Explore an Ice Castle

While growing up in Wisconsin, I had many opportunities to carve snow caves out of the snowy embankment at the entrance to our driveway. In leaner years, my sister and I built roofless forts to protect us from snowball missiles. Many years later, I watched James Bond’s Die Another Day and fell in love with the Ice Palace.

So when I drove back from skiing and glimpsed unusual lighting on some enormous walls of ice and snow, I had to check it out. Someone built an ice castle in Breckenridge!  I had to go.

Ice Castle 1

Each handmade icicle was combined with many others to build extraordinary archways, towers and meandering walls.
ice castle 2

The crew created over 5000 icicles a day by pouring water into a pipe and freezing it. Then they doused it with more water to create a unique shape.

ice castles 3

Thousands of them were frozen together to form walls.

Some of rooms resembled movie sets.

ice castles 11

Ice Castle 5

Other walls resembled sea creatures.

ice castle 6

I wandered through these other-worldly dreamscapes

ice castle 7

while  some lights changed color by the seconds and added to the drama.

ice castle 9

I have to believe this art project took hundreds of hours to create. It will melt under the Colorado sunshine.

ice castle 10

ice castle 11

The air nipped my nose, but these sculptures nudged my imagination

ice castle 13

and stirred my soul.

ice woman 2

I took 150 photos. There are many more to come.

Is exploring an ice castle on your bucket list?

For more information about Breckenridge’s Ice Castle, click HERE.

Click HERE to see James Bond arrive at the Ice Hotel.

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67 Comments

Filed under Life, Photography

67 responses to “Explore an Ice Castle

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    So, so beautiful. Thank you you took the photos, shared them with us. I would never see anything like it, otherwise.

    Like

  2. That ice castle is quite amazing. What a work of art. It’s so fleeting and that makes it even more special.
    I’ve wanted to stay in an ice hotel, but I’m having trouble in the 15 degree temperatures we have here. I don’t know if I’d survive the night. :)

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    • I gotta believe it would be a long underwear night! They showed beds made of blocks of ice. That would be great if your back went out and you needed to ice it, but for the rest of us, it could be a looooooong nighttttttttt. (((shiver)))
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  3. sunshinebright

    I don’t expect to ever visit an ice castle, so I am very grateful for your photos! I found them very spiritual. :-)

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  4. Pingback: Ice Castle Photos and an Interview with Its Creator Brent Christensen | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

  5. Ice castles? SO COOL. Stunning photos of a stunning idea…and yeah, it’ll melt, but there’s that magical moment when it’s there, with the lighting, and – and – well, that’s what it’s about, isn’t it.

    It’s inspiring. Thanks for sharing…and pleeeeease post more of those 150 pix! :-)

    Like

  6. Just amazing – the lighting with the ice. It does look a little like Luray Caverns in VA. Hope you do get to interview the artist. I’ve always wanted to go to one of those big ice festival events where they do all the carvings and sculptures.
    There was supposed to be an opening of an art installation here made totally of twigs and woven branches – huge forms to walk in and around. But due to the ice storm, it might have looked close to these instead of “organic vines”
    Can’t wait to see the rest of your photos – great job!

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    • Thanks so much Phil! They are spectacular. Luckily the weather is holding out so it should be around for a while.
      Cave stalactite formations are very similar, but the lighting really added another dimension.
      The new post is up with a message from the artist. :)

      Like

  7. The Regular Guy NYC

    That is amazing and beautiful! It looks like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

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  8. What an incredible and amazing sight to see this ice castle. I’ve never seen anything like it! A year ago we visited one that was “man made” and I thought that was pretty great. To see it as nature intended it…wow!

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  9. Considering how cold it’s been in Manhattan this winter, Susie, I cannot say that visiting an ice castle is on my bucket list if I had a bucket list (I don’t). And I did look up online the ice bar El Guapo mentioned in his comment. That looks like an over-priced tourist trap. Count me out. But, I did enjoy the fact that you checked out the ice castle in your “hood”. Great pictures!

    Like

    • Thanks for that! I enjoyed it too! It was a bit nippy on bare fingers since it was about 10 degrees outside, but it was so beautiful and really got my blood pumping!
      There is more to come!

      Like

  10. Speechless, I am … except for WOW! Just, WOW!

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  11. Very cool. I’d love to visit an ice castle. It reminds me of Luray Caverns here in VA. Not ice, but similar formations. :)

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    • I’ve been through a couple of cave tours too and there were similaries. I really loved what they did with the lighting. More colorful photos will be posted Saturday morning. This post misfired when I set up the publishing time for 6:30 AM and didn’t change the date. It got thrown way back in the reader. Oh we’ll! I’m glad you found me!

      Like

  12. Scarybeautiful. Yes, on my bucket list, thanks to you. (And also thanks to you I am all caught up on American Horror Story which has pushed my crush on Jessica Lange over the edge into craziness.)

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    • You would love this tour. It is like nothing else on earth!
      I have to admit, AHS got too gross for me. I have too vivid an imagination. Love Jessica Lange! I will try again and close my eyes…

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  13. That is amazing! I saw Amber’s photos of the ice castle she visited over at The Usual Bliss and was blown away. I love how you’ve captured the night look. Breathtaking! I can only hope to see one of these someday, but living in Southern California, it’s much more likely to see an ornate sand castle than an ice castle. Thanks for bringing a little winter to my neck of the woods, Susie!

    Like

    • That is true about the sand castle and I bet there are some grand sculptures.
      I only blogged the blue photos I took as I walked inside. The next set will be very colorful. Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  14. Gorgeous – what a dream world you found.

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  15. That is one of my favorite things to see in January in Breck. Thank you for sharing.

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  16. Absolutely stunning! If there ever was a reason to pray for these frigid temps to last just a bit longer, this is it.

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  17. Wow, wow, wow, wow!!!!! Unbelievable, Susie! Amazing pictures. Love the last one of you. As much as I hate the cold I would go see this ASAP! :)

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  18. Honestly, I have felt like I lived in an ice castle this winter. It seems since the big ice storm we have been frozen solid. Although it has been dangerous and inconvenient there is no denying the beauty of what Mother Nature created with the ice. Every day I see photos that take my breath away.
    Your ice castle is stunning. It seems amazing that people could have created it. The technique they have used makes it seem like it could have been created by nature. I certainly like the idea of it being in a controlled space. It is like a wee bit of magic, isn’t it?

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  19. What an absolutely magical place! I would love to visit an ice castle some day.

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  20. Beautiful! My parents and siblings have visited the ice castle on Lake Louise. I hope to go there one day.

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  21. We’re going to be in Breck tomorrow, Susie. Will definitely check it out! Beautiful photos. I think I’ll take my camera…

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  22. Your pictures of the ice castle have us inspired and itching to visit, conquer and take it as our own. LOL. Mathair and I love anything frozen, cold, snowy, icy… well, you get the idea. So sad that it will eventually melt, but great that there are pics like this to keep the memory alive. Wonder if the tradition will catch on here in the South… eh… probably not. We’ll end up chipping away and using it to chill our sweet teas. LOL. Great post, Susie.

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    • Let me know if you ever come to Colorado. It was an amazing art project. I have always been into theatrical lighting and this was very dramatic. You’re right! The only ice you’ll see will be in your tea unless climate change brings an ice age!!!
      Thanks so much!

      Like

  23. Are they renting rooms there (in the ice castle) ??? I want a penthouse suite! Gorgerous…, the ice castle was pretty nice too !!

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  24. Neat!
    There is a bar in midtown Manhattan, 55 & 6th I think, called Minus 5. The entire interior is ice.
    Maybe I’ll check it out next summer…

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  25. Beautiful images, Susie~ Great job ;-)

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  26. amazing… it must be even more amazing in person…it’s beautiful. the change from day to night and lighting must make for some interesting photos… thanks

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  27. Beautiful images, Susie. A friend of mine went to an amazing ice park in China. You’ve reminded me to investigate and put it on my bucket list!

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  28. wow wow wow.. Cannot wait to read more!

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  29. There is nothing like natural beauty…unbelievable.

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  30. Wow, these are beautiful Susie!!

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  31. Isn’t water amazing in so many ways?!

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