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.
(Photo courtesy of Deseret News)