King castle

King of the castle: man creates an ice structure in a hut

Ice cream is family friendly at Echo Lake.

Since 2012, Sean Frisky and his family have built a castle made from pieces of ice. The structure includes a bar which is also made of frozen H2O.

“We probably do it every two years because it’s a lot of work, but my wife loves Christmas a lot and we decided a long time ago when the kids were little that we were going to try to make this ice castle.” , Frisky said Wednesday.

Since then, it has become a place for community members to come together and enjoy friendly company, even during the COVID pandemic.

“It’s right outside our cabin and in today’s COVID world, there is no roof, you are outside, there is fresh air, there is a fire and you are sheltered from the wind, ”said Frisky.

(Sean Frisky / Submitted)

One of the key tools in building the castle is an old 1950s saw that Frisky’s neighbor owned.

“They used to cut logs of ice for refrigeration, so I went to the store and looked and it looked like it would cut a lot of ice very quickly,” Frisky said.

“We put a new engine on it and have been using the saw ever since. It’s a large 36 inch rotating blade and you can cut about eight feet of ice per minute at one foot deep.

Frisky said that this year it took six friends and their families around 4.5 hours to put the castle together.

And how does it all come to fruition?

“We start by harvesting the logs of ice. Using that big saw we cut down to the water, so we want to do that when the ice is about a foot thick, ”said Frisky. “You end up with these 12 inch by 12 inch floating logs, and then they’re different lengths. “

(Sean Frisky / Submitted)

They then use a four-wheeled vehicle to pull the chunks of ice out of the water. Frisky said they used around 66,000 pounds of ice to build the castle.

And after doing this project for a few years, they’ve made some improvements to the way they build it to make it a bit more efficient.

“We used to manually push blocks like pyramids using angles and manual labor,” Frisky said. “This year we used a skid steer loader to lift them with forks, so it was a lot, a lot easier.

“You start putting them together and building it like a log house, and then you use snow and water to (fill in) the cracks and make it into a structural building. “

Over the years, they have also improved its functionality.

“It keeps getting bigger, then the ice bar keeps getting bigger inside, then we have a heated bench with a fire inside on the other side,” Frisky said. “They are getting a little more elaborate.”

And it has become a place of gathering and companionship for the community.

“It’s a good reason to come and have a drink at the Ice Castle. Otherwise people are by the lake and people might not pass but it’s outside and people literally jump in and say hello or have a drink. It’s a good little community building, ”said Frisky.

“The children are having a blast. We’re building an ice rink in front and all that sort of thing.

The Ice Castle should be part of his winter plans for the immediate future.

“Every year as you get a little older it gets a little harder,” Frisky said, “but I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can, for sure.”