“Observatory for Absolute Magnetic Observations, 1904-1905”

The snow which had fallen had now drifted together so compactly as to form an excellent building material. I therefore set to work, with the assistance of Lund and Hansen, to erect a building in which we could make the absolute magnetic observations during the winter. A site for this was chosen at a distance of 250 feet from the “Variation House,” and it was built in the direction of the magnetic meridian. We fetched the building material from a neighboring valley, where the snow had been swept together in a hard mass in large quantities. The building was to be 26 feet long by 6 feet 6 inches wide by 6 feet high. The blocks were cut out of the snow with a saw. An idea of the compactness of the snow may be gained from the fact that these blocks weighed on an average 2 cwt. each. When we came to put on the last tier, three men were required to hoist the blocks into position. A roof of thin transparent cloth was subsequently made up and put over the erection. We thus obtained an excellent building for the absolute magnetic observations. [Amundsen, Vol. 1, pp. 107-108.]