Igloo in Parc national des Monts-Valins, Québec
In early January 2010, my girlfriend and I rented a fully-equipped igloo for two nights in the provincial Parc des Monts-Valins near Chicoutimi. For about 140$ per night you got two sleeping bags, two snowshoes, two mats and a candle to get rid of the moisture. The lady at the welcome centre warned us that if it got too cold at night we could sleep in the heated entrance of the welcome centre. She warned that the vast majority of people caved in around midnight and that two nights in their igloos was unheard of.
The igloo was resembled a snowfort of my youth more than a textbook igloo; the structure was made of compacted snow dug from the inside out, but perhaps that is what an igloo is? As night fell, we prepared a fire and settled in. After much talking and eating, we prepared ourselves for bed, only to realize it was only 19:30 – the sun sets early on a january Chicoutimi night.
We got lucky, the thermometer hovered around -5 and we lasted the night. At the crack of dawn, we strapped on our snowshoes and headed up the mountain. We climbed nearly 1000 m of height and covered 18kms. Nearing the top we had great views of the Saguenay.
On our trek down, it began to rain. Exhausted and sweaty, we wondered if our snow-home would be able to withstand the warm weather; we were very happy when the welcome centre offered us a cabin instead of the igloo. Using the rain as an excuse, we hapilly obliged.
Though the igloo lacked authenticity, it was a fun experience and the parc staff were fantastic.
Building a real igloo:Published on February 14, 2010