Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ice Castles

We came upon it by accident, but when we drove up to the forty foot ice castle, we couldn’t believe our eyes.

Last Monday my family and I decided to take a drive up to Heber valley to visit an ailing aunt. When we found she wasn’t home, but rather had gone to stay with her son, we decided to go for a drive around the area.

Near the Homestead in Midway, there is a hotel called the Zermatt Resort. There in the front of the resort are the most incredible ice formations I have ever seen.

We immediately parked the car to get a closer look. If you pay $2.00 a person, you can walk on a path that winds around eighteen ice castles or towers and two hot springs.

What’s even more amazing is that the castles are made entirely out of icicles which were harvested with a sprinkler system and PVC pipe. There is no supporting structure. The detail of each castle is unbelievable when they light up the massive structures at night. Brilliant shiny colors are illuminated through the icy walls giving it a beautiful, almost surreal look. It’s most impressive.

Each castle grows 10-12 tons per day and their sculptor, a man by the name of Brent Christensen hopes that each one reaches between 30-40 feet in height. The largest, known as tower No.7 is one that you can walk through. When the weather is just right, the castles can grow up to three feet in a day. Brent works mainly at night sculpting away at the castles and working to keep the paths safe.

This is the last week the Zermatt Resort will offer us the opportunity to see the Ice Castles. With warmer weather coming, the path through the castles will no longer be safe. If you have the chance and you are in the area, I highly recommend stopping by to see it.

The older I get, the less I like the cold. But with something this beautiful to look at, I’m actually looking forward to seeing what creations Mr. Christensen comes up with next year.
(Picture courtesy of Deseret News)


Cheri J. Crane said...

What a gorgeous picture, Jeri! I wish I could see those impressive ice castles before they melt. If this is something they do each year, I'll aim for next year's exhibit.

Jennie said...

We saw them when we stayed at the Homestead in January. Pretty interesting.

Jennie said...

We saw them when we stayed at the Homestead in January. Pretty interesting.

Rachael said...

Okay, wow! They are beautiful. I only wish I would have read your post last week so we could have gone. Thanks for sharing, Jeri!