AMI Grassroots Spotlight: UPPER MIDWEST COLLAB

1 min read

In collabs all over the country and beyond, amazing women are gathering together to have epic adventures, build new friendships and create lasting memories. Inspiring us this month with their quinzhee adventure: the Upper Midwest AMI Collab.

Remember when you were a kid and building blanket forts and then camping out in them was seriously the coolest? Well, five rad women from the Upper Midwest Collab just made our Adventure Mama hearts skip a beat with their incredible night building and sleeping in a quinzhee.

Quinzhee (noun): A shelter made by hollowing out a pile of snow.

Amber Deuel-Kocemba, Kristie Johnson, Monique Lindquist, Lydia Linke and Alayna Sobieniak all attended a winter camping seminar at Tettegouche State Park (Minnesota) where they learned all about proper clothing, nutrition, fire building, and hypothermia, then took to the campground to build a quinzhee. "It was optional to stay over, but that was why we went. We were all in." It took the mamas over five hours to build the 12 foot across by six foot tall dome. “We had some questionable moments when the snow seemed to not be binding together correctly” said Johnson. “It took great cooperation and insanely hard work." Deuel-Kocemba, Johnson, Lindquist and Sobieniak slept in the quinzhee while Linke overnighted in a hammock near by. The five women, most of whom didn't know each other before this event, enjoyed an early morning hike, views of frozen waterfalls and a lake-effect snowstorm to top it all off.

"It was optional to stay over, but that was why we went. We were all in."

"Highlights were sliding on our asses down 100 snow covered stairs (wheeee!), crossing a frozen river next to frozen falls, crossing a suspension bridge, and just getting dumped on with huge snowflakes through the woods with some badass moms." -Alayna Sobieniak

"The sense of accomplishment and pride I felt after doing something most people thought was crazy made me feel like...a true badass. I came home so excited to tell my kids and my husband. I was truly refreshed and ready to tackle sick kids and a busy week. I highly recommend this crazy and chilly experience! High point: I slept nine hours in a snow fort!" -Kristie Johnson

“The highlight of the trip for me was digging out the quinzhee. It was so much fun to play in the snow like a kid again.” -Monique Lindquist

“For me, the highlight was sleeping in a hammock outside! I helped build the other girls’ quinzhee with them, but with the help from the workshop leaders I slept in a hammock. Also, hiking in the winter wonderland was awesome. Just hanging out with some hardcore mamas was so wonderful.” -Lydia Linke

Feeling inspired? Research local winter camping seminars, share details within your AMI regional collab, and head outside for some epic adventures with fellow Adventure Mamas!

About the Author

Kristi Field

Kristi is a wife and Mama/Step-Mama to five. Originally from California, she moved to Utah three years ago and say it’s the best decision she ever made. Kristi loves all things outdoors and she and her family hike, camp, and explore any chance they get. She has a strong desire to be on the go, exploring, discovering, and learning new things and can usually be found on the trails behind her home in the Wasatch mountains.

Connect with Kristi: IG  @FieldsGoneWild

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