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(iii)       Snow Cave.  To make this type of shelter we take advantage of a steep slope. A tunnel is dug, which will later be the door and then a chamber is made in the interior. It is quicker to build than an igloo and just as comfortable, but the work is uncomfortable and involves the workers becoming wet.


(iv)       Lapp shaft.    This shelter consists of a narrow mouthed hole in the ground, 1.5m deep and a widening in the shape of a niche in the bottom, 2m in diameter. Before building it is necessary to tread the snow to stop it from falling in. The entrance of the hole can be covered with blocks. This shaft has a capacity for three men and takes approx an hour to build..


(v)        Snow Pit.  This type of shelter is suitable for a patrol. The shelter is made by digging a pit 2.5m long, 1.5m wide and 1m deep and takes about 45 minutes to build. The chosen area is dug, and the walls and the floor must then be compressed. It will be covered by placing the skis sideways to the greatest axis of the pit with the smooth side up. The poles will be placed perpendicular to the skis, and ponchos will be extended on this lattice. It will then be covered with snow.


(vi)       Tree-Pit Shelter. In wooded areas, the deep snow and tree-pit shelter furnishes temporary protection. To construct a tree-pit shelter a large tree is selected with thick lower branches and surrounded with deep snow. The snow is shaken from the lower branches and the natural pit is enlarged around the trunk of the tree. The walls and floor are then lined with branches and the roof thickened. Canvas or other material on hand may be used for the roof.

(c ) Shelters made with other material.  Artificial material like ponchos, canvases, plastics etc or natural material like stones and turf can also be used to make a shelter depending on the availability of these items.

(i)      Sangar.     Small stones can be used to construct sangar which can be used as shelters for temporary halt.


(ii)     Natural Caves.    Natural caves can also be used as shelters when construction of other shelters may not be possible because of time or resources. These caves should be well checked  before being occupied.


(iii)    Bivouac.    Bivouac is a temporary shelter made with the help of a poncho or a ground sheet to halt for a short duration.


(iv)    Dhok.     Dhoks are huts made of mud, stones and dry branches used by bakarwals during summers in mountains. They use these dhoks for 4 to 5 months and then leave them vacant. While operating in mountains these dhoks can be used as shelters. It is very important to check a dhok before occupying it.



4.  The possibilities to build shelters are as wide as the availability of the materials and the individual imagination. These shelters are generally used for a very short duration for a individual to preserve his mountaineering efficiency during adverse weather condition.

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The Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIM&WS).

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The Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIM&WS)

Address:  Nunwan Pahalgam (J&K)
Telephone:    01936-243129

                         9906967821 (Med Officer)

                         01936-243129 (Training Section)

                         01936-243002 (PA to Principal)

                         9906967830 (Training Clerk)

      9906967822 (OIC Sub centre, Sanasar)