Cory Livingood stumbled upon the too-cool avocation four years ago when he spotted a vast field of vertically growing ice while wandering the streets of Colorado. In short order he came under the tutelage of icicle maestro Brent Christensen, the owner of Ice Castles, who taught Livingood the fine art of growing and harvesting elongated ice.
“I told him you don’t even have to pay me. I’m going to help you. I just started showing up,” Livingood told WCAX-TV.
This is not another embarrassing hipster trend a la artisanal ice. The frozen farming serves a very specific purpose: the icicles are used to build giant, illuminated ice castles at wintertime resorts. Christensen developed and patented the concept after he constructed an elaborate ice rink for his kids complete with cave and a 20-foot slide, and the rest is frozen history (cue embarrassing rendition of “Let It Go”).
Livingood and his grounds crew travel the country “growing” new icicle fields by hand, up to 5,000 a day. Once the icicles have ripened to adequate size, they’re then detached and reassembled (slush serves as the binding agent) to build the massive structures, which might include arches, waterfalls, and illuminating lights at night. Ice Castles is so far responsible for four different structures, in Utah, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Minnesota; open to the public, the castles have also served as dramatic backdrops for several music videos.
So, icicle farmer, pretty much the coolest job ever. And if you thought you couldn’t envy Livingood any more, there’s this:
“I pretty much eat nothing but gravy and bacon. So my blood is like Ragu,” he told WCAX, explaining his ability to stay warm on the job.
Frozen with jealousy? Here’s news that’ll warm your heart: Ice Castles is hiring.