Winter is wonderful at 10,200′ elevation. Mountain peaks are covered in snow, the sun is high in the sky, and locals are out and about on the trails, enjoying winter recreation. Mountain folks take their outdoor recreation seriously, often seeking new ways to sharpen and practice survival skills. Colorado Mountain College Leadville, known for their popular outdoor courses, is offering an opportunity to add a fun and unique skill to your outdoor know – how; Snow Shelter Building.
The Snow Shelter Building Workshop will be offered at CMC Leadville on March 25, from 9am – 4pm. Hans and Malin Bengtsson, a father – daughter instructional team, will introduce participants to the basics of snow shelter building and how to safely take shelter outdoors in the winter. The course will start with classroom instruction followed by outdoor shelter building. Depending on snow conditions and the number of participants, the goal will be to build an igloo, quinzee, and a drift cave.
Hans Bengtsson began teaching snow shelter building workshops for the Appalachian Mountain Club in New Hampshire’s White Mountains when Malin was a child. His daughters began joining him when they were old enough to carry their own equipment up the mountain and help build their overnight shelters. The Bengtsson family has spent many nights in their own snow shelters. In fact, in order to be approved for marriage, Malin’s brother-in-law was expected to build an igloo and sleep in it overnight, a test administered by Hans.
“I have always been impressed by my father,” says Malin, “In particular, his love and knowledge of the outdoors and passion for winter. I feel lucky that some of these genes were passed on to me and am inspired that at almost 80 years old he is still as active as ever.”
Though participants are not expected to sleep in their snow shelters, they will learn an essential survival skill that could potentially save their life. Just ask the skiers who were lost for 52 hours near Monarch Mountain last month. They were protected from the harsh February elements and survived because of a handmade snow cave.
Whether you are looking to learn a new survival skill or enjoy a fun day playing in the snow, the Snow Shelter Building Workshop with Malin and Hans Bengtsson is sure to be a great time. Anyone who has an interest in the outdoors, winter survival skills, winter activities, or making things with their hands will benefit from this hands-on course.
The Snow Shelter Building workshop will be held on March 25, 2017 from 9am – 4pm, and costs $50. Although the workshop will be building shelters on CMC property, participants will need to dress warmly and bring extra mittens to keep hands warm and dry. Students will be contacted prior to the workshop to discuss preparation.