January 19, 2015

Ice Magic, Beyond the Sculptures...

We were up at Lake Louise to see the ice sculptures this evening, a day after the carvers put the finishing touches on their creations at the annual “Ice Magic” festival. Ten teams were given a dozen 300-lb blocks of ice each, and it is truly astounding to see the results of their efforts.  Our favourite was the "Wonder of the World by Faberge," with a giant hand holding a giant egg, which in turn contained the Taj Mahal.

Seeing these sculptures reminded us of how beautiful ice can be, and how there are frozen works of art everywhere in this park.  For instance, we'd been down to the end of the lake a few days ago, and seen some of nature's Ice Magic at “Louise Falls.” These falls form every winter, as there is a permanent spring at the top of one of the lakeside cliffs.  Even with a flow rate of only a few litres per minute, by mid-winter, the water dribbling out freezes into an impressive 100 metre tall ice column.
Louise Falls

Earlier this month, at Lake Minnewanka, near Banff, the lake ice was frozen thick enough for skating, and the trapped air bubbles in the ice again made for exquisite and impressive art.

Air bubbles at Lake Minnewanka

Tonight, we've gone through our photo album, and pulled out a few of our favourite “frozen fotos.”  We hope you enjoy the Ice Magic!

ps: the ice sculptures at Lake Louise usually stay in really good shape until early February, if you want to come to see them.

Skating at Lake Louise in November

Frost flowers and frost heaves at Vermilion Lake, near Banff in November

Frost on water birch leaves in September

The Upper Victoria Glacier at sunrise in July

Early ice in October in one of the side channels of Paradise Creek

Surface hoar frost on the snow near Lake Louise