Lake George Ice Castles In Real Danger From Winter Warmth and Rain
While a break from December’s harsh start to winter is nice, the warm and wet spell has put what was supposed to become a Lake George tradition at serious risk. The Adirondack Ice Castles that were such a hit last year have already been delayed, but continued 40 degree days could turn winter dreams to slush.
It's Not Just The Warmth
Unseasonably warm weather would be the obvious enemy of any ice-based structure, but the Capital Region has also seen plenty of the Ice Castles’ greatest threat – rain. Any water at a temperature above freezing easily cuts through ice. For an Ice Castle, that puts the future in question.
The Lake George Ice Castles were a massive hit last year, and drew crowds from across New York to see the spectacular structures, slides, and light shows. This year’s castles are supposed to be even better, with an added winter light walk and ice bar. If the weather doesn't cooperate soon, that bar could be a puddle.
How Short Could The Season Be?
Building Ice Castles takes about four weeks. While construction started in late December’s single digit cold, the recent streak of forty-degree days combined with rain has caused major setbacks that throw this year’s season into jeopardy. The new, delayed start date of January 27 is already almost a week later than last year’s opening day.
While another cold wave is expected next week that gives prime building time, another wave of 40s and rain is expected the week the 15th through 19th. Accuweather predicts Lake George won’t see typical winter temperatures until around January 20th. After that day, the area might not see temperatures above the 30s until late February.
The Lake George Ice Castles aren’t the only ones facing a weather threat. The company’s New Hampshire Ice Castles opening was delayed for the same reason 100 miles northeast of Upstate. Once typical temps return on the 20th, extra crews from other Ice Castle locations could be brought in to rush construction.
Can You Still Buy Tickets?
Tickets are still on sale for the 2023 season on the Ice Castles website. The attraction can close at any time for warm weather or rain. Tickets went on sale in November, so it’s luck of the draw as to what weather your chosen day will bring. Tickets sold before the Castles’ new opening day will be rescheduled for an open date or refunded.
There’s currently no word on if a shortened season this year would affect a return in 2024, but Ice Castles management says if sustained conditions aren’t right they just won’t build.