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One Hundred Igloos
News Bytes 02/21/2020 17 Comments


The banks of the Novosibirsk Reservoir are a hive of activity. Competing teams are busy, busy, busy, constructing more than 100 igloos and striving for top prize. The organizers of this contest say the idea of igloo building is simple. 

“The technology is basic. It means building a spiral, where each block is based on the previous one, and we end up with a top that acts as a spacer for the structure,” says Dmitry Patsay, one of the competition organizers.

The idea behind an igloo might be simple. But the building of a proper igloo is not. Competitor Ivan Neelov points out, “You need to raise the floor level a bit, so that there is a way out for the gases we exhale, and it should be small inside. The bigger the room the colder it is.”

Competitors are given just two and a half hours to build their snow huts. Blocks must be sawn from dense snow. Not just any snow will do. “Suitable snow means it is pressed by wind, the so-called firn wind, when the wind is blowing downward for a long time and the grains of snow are rolled off, pressed, and a thick crust is formed,” according to Vyacheslav Goryunov.

Getting the shape right is tricky, and making blocks fit snugly with no gaps takes practice. Judges check for things like that, as well as the floor size and ceiling height of each igloo. 

Tatyana Goretskaya is part of the winning team for the second year running. But she wasn’t always a top contender. “It is quite difficult. You need to know the technology of construction,” she says.

“During the first year we had small flaws, but for the second and third year, it all went fine, without flaws, without a single crack.”

This year, prizes are given in 14 categories including most beautiful, biggest, and most correctly built igloo.

Everyone seems to be having fun. But the igloo experts want to remind us that these domed structures can also be quite useful—especially in an emergency, where there is nothing else around to build a shelter from. 

When properly constructed, an igloo can hold the weight of a polar bear and be much warmer inside than the weather outside. So pay attention. You might want to build an igloo one day. Although we hope it’s just for fun!

(Teams work hard during the two-and-one-half-hour igloo-building contest. AP Photos)

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Most recent comments

Wow, that looks hard! I think

Wow, that looks hard! I think it would be fun to build an igloo, but we don't get any snow where I live so I don't think I'll get the chance lol!

We got snow where I live

We got snow where I live yesterday! We didn't build an igloo, but my sister and I did have a snowball fight. One year, though, we got enough snow for an igloo, so my dad built one and I (sort of) helped. Ah, memories :-)


That looks exhausting! I don't get snow where I live, so I wouldn't say I would know how to build one! But I do know how to build some sick sand castles! LOL

This is JENNA

That looks cool but hard and where I live we also don't get enough snow to make one but, it would be good to know how if you go somewhere that like Russia that has a lot of snow and is cold.o(*°▽°*)o


wow i think this is really awesome and i wish i could be in this competition that would be so neat but i would probably come in last place because last time i tried doing it well it was a failure but all and all i think this is really really cool



Cool!! (double meaning haha :

Cool!! (double meaning haha :) )

The igloo we mad has some

The igloo we mad has some crack so we just smashed snow to fill in the cracks. But it fit a least two people! It took us a couple days though.

this looks like so much fun!

i tried building an igloo once with my brother. i didn't do it right at all (partly cause there wasn't enough snow) and it was a failure:) i had fun tho.

I live in Florida

That's a lot of snow; where I come from we get ice at most. At my winter camp, it was 70 degrees in the shade.

we don't get much snow where

we don't get much snow where we live, we also don't live near the coast either, so when it does snow we have a blast!

Janna (Daniel's sister)

It doesn't look like it would be warm staying in a igloo.

13th comment

I get some snow were I live but not enough to build a good igloo. This year in Ohio it hasn't snowed much at all. :(

That sounds cool I want to

That sounds cool I want to build a igloo.

aw yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

igloos =awsum

Fun stuff!

We don't get much snow either...:) But two or three years ago we got like 6 in!!!!! It was awesome....That is like the most snow we have had in a looooonnnnnggggg time!!!@Janna I know right! it doesn't look very warm!

To Above

We got 7in yesterday. Of snow.

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