Right there on the side of the road...
I had never seen anything like these forms before.
What on earth???
How did they form?
Why were they there???
A landscape of the towering ice was taking over an area in front of the Zermatt Resort in the small town of Midway.
At first I thought I would just take a picture from the car window. Then I decided I would get out to get a closer view.
Quickly I realized that would not be good enough! I commanded Bernie to pull our car into the hotel's parking lot so I could get a closer look.
A picket fence was between a side walk and the massive forms, and a gate.
A sign on a tiny booth said it would cost me two dollars to go inside the gate. I got out of the car again, and I motioned to Bernie to join me on the path through the ice.
He waved me on; I kept going, leaving him to enjoy his nice warm car seat.
My brain kept searching for just the right word to describe what I was seeing.
About a quarter way into the area, I met Brent Christensen, the creator of this frozen masterpiece.
He briefly told me how they were created: PVC pipe grids were used to grow icicles, which were then harvested each day. Each icicle was then "planted" and sprayed with more water. The structures have been "growing" since December, adding about three feet in height a day. The ice forms are solid ice. No internal structures are used. Brent climbs up the structures to add more and more icicles to the design.
His blog site had pictures of the project since day one. The forms really did change every single day! The night time pictures are especially wonderful. What an amazing place it would be for a wedding!
He and his family and friends tend the creations on an average of 16 hours a day. The Zermatt Resort has given him and his wife a room to stay in while the forms are being made. He and his wife are the parents of six children, ages 6-23, and this has been the first time he has ever created his forms in public. "Today" he told me "is the last day the forms will be maintained". They will now begin to slowly melt away, lasting probably until May.
How did he learn to do this?
He said he used to create them in his own backyard for fun around a small skating rink that he had made for his kids.
Next year he hopes to do it again, only with LED colored lights instead of halogen colored lights illuminating them from inside at night. And if I was in the area, I was welcome to return at dark and see the forms again for free.
Oh gee....how amazing would that be?
This is definitely on the calendar for next year!
In the center of it all: A natural hot spring fish pond, with a school of brilliant orange fish swirling like embers amidst the colorful aquatic plants.
The night time reflections on the pond must be stunning.
Does this day just keep getting better and better or what?Swiss Zermatt hotel. It has a killer great spa too.