulbert Outdoor Center at 2968 Lake Morey Rd, Fairlee, VT 05045 (phone for reservations at 802/333-3405) Dr. Yankielun will be teaching the "survival" art of building good snow-shelters.

This skill, once passed down over generations by winter travelers in the north, is considered very valuable today for recreational winter travelers as well as for survival situations. Dr. Yankielun's half day, hands-on workshop will cover the history, styles and techniques of snow-shelters, from igloos to quinzees.

Other Winter Skills Day workshops are available for those who are interested, and they range from ice fishing to dogsledding basics, from winter camping skills to skate skiing.

All workshops are $27 unless otherwise noted. Lunch is included in tuition fee. For more information about winter activities at the Hulbert Outdoor Center, visit their site at

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