This year we are working with some fantastic companies, to stay warm, safe and to create a safe place for the ice castles.
When you walk around the Ice Castle, you’ll see our employees wearing Columbia fleece, jackets and coats. Wehen you work outside regularly in negative conditions, you learn to appreciate good gear. We love how Omni technology kekeps us warm. Check it out here.
Without direct intervention, our method of creating Ice Castles, leave one single, very slippery, solid sheet of ice on the ground that no one could walk over. We’ve experimented with a lot of equipment over the years and have settled on the Toro Dingo as the apparatus of choice to make walking paths possible. Toro’s high speed tiller attachment for their Dingo crushes the ice down to small fragments, making walking through the ice castle a cinch.
We found Kahtoola this year, and these snow and ice cleats are amazing. They slip on and off your boots or shoes easily. For us, they do a fabulous job at keeping our guys who are not climbing the vertical ice walls, but who are walking across our early season ice fields safely upright. These are so much more convenient that full blown ice climbing crampons. We love them. If you are thinking about getting something for everyday slippery use, these are bar none the best.
If you come to the Ice Castle at night, one of the first things you will notice are the fire pits. They are definitely a favorite of visitors and employees alike. The fire pits are provided by Minnesota Seasons, a full service local contractor who specializes in landscape design, construction, irrigation, maintenance and now luxury outdoor living. They also custom design and manufacture fire pits like you will see in the courtyard at the Ice Castle.
Another group who has helped us out on a variety of items is Minneapolis Garage Construction. These guys are a top favorite on Angies List (see here) because of their superior service and expertise. We’ve really appreciated their help to make this year possible. If you are in the market for a new garage or similar construction, definitely give these guys a call.
To create tall ice towers, we are constantly climbing around on the ice walls and we need the best, safest equipment there is. Ice climbing crampons, axes, and helmets made by Petzl. are an absolute must. If you happen to come at a time when we are on the walls placing icicles, you’ll see us wearing Petzl’s orange helmets and ice climbing crampons.