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Outdoor man cave boasts three-metre walls and can accommodate 40 revellers

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 
The architecture graduate's snow house features an outdoor patio. When it melts, the runoff will drain into the Red River.

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WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS The architecture graduate's snow house features an outdoor patio. When it melts, the runoff will drain into the Red River.

If you live near Evan Jameson, you probably won't have to shovel your walk -- or your front yard for that matter.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 
Evan Jameson, 26, and 20 of his buddies and cousins built a massive three room 'quinzloo' (quinzee/igloo) in the backyard of his parents' St. Vital home. As many as 40 people can party inside.

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WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Evan Jameson, 26, and 20 of his buddies and cousins built a massive three room 'quinzloo' (quinzee/igloo) in the backyard of his parents' St. Vital home. As many as 40 people can party inside.

Jameson -- quite possibly the only person in the city who felt he didn't get enough snow on his own lawn this year -- enlisted the help of almost two dozen friends and cousins to cart the white stuff from the lawns of neighbours to the backyard of his parents' home in south St. Vital.

For the last few weeks, the 26-year-old and his friends and relatives have been able to enjoy a large igloo -- he calls it a "quinzloo" because it's a cross between a quinzhee and an igloo -- featuring three-metre-high ceilings, two rooms, carpet, chairs, a candle-lit ice bar and an outdoor deck with firepit.

"It's the largest one I've ever done," Jameson said. "It even has a hallway going to an outside patio area. Then there's another room. It's so large it can accommodate 40 people."

Jameson said he has loved working with snow since he was a child, and he's built a couple of other structures in his parents' backyard. But this is the largest.

"Every year I learn new tricks," he said. "This year I wanted to try ice columns. I wanted it to be of professional stature."

Jameson's igloo is also more than three metres high on the outside, so he could have three-metre high ceilings when it was first completed, because he knows as the snow settles the ceiling gets lower.

"We had about 20 people work on it and we got a lot of the snow from my neighbours' yards. We knocked on a few doors and asked to get their snow. No one said no," he said.

Evan's mom, Rachelle, said when the igloo melts, all of the runoff will go into the nearby Red River.

"All the neighbours are so happy to have their snow in our backyard," she said, laughing.

The proud mother said her son's snow-building prowess at a young age not only has resulted in this year's igloo, but also his graduation last year from the University of Manitoba's architecture program.

"He always was amazing as a child, because he could see in three dimensions and he would build puzzles like that. He certainly has gone into the right career."

Stan Lesk said his nephew has held several parties in the igloo.

"His passion was to build a place for outdoor parties," Lesk said.

"It's so wonderful -- and it has a roof, too. It's a full-fledged quinzloo with a roof and everything.

"It's a house. It's actually better than a house."

Jameson said despite this year's success, with a new job in architecture he will probably take a hiatus from building snow structures.

"It takes a lot of time. I was out there every day for a few weeks. But I'll do it again someday."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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