Ice Castle Photos and an Interview with Its Creator Brent Christensen

After exploring Breckenridge’s breathtaking Ice Castle, I searched for the artist behind this magical place. I contacted Brent Christensen, the founder of Ice Castles, who also built them in New Hampshire and Utah this winter.

Breck Ice Castle 22

Take it away Brent!

“I’m the artist and designer of the layout at each of our three locations, but I rely heavily on our many well-trained, hard working, dedicated employees. Each of our sites took about 4 weeks of working 12-16 (hour) days.  Our Breck site has about 10 full and part-time employees, New Hampshire about 15 and Midway (Utah), about 20.”

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Fire and ice.

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“We are very vigilant about safety.  But believe it or not we are more concerned about the walking surfaces than we are about falling icicles.  Icicles on the edge of a roof are prone to falling, especially when the sun hits the roof and causes the ice to melt at the union.  Icicles hanging from an ice bridge will only melt at the thinnest spot, which is at the bottom.  So on very warm days the hanging icicles in the castles will melt and drip away starting at the bottom but they don’t fall off.”

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Colored lights change in seconds and add to the drama.

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“Snowfall doesn’t damage the castles.  It can add a very beautiful elegance to the appearance.  Before we continue growing them we usually remove the bulk of the snow by hand or brooms.  The most fun part is growing and building.  The most laborious part is clearing and grooming the trails on a daily basis.  We often have to remove several tons of excess ice from the trails and spend up to 40 man hours per day just to make our trails safe for our guests.”

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“Regarding our sites for next year:  Unfortunately, I can’t yet say where they will be.  We usually finish out the winter and analyze how everything went.  We  consider weather patterns, traffic patterns, how the city or resort was to work with, etc.  You’ll just have to keep an eye on our website.” —– Brent Christensen.

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I hope he chooses Breckenridge again next year. His extraordinary Ice Castle can be enjoyed by all ages. It’s amazing that the simple element of water created this art project.  It became 20,000,000 pounds of ice!

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To see the first photo essay of my tour, click HERE!

Click on photos to enlarge.

Would you like to take the tour?

Related articles:

Ice Castles

How the Ice Castle was made in Breckenridge.

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About susielindau

I am a Boulder, Colorado writer and artist who loves adventure both real and imagined. Come with me. It's always a Wild Ride!
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64 Responses to Ice Castle Photos and an Interview with Its Creator Brent Christensen

  1. The Guat says:

    Dude this looks and sounds like an awesome adventure. I’m loving these ice castle pics. I’ve never heard of such a thing out here in my neck of the woods. Totally want to go to Colorado now :)


  2. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    These are so amazing! I love how the colored lights make it look so magical. I would love to explore this. So cool that you did it.


  3. Those really are amazing. Thanks for the insightful interview, Susie! Sounds like a true labor of love.


  4. Four week. WOW. Delight worth all the effort. Thanks for the interview – must keep an eye on this guy’s work. SImply a must see…and now that’s you’ve seen one, how can you keep from locating his iced castles every year?


  5. viveka says:

    Just amazing …. similar to our Ice Hotel that is built every years … and that melts away from every spring and during the winter they collect the building blocks from the crystal clear river and store them until next year … people from all over the world make it happens. Thanks for sharing this .. never heard about this before. Learn something new everyday. *smile


  6. Looks very whimsical, breathtaking, and verra verra cold!


  7. Finally, a face and name to go with the art! Thanks so much for sharing this beauty with us, Susie. We’ll keep an eye out for the next display on their site. ;)


  8. jbw0123 says:

    Stunning. Gives me a new appreciation for cold!


  9. Simply amazing! I went back and looked through your other shots too that are equally breathtaking. I can totally relate to the number of photos you took. Thanks for introducing us to Brent Christensen. It was fabulous to learn how these incredible fantasmagorical structures come to be. Hey, Brent, how about Whistler, BC next year?


  10. The Hook says:

    What can I say?

    Seriously, these shots are incredible, Susie.


  11. Cayman Thorn says:

    This is wicked cool stuff, Susie! And you KNOW a song usually comes to mind with me….


  12. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    My goodness, this is magic, just magic. Utterly beautiful, Susie. This is Heaven on Earth!


  13. That’s amazing and so beautiful!


  14. Oh Susie, I just showed my husband the pictures! So magical. I was thrilled to learn that they have one in New Hampshire. I really should check out where in NH it is. Love it! :)


  15. El Guapo says:

    Love that he’s made a safe, accessible way for people to get lost in wild nature!


  16. Widdershins says:

    More beautifuls! :D … 20 million pounds of ice, is gonna be one helluva cleanup!


  17. marydpierce says:

    These (and the previous posting’s) photos are stunning! I’m going to try and get to the one in New Hampshire. I think it’s about 4 hours away. Plus I know of a pub on the way, and in NH, that makes the best rubens! Thanks for all the pictures and the information. I wouldn’t known anything about these otherwise. :-)


  18. I would love to take the tour! He mentioned a website but it wasn’t linked. Do you know the name of it?


  19. Laura Hilger says:

    So cool! Wonderful job with the pictures! This reminds me of the Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, AK. It’s amazing because it brings ice artists together from all over the world. I’ll have to check this out. So, he goes to different places each year, correct?


    • susielindau says:

      I bet that would be a great art festival to experience.
      He does choose different places. I hope he comes back to Breck. It has really been an incredible attraction!
      Thanks for stopping by Laura!


  20. robincoyle says:

    I love that their are people in this world whose job title is Ice Castle Builder. Way more interesting than Accountant.


  21. John says:

    I would indeed love to see this!! The people in the photos give scale to the ice, I love all the fun colors.


  22. claywatkins says:

    It looks like a pretty amazing place to spend an evening, or winter day, walking around taking it all in…. thanks.


  23. Sophie Moss says:

    Oh, wow! Your photos are gorgeous! What an awesome experience. :) If you’re going to be cold, might as well be in an ice castle! :)


  24. Beautiful image (and interview) capture(s), Susie.


  25. Linda Seccaspina says:

    Just incredible.. And I agree slippery surfaces are far more dangerous


  26. Austin says:

    This is a very interesting post, but I could’ve sworn I’ve read it before… :)


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