(These pictures and post is from last season. 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.)
A little over a year ago I had the chance to check out Brent Christensen’s Ice Castles of Silverthorne Colorado.
Building ice castles is a little hobby Brent picked up and perfected years ago that continues to grow. What started out as a fun project in the yard has grown to having two locations for the 2012-2013 winter season in both Steamboat Springs, Colorado and The Mall of America, Minnesota.
I was able to talk to Brent during the building of the castles prior to opening and ask him about how it all began. Here’s a little of what he had to say.
“I first started playing with ice in back yard in Alpine Utah about 5 years ago….mostly as a way to have fun and play with the kids. We made igloos, ice forts, ice rinks and eventually an ice castle of sorts. The discovery of my current method came to me over the course of the winter four years ago.I wanted to make an ice structure with no sub-structure (wood or metal). I started by using ice blocks and chunks of snow. I started pasting icicles vertically and then spraying them overnight. This allowed me to grow the structure very tall very quickly. Later I learned that using horizontal icicles allowed me to join adjacent structures together and increase the strength and stability immensely. It was a factor of curiosity and experimentation, but mostly I believe it was a gift and a blessing.”
Following up on curiosity takes you places : )
Building some awe-inspiring castles in the parking lot, Brent spearheaded the Mall of America project. His project was even featured in the Today Show which I recommend you check out. You can see video of how that project went and even hear from the creator himself.
I wasn’t able to head to Minnesota but this past weekend I was able to head to Steamboat Springs and see what they had going on. The Steamboat Ice Castles were led by an artistic and dedicated crew that had assisted Brent Christenson last year in Silverthorne.
As you look at the photos keep in mind that it’s just ice. There are no supporting structures of any sort. The only things within the structures themselves are the various lights to illuminate the structures and some pvc piping that would water the castles at night to grow and fuse them together.
Pretty incredible eh?
Both projects are now closed and taken down for the season. Brent Christensen and his family decided Hawaii would be a good choice after this and are now soaking up some rays before the next big project.
The Steamboat crew will be enjoying a nice break and some may be headed to warmer weather as well.
As for what is happening next year and where I’m not quite sure. Some plans in the making may include heading back to Utah where it all began.
If I find out anymore, I’ll make sure to let you know. Check out their website and If you have a chance next season, I highly encourage you to take a look!