Nice job on the blog. Thanks, I learned a few times.
>"I seem to recall reading that polar Eskimos could build an igloo in an hour."
Practice, Practice, Practice.
But also, they have VERY different snow conditions. I've been to the Barrow and the North Slope a few times and know a lot of people who work there. They don't get a lot of snow because it's so cold, but the snow they do get blows a LONG, LONG ways. Like tens of miles, at times. Anything that sticks up - a hillock, a pongo, the AC store - gets a huge winddrift behind it. And, those snowflakes - having tumbled for miles - are very spherical and pack very densely. So all the shoveling, work-hardening, etc, that are shown in this blog aren't needed in the Arctic. I get those conditions at times at home, and you really need to be aware while driving that the winddrift in the driveway could be VERY solid.
Thinking of my beginner days, the tendency was not to slope inward enough, soon enough.
A few cautions: If you're near 32F/0C, snow is a bit plastic and will flow. Especially with heat input of human bodies and breath from within, it can start to sag over time. Use a ski pole or stick to mark a height and track that. I've woken up with the snow cave roof MUCH closer to my face come morning in the CA Sierra.