Mounding and Waiting:
Mark out a circle approximately 12 feet in diameter. This is your quinzee - a 7 or 8 foot interior and 2 - 2 foot walls. In deep snow, walk out about another 5 or 6 feet from the edge of your circle, that's 12 feet out from the centre. Then simply start shoveling snow into the 12 foot diameter circle. (See the page on Tips for shovel type and skidding tarps.)
Two Scouts surprised to know that it was -20c last night .
Click for larger image. 29k You can stop when the sides are nicely rounded, not flat, and the top is about around the 6 foot level. Make sure the top is neither flat nor peaked. If it is flat, it will have the tendency to sink especially over time and may even collapse if the outside temperature warms or if it snows wet snow. Quinzhees are not tepees; the roof should not be peaked. A peaked roof is useless weight that can collapse a new quinzhee.
And then there is the waiting- 2 to 3 hours - depending upon temperature and type of snow. There are no hard and fast rules. The colder and the dryer the snow, the longer you should wait. Now is the time to set up your camp. After that, maybe lunch, a look around, a short ski or snowshoe hike, or even better, a firewood finding trip. If you're close by and are really listening, you might hear the quinzee "whoof" as the snow settles. When you can make a clean cut with your shovel, your ready to carve out your cave.