Midway Ice Castles January 2015


Desperately Seeking Sandstone
Jan 21, 2012
January 24th, 2015

Ice Castle Entrance

The Midway Ice Castles...an attraction that had long been on my radar, but never managed to find it's way into my winter plans. What winter plans you say? You know, important stuff, like loafing on the couch, binge watching tv shows, and dreaming about the trips I'll take when winter has passed. Anything other than braving the cold. I'm not really a winter girl, despite having grown up with "the greatest snow on earth," but I'm learning.

This winter has been the mildest winter I can remember. With only three snowfalls hitting the valley so far, and low temperatures that resemble our normal highs, I've got to say, it hasn't sucked. My big worry has been whether or not we're getting enough snow in the mountains. It turns out we're not doing too bad. 80% of normal. Can it be? I get to have my cake and eat it too?

The warm weather has spelled trouble for the Midway Ice Castles, however. The temperatures just haven't been cold enough to sustain the ice. Consequently, the Ice Castles opened for one weekend only this year. Luckily I caught wind of the news in time to do something about it. I went to the website and purchased two tickets for the 10:00 p.m. time slot on Saturday. Yay! I was finally going to do it.

My son Brandon and I left the house at 9:00 to drive to Midway. Everything was looking good until we got within a mile of the Ice Castles and were met with a line of cars that didn't appear to be moving. Bummer! After waiting in the same spot for about 10 minutes a few cars flipped around. I can't say I blame them. It wasn't looking good. I couldn't bring myself to turn around, though. We drove for an hour with tickets I'd already paid for to see the Ice Castles on the only weekend possible this year. We were not turning around!

Around that time the cars began creeping forward. Success! It took another 20 minutes before we got to the parking lot. Once we got there it was obvious what the hold up had been. There weren't enough parking spots to handle the flow of people streaming in. It occurred to me at that point that there were too many people around for this to be much of a photo excursion. I decided that I would do what I could, but mostly we would just try to enjoy the experience.

The Pinnacles

We did try. The ice formations pulsed with color, and often to the time of the music playing. Each formation was unique, and the features they built included tunnels, an ice slot canyon, and ice slides. It was enchanting. The crowds were less so. It was a difficult place to be with a tripod. I kept a tight hold on it because I was constantly worried that it would be knocked over if I let go. Almost every time I got a composition lined up people would step right in front of it for their own photo opportunities. The best I could do was to keep my camera trained high and framed tight on some of the details.After about an hour we were ready to call it a night.

The Fountain

Despite the madness, I'm glad we went. It really was beautiful, and I'm pretty sure that the crowds we encountered were due to the extremely limited schedule this year. I will definitely return, but not on a one weekend only engagement. In fact, next time I think I'll go on a weeknight after work. You could truly make some magic here given enough elbow room.

Violet Mood Swings