(These pictures and post is from a couple of seasons ago. For the 2013/2014 season there will be castles in Breckenridge, Colorado one in Lincoln, New Hampshire and another in Midway, Utah. Check out this link for tickets and more information.)
I came across a picture of some insanely cool and crazy ice castles earlier last week. After tracing them back to Icecastles.com and finding out that they are being created in Silverthorne (a couple of hours from where I live) I made immediate plans to make the drive to see this ice spectacle.
Two hours and a $10 day pass later I find myself walking underneath and through ice caves and castles comparable to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. Surprisingly, these 15-20 foot structures will soon be dwarfed as creator, Brent Christensen and his crew, work day and night adding to the spectacular work of art. In a month’s time he is shooting to easily double the now existing castles with the higher peaks pushing 50ft!
While I was exploring the ice castles I had the opportunity to speak with Brent and some of his staff about his work of art in progress and what it takes to continue to build upon it. I have a general understanding of how it all comes together, but in a month’s time or so I’m heading back to see the evolved structures and hopefully get a more in-depth interview with Brent Christensen. It truly is a unique experience that everybody nearby or in town should visit.
(The following is my understanding of how everything comes together after talking with the staff. For more accurate information check out the website here or come back in month’s time for a more up to date article and newer pictures)
Firstly, to get to the ice castles, head north into Silverthorne off of I-70 or coming up from the southern part of town. Passing the outlet mall on the left, you should quickly see the Ice Castle formations on your right hand side and the entrance beforehand. You’ll go around a small loop to find parking and the small entrance hut. The ticket price is $10 and is valid all day. This allows for viewing during the day as well as night where up to 200 compact fluorescent lights will illuminate the ice.
When there, friendly staff awaits all new comers eager to answer curiosities and questions about the arches, towers and castles. Pathways guide visitors around, through and under the emerald-green and blue hued glowing ice.
Strategically and artistically placed icicles from the icicle farm create the foundation and premise for the future structures. These icicles are secured to existing structures with an ice slush water mix. The slush water quickly freezes and adheres each icicle to the base structure. Nature’s own addition along with sprinklers during the night add to and connect the icicles building up the various formations. Incredibly, all of the creations are nothing but ice! There are no support beams or structures that hold any of the castles or towers in place.
I look forward to finding out more on my next visit and urge any and everybody to make a trip to check out these unique Ice Castles!