Tag Archive: Ice park


The ice chapel still shows the transparency of the ice.

The ice chapel still shows the transparency of the ice.

This will be a short post, because my modem is acting up. I will try to get the information I need and upload it (on Sunday) from Safeway, the closest place I am reasonably sure I can get Wi-Fi, if the modem goes out again. Apologies to those I was unable to visit on Weekend Writing Warriors; even my e-mail is affected, and the store where I can get the needed parts won’t be open until today.

The sun will rise this morning at 7:36, and set 12 hours 44 minutes later at  8:20 this evening. It’s getting a little sloppy in the daytime, though night-time temperatures are still below zero. Not to complain – we can have 40 below as late as the end of March.

The train station show how the ice turns milky due to partial internal melting.

The train station shows how the ice turns milky due to partial internal melting in the sun.

When I visited Ice Alaska Friday, the sculptures ranged from slightly drippy to total collapse. Generally the south faces of exposed blocks had changed from transparent to flat white due to internal melting. For those who may have worried about my surgery last Wednesday, it went well enough I was walking around the ice park Friday, though some of the pictures were taken from the train.

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A Few Ice Photos

I did get out to Ice Alaska today, and took a few photos. I got a little video of the artists working, too. I’ll use that in the iMovie course I’m taking next month. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the kids’ park. Click on the photos to enlarge.

I think this is supposed to be the head of a dragon. (At least there's a dragon tail of the other side of the bowl.) Looks like a horse head to me.

I think this is supposed to be the head of a dragon. (At least there’s a dragon tail on the other side of the bowl.) Looks like a horse head to me.

Peacock? Nice carving, anyway.

Peacock? Nice carving, anyway.

There's always an ice train, large enough that children can get into it. I don't think I'd fit.

There’s always an ice train, large enough that children can get into it. I don’t think I’d fit.

The Fairbanks Ice Park

The Ice Park isn’t just an open-air winter museum, or the site of the World Ice Art Championships. It’s a playground for children. This year it was at a brand-new site and the volunteers didn’t have time to get everything in place, but there were still giant slides, a maze, and an ice rink for kids of all ages. The past week was a school holiday, and plastic sleds were all over the place.

The ice rink is a little unusual — the sides as well as the skating surface are made of ice.

Slides range in size from little, fancifully carved ones for the smallest kids

To moderately long, which some of the older kids try to ride down standing up

To downright huge, with long runout spaces at the ends. These are generally used by sledders.

I decided not to try the maze — wasn’t sure I could stay upright. But I could see it would be confusing.

There were even a few purely decorative carvings in the children’s area

Though most seemed designed to be ridden, at least.

We’ve had good weather for the ice park this year. A couple of days the highs got up to 25°F, but for the most part the highs have been in the teens above, and the overnight lows have been in the teens below. Usually there is some daytime thawing by now, but we haven’t had enough to affect the sculptures. At least the ice hasn’t deteriorated nearly as much as it had by March 26 last year, but of course the last third of March is yet to go. Just hope we don’t set any new records in late March – it can go down to forty below!

Single block 2? Well, I couldn’t get them all in one post, so I split them up. Some of these were taken from the train (which bounced badly, so I hope they aren’t too blurred.) I’m going to use larger photos this time, in hopes they won’t change places!

This was 7th place, “Giving Thanks to the Great Spirit.”

8th place was “Dragontango.”

9th place was “Spirits of our Ancestors. The shoulder and beard at the far left belong to the train driver.

10th place was “Pegasus in Sky.” This one was definitely taken from the train.

“Entertainment” took the Artists’ Choice award.

“Your Move” is a hero-and-dragon theme, always popular.

“Unrest” really showcases the ice.

“Feather” is another that caught my eye. Notice that all of the single-block sculptures are set among trees, for protection from the sun.

No, that’s not all of the photos I took. Next week I’ll show the progress of the multi-block sculptures, which are sculpted from up to 10 blocks of ice, each 6’ x 4’ by 3’. The judging was yesterday evening, when the sculptures were lighted. Will I have any photos of the lighted sculptures? Depends on whether I can hitch a ride after dark.