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A quinzee is a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of snow that can be used for winter camping, survival, or good old-fashioned fun. (Contributed photo)

High school boys rough it in dead of winter

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High school boys rough it in dead of winter
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549

While everyone else has been staying cooped up in their homes, trying to survive one of the coldest winters we’ve seen in 30 years, three high school boys laughed in the face of the frozen tundra.

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Kyle Pietrowski, a junior at Jefferson High School, heard of a man in Minnesota who had built a snow fort to sleep in. He called over his friends and classmates, Colton Sailer and Wesley Graves, to start the construction of their own.

After piling snow to form a mountain, the boys let it rest for a day. Then on Monday they tunneled into the pile and dug out the middle, leaving the dome at about a foot thick. They had successfully created a quinzee.

A quinzee is a shelter that can be used for winter camping and survival purposes. Though it may seem similar to an igloo, the two are quite different. An igloo is made from blocks of hard snow and can be used for seasonal and year-round habitation. A quinzee doesn’t require the same quality of snow that an igloo does and is easier to construct.

The overall result may be less sturdy, but for these three teenagers, it provided them with exactly what they needed. To them, it was a fun project that they could sleep in, regardless of the frighteningly cold temperatures, which plunged to 19 below zero Tuesday.

“It was actually very warm,” said Sailer. “We did have 30-below sleeping bags, though.”

Sailer added that the boys were planning to spend another night in their new creation.

Annie Harman
Annie Harman is a reporter for Echo Press and The Osakis Review. She grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in print journalism and history in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at annieharman
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