Feb 13-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: February: Feb 13-07
Delta Sigma Phi    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Julie Steimel
Ice chain    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Julie Steimel
TKE    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Julie Steimel
Sigma Phi Epsilon    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Julie Steimel
Phi Kappa Tau    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Julie Steimel

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 05:54 am:

Ancient Worlds Come to Play in Snowy Drifts of Modern Day. That was the theme for this year's Winter Carnival Snow Statue competition at Michigan Tech. Taking first place was Delta Sigma Phi with their icy depiction of Euphrates Frozen in Time Shows Babylon in Its Prime. The second photo shows a bit of the detail in the chains that make up the railings across a footbridge.

Today's third photo was the third place statue, by Tau Kappa Epsilon, titled, When Nordic Hordes attack with Icy Swords. Number four belongs to the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon, but I'm not clear on the title or what place it took in the standings. The last photo was actually the second place winner, built by Phi Kappa Tau, titled, Ancient Chinese Culture in an Icy Sculpture. With little snow to begin the statues and much of the last minute work completed in frigid temperatures and winds, the students still came through with amazing artwork in snow and ice.

A BIG thank you to Julie Steimel for responding to my plea for pictures and supplying us with these shots today!

By Therese (Therese) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 05:59 am:

Amazing what can be created with ice and snow! Those students are creative and show a lot of artistic talent as well as engineering acumen. Thank you for the photos.

By Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 06:01 am:

Great pictures!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 06:51 am:

Those students have such talent. That chain link is just awesome!

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 06:56 am:

Wow! That sure is gorgeous. Too bad Babylon is in such a sorry
state right now. "By the Rivers of Babylon" has an especially
poignant ring to it these days.

By jeffryeleconte (Upwannabee) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 08:11 am:


By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 08:15 am:

I realy enjoyed it as a kid living in Dollar Bay when we got to go see the Snow Statue's at Da Tech.When I moved to lower MI.I often was up there this time of year. Thank's for taking me there!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 08:22 am:

Fantastic! I marvel at all the work involved just to be demolished soon after completion of festivities, or meltdown, whichever occurs first.
My hands get cold just by looking at these pix. Hardy young folks, for sure!

By Shelley Trowbridge (Shelleyt36) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 08:29 am:

I am always so amazed at how intricate the sculptures are! Especially when you consider some of the tools that are used! I wish I could have seen them up close are personally! Maybe someday!

By Leslie at the Northern Lights Lodge (Leslie) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 09:14 am:

Isn't it all awesome! Thanks for sharing!

By Dorothy Stewart (Bootjackbabe) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 09:16 am:

Memories from the good old days. My husband and I worked on the snow statues in the 60's!!! He was a member of the Theta Tau fraternity--they won first place twice while he was a student. Lots of cold feet and numb fingers. We would work until the early morning hours and then take a nap at the old Union in the lounge.
We are getting blasted with a winter storm here in Columbus, Ohio----6----9 inches is quite a bit for this place.!! Now I feel like a real YOOPER!!!! Off to shovel!!! Yikes. Wish I had the old snow blower now---would be a real hit in the "hood" with the neighbors. Even a Yooper "scoop" would be helpful.

By Douginwi (Douginwi) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 09:24 am:

How do they make the ice chains? We saw them up close last year and they are just amazing. We could not make it up this year for Winter Carnival so thank you for the wonderful pictures. We will be there in 10 days, though, so I hope they are still standing.

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 09:49 am:

Beautiful sculptures, that has to take a lot of planning and icy cold work.

By Hilarie Alwine (Halwine) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 10:15 am:

While, I'm still impressed by the talent used to create these structures, I think I enjoyed last years structures more. https://pasty.com/pcam/albuw95
However, it wasn't as cold last year while I was out looking. That may have played a big roll in how much I enjoyed the structures!
The UP sure has alot of great winter festivals (Iron Mountain ski jump, MTU winter Carnival, UP 200 dog sled races, and much more!) It helps make a cold time of year much brighter!

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 10:39 am:

I'm w/ Douginwi -- how in the world do they make ice chains???

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:22 am:

How do they do that? I have trouble keeping the head on a snowman! The sculptures take so much talent.

By Justin Johnson (Tinksno) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:42 am:

Where is all the snow? hard to believe its Valentines day tomorrow. Anyone headed to the UP 200 this weekend, if so i will be volunteering the Deerton stop. Keep on Tinking Snow!

By Happy to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 01:09 pm:

Hilarie Alwine (Halwine)......Nat has very, very nice pictures take of the Ice sculptures! Thanks for sharing his album with us!

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 01:30 pm:

All da snow is down here in Illinois and I wasn't even tinking snow.

I wonder if there's engineering and blue prints involved in the sculptures. You would almost have to work off of a plan for such perfect detail.

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 01:45 pm:

Joanie, its possible. I have made sand castles with my uncle who is a tech grad, we had a blast and it was only about 2 years ago. We had a dead crayfish as a sea monster doming out of a hole we dug, pulled weeds and planted them for trees and took stones out of the lake to build a garrison around it. The rest of the family just watched us like we were nuts, and I think I heard "leave it to the engineers" (I went to Lawrence Tech) Some people don't appreciate true genius.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 01:49 pm:

Yes, Joanie, it is my understanding that they start with the engineering & blue prints, et al, for next year's snow & ice sculptures, just as soon as they finish building the current ones. It's an engineering school, with some art courses, so they have the talent to build great things.

My son at Mich Tech preferred the statues last year, as well.

You all have Blizzard Warnings, there, don't you Joanie? I think we will be lucky to get 1-2" out of it overnight tonight. I like plain snow, but I really do not like the sub-zero temps or ice. We had an ice storm last year that pretty much shut down our down for several days. Well over half the city lost power (and, hence their heat). We were thankful to be in the part that still had power & heat. :)

You all hang in there & stay safe & warm! And I hope that no one has to deal with ice. Joanie, you really do have to have a word with Joey, about not asking for unnecessary trips or walks outside. :-) At least Joey has his boots now to help protect his feet. I hope you can stay warm, walking him, and that you don't have anymore turtle incidents.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 04:42 pm:

Fabulous pictures! A real sight to see.

Marianne: are the statues this year different from last year?

By Eric W (Yoopertx) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 05:14 pm:

I remember working the statue for Alpha Phi Omega in '85. Carnival weekend saw temps in the minus 20's...wicked. Sunday of Carny weekend, I found half a bottle of JD in the statue trailer--and it was slushy from the cold!

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 05:16 pm:

Bootjackbabe....you're only getting snow in Columbus?....we're getting ICE in the Cincy area. YIKES!!!

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 05:23 pm:

Eric, ya gotta party a little, all that work has to make you thirsty!

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 06:31 pm:

Yes, Margaret, for the most part the statues are different every year. They are graded in part on how well they comply with the theme for the year, as I understand it. I do have to agree with my son, from the pictures of this year's statues that I've seen, I liked the ones last year better, too. Oh well...

Shirlohio--I hope you all don't get too much ice. It's my understanding that each front has a frontal line. North of the line, you get snow only. South of the line, you get ice. And, even further south, you get just plain old rain. Oh, and if you are too far north of the line, you get very little to no snow. (Of course, there are gradients, from snow to ice to rain.) If you get less than 1/4" of ice, you may be ok. More ice than that, it depends on a lot of factors.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 09:50 pm:

Here's a couple more links of the Winter Carnival:



May or may not be duplicates of what can be viewed on link provided by Mary.

By MILLIE RAISANEN (Knotatroll) on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 11:45 pm:


By Eliisa Mannisto Seigle (Eliisa) on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 06:51 pm:

I have great memories of heading north with family to see the ice statues. They have always amazed me. So intricate!

By Stacy Lancour (Yoopergal) on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 10:45 am:

There seems to be a lot of questions as to how the statues are made. Growing up I lived right next door to one of the fraternities so I got to see them as they were building. For the larger pieces like walls they use boards with 2X4's running through them as forms. They fill the forms up much like you would a bucket for a sand castle -- they use big buckets or garbage cans to get the snow in the forms. As they put in buckets of snow they are also adding water to it to make sure that the structure stays intact. When the form is full and the snow is solid they pull out the 2X4's and remove the forms. They keep repeating the process until their wall is as high as they need it. Many times they need scaffolding to get high enough to fill the forms. When it comes time to shape it they use axes and machetes (sp?) for the general forms. They also add slush on to add shape and detail. They get the smoothness by using irons -- yes -- like the ones you use to iron your clothing! The clear ice is often times made by cutting holes in the ice on the canal, letting it freeze, and then cutting the clear ice back out of the now frozen over hole (my dad let me in on that trick -- he built for Sigma Rau (sp?) when he was a Tech student). A lot of the fine detail work everyone admires so much in the snow statue is done the day/night before the judging takes place. I have been told that the lettering used on most statues contains some amount of Jello -- I'm not sure if that one is true or not. As far as I know chainsaws are not allowed and snow blowers are not allowed either. All of the snow is carted around by hand and everything is hand carved and hand formed. Actually this year, the fraternity next door to my parents house had to bring in snow truck load by truck load due to the lack of snow at the beginning of the season! Crazy UP weather! As to the chains -- I haven't a CLUE how they do that! I hope that answers a few questions!

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Sunday, February 18, 2007 - 04:33 pm:

I have never seen the ice scuptures at the Tech in person. Maybe
some year. However, this weekend, while visiting relatives in the
Lower Peninsula, we were fortunate to view some pretty snazzy ice
scuptures in the "town square" of Plymouth. Maybe created by
Tech alumni?

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