Monday, February 6, 2017

Never say, “I wish I had visited the Ice Castle in Lincoln, New Hampshire

The Ice Castle is located on the west end of the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire.

The Ice Castle web site is  Below is a short video of our trip.

As I shared the above video among friends, I keep getting one inquisitive question on our Ice Castle visit. "Will icicles fall on me? Here is a picture I took looking up at hanging icicles as we roam in the Ice Castle:

Below is the answer I copied from the Ice Castles web site Frequently Asked Questions (

"There are several reasons why Icicles at the Ice Castle do not have these problems, and do not fall like icicles attached to a roof:

  • Icicles at the Ice Castle are attached to ice. This means there is no weak point (i.e. a roof) limiting the strength of the structure.
  • Connection points of icicles at the Ice Castle are proportional to the icicle. This means that the base of the icicle at the Ice Castle is the strongest, because it is the largest in mass and diameter.
  • There is no dark material at the base of all the icicles at the Ice Castle that will heat up and cause melting.
  • When Icicles at the Ice Castle melt, they melt per the laws of nature. This means that the smallest parts of the icicle melt first and it will take more time for the ice in the center of the icicle to melt. On a warm day, the icicles will melt from the bottom up. The smallest parts of the icicles will drip and turn to slush. The slush at the end may fall in small pieces. Guests visiting on days where the temperature is sunny and above freezing will get dripped on, and occasionally small masses of slush will fall."
We know icicles attached to roofs in New Hampshire may be dangerously heavy and knife shaped. You most assuredly do not want to be under a falling icicle. The FAQ explains roof attached icicles:
"Icicles attached to roofs almost always will fall. There are several reasons that Icicles attached to man-made structures will fall. Here are some of them:
The connection point of the icicles to the roof is inherently weak and it is usually not proportional to the icicle.
·         The connection point of the icicle (dark shingles) absorbs heat from the sun and causes that point to melt first.

·         The icicles usually fall when the weather warms up. The way it happens is that snow on the roof melts causing water to run past the small connection points of icicles causing melting at the base of icicles attached to roofs. The base of the icicle (which is usually smaller in mass, diameter, and width) melts faster than the large hanging portions of the icicles and the icicles fall."

Making Maintenance Ice

How do they make Ice Castles?
I found a video from 2015 showing how the Lincoln Ice Castle is made:

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