Loon Mountain will be home and host to the East’s first Ice Castle this winter. The brainchild of artist Brent Christiansen of Utah, an Ice Castle was first displayed at a small spa and resort in 2009. The idea took off from there and has continued growing. Last year there were two – one at Steamboat Springs, Colorado and one at the Mall of America near Minneapolis.
What is an ice castle? Brent’s creations are complex structures up to 25 feet tall with towers, arches, tunnels, caverns and pathways which visitors can navigate and explore on foot. It usually takes visitors at least a half hour to wander through the castle and take advantage of all the photo ops.
The castle is built of many thousands of icicles which are “grown” and sculpted together over a base of ice, then sprayed with water to create these giant structures. Water, wind and temperature are all part of the equation and cause the castle to be continually changing and evolving. During the day the fortress exudes an icy blue hue. At night it is illuminated by multicolored lights embedded in the formations, lending a dramatic aura to the scene.
Loon’s Ice Castle is expected to be ready and open to the public by mid-to-late December and continue until mid March.