As children, we all dreamt of finally being the king of the high castle however, with new LED light bulb technology and the dedication of a firm that is said to specialise in manufacturing ice castles, the desired thought we all longed after isn’t far out of reach.
The entire structure of the castle is built out of icicles which are grown by the firm and put together to establish a stable, secure castle and the best part? If you visit this castle by night you’re in for a spectacular view. Incorporated in the design is led lighting technology designed to illuminate the way for those encased in its magnificent presence.
The castle itself is said to rise out of the base of Loon Mountain which is based in New Hampshire however, you better visit it quick as it is rumoured to melt by the time March comes! In addition, it is one of several huge ice castles being established this very winter by Brent Christensen’s firm. The other castles are based in Breckinridge, Midway, Utah and Colorado.
According to the Daily Mail, Mr Christensen “started his ice castles company a few years ago after spending several winters building elaborate slides and ice towers for his children in his old backyard in Utah”.
The way he does so is phenomenal. At first, Mr Christensen began by spraying water onto wooden frames however, as a result was left with nothing but a mess of splintered wood by the time that spring came. The following year he decided to experiment with individual blocks of ice and built small igloos to which he thought to add chunks of ice and snow.
He said, “during that process, I almost accidentally started thinking about icicles. At first, it was just for cosmetics. I thought ‘this will look really cool’ and then with time I stumbled on the idea of crisscrossing the icicles and that’s when I found… you can actually grow them in certain ways”. After a while, he decided to approach local ski areas about building larger icicle structures that could temporarily serve as tourist attractions and from there the idea took a spin for the best.
It is thought that the castles took approximately tens of thousands of dollars to build and visitors currently pay around $8 to $10 to tour through the castles. Matt Brown, who recently toured the New Hampshire castle after seeing Disney’s new hit movie frozen, had this to say. “I obviously knew it wouldn’t be quite like that because that’s an animated thing and it’s a lot easier to animate things than make them in real life but I thought it would be an interesting way to spend 30 or 60 minutes. It was really neat.”
Until the castles begin to melt in March, construction will continue with walls predicted to reach a height of 40 to 60ft and icicles that are currently placed along the tops of the walls will become ceilings.
The entire process begins in the autumn and starts with the installation of sprinkler systems. When the weather begins to turn chilly, water is then sprayed onto various metal racks in order to produce thousands of different icicles. These icicles are then harvested and stuck into the ground surrounding the sprinkler heads.
Once an adequate amount of icicles have been produced, they are then sprayed with water and will grow in a variety of formations and shapes however, how they grow is dependent on the current temperature and wind levels. Over the course of just a few weeks, tunnels, archways and caves begin to emerge.
Sara Bookin-Weiner quoted that she “appreciates the beauty of the ice at a time of year when things are so dead and dark”
“Especially now the holidays are over, in the Northeast we’re looking forward to lots of months of blah and it’s really wonderful to have something creative, artistic and delightful”
On a final note, Mr Christiansen added, “there’s a significant amount of mechanical work and engineering involved in designing the castles and setting them up, but Mother Nature handles the artistic side. The real artistic part isn’t done by us. When you spray water in the middle of the night and you have icicles that catch the water, that’s when the art happens.”