Yes indeed, the first several years of my rink were of the packed snow variety. A lot of work and a lot of nights spent up until 3AM or 4AM when it was cold enough to make ice. To this day, I still catch myself wanting to flood when it's -20'C just to build up a significant base so that it will last longer into the season.
Best suggestion for the packed snow rinks out there: patience. That and when you are making your base, shape and soak your snow banks to make a nice bowl that will hold your water and allow it to freeze.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Making Backyard Rinks from 1999-2015
Twitter: @kevmac_5 or @macisaac_odr
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