Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Chiseling It-There’s More to Snow than Skiing
Bob Wiederrick surveys the reclining bear he and his wife Michelle built on behalf of the Hailey Kiwanis.
Sunday, February 7, 2021


Bright sunrays illuminated the scene as Hailey dentist Dr. Ron Fairfax dug in with a big pick. But it wasn’t someone’s teeth in which he was gouging out plaque.

It was an 8-foot-tall block of snow in which he was defining the outline of Thomas the Train.

Satisfied he had dug out the “plaque” he needed,” he sprayed it with water housed in a gallon-sized  pesticide sprayer to allow the piece of art to harden and freeze.

Megan McLintock takes an ice scraper to a carving based on a sculpture of a dog that sits in front of Mountain Humane.

About five dozen adults and children stepped outside of their comfort zone on Saturday to take part in Hailey’s inaugural Ice Carving competition. None of them had done anything of the sort before. But over an eight-hour period they had created respectable works boasting the state of Idaho and more.

Hailey metalworker Bob Wiederrick and his wife Michelle used a crosscut saw that once belonged to Michelle’s grandfather, a logger, to cut away at a block of snow that they eventually turned into a reclining bear on behalf of the Hailey Kiwanis Club.

“It’s a lot of different than the snowmen I ‘ve built in my front yard,” Wiederrick said. “Ice carving is a matter of subtraction, instead of addition.”

Herbert Romero led Outdoor Hispanic Leaders and Idaho Basecamp in creating a Rubik’s Cube, which they colored with environmentally friendly paint.

Vladimir Gomez shows off the Rubik’s Cube that he helped create as part of the Idaho Basecamp/Hispanic Outdoor Leaders team.

Hailey volunteer firefighters Michael Boatman, Phil Rainey and Caden Reinhart took time out from fighting fires to working in snow and slush as they created a giant snowflake and fire hydrant.

And Mountain Humane volunteers followed the lead of Megan Matlock, their intake manager/artist, as they replicated Ted Waddell’s sculpture of his beloved dog Tucker in snow and ice.

“We wanted to do something with the community, and I think it looks pretty good,” said Annie McCauley, the executive director of Mountain Humane. “It’s hard to cut away a big block of ice like this, but we had a good group of volunteers who shoveled the snow we cut off. And thank goodness The Barkin’ thrift store was handy. We had to go there to get some dry warm gloves halfway through.”

James LaPointe, who works for the city of Hailey’s Public Works Department, said crews used snow plowed from the streets of Hailey during last week’s multi-foot snowstorm to create the 8-by-8-foot tall blocks weighing 27,000 pounds each. They blew the snow into wooden forms with the city snowblower, then had a couple city workers get on top to pack the blocks down and square up the snow on top before allowing the blocks to freeze overnight.

Hailey firefighter Michael Boatman takes a crosscut saw to what would eventually become a giant fire hydrant.

The city thought it would be a good socially distanced thing to do for the community as some COVID restrictions were being relaxed, he said. Next year, if the pandemic has waned, there could be more carvings, along with vendor booths and live music.

Hailey resident Judy Wampler basked in the sun as she watched the ice carvers work.

“We needed this type of thing,” she said. “I miss having activities. I miss people. I’m lonesome.

“I couldn’t get to the McCall Winter Carnival this year so this is my McCall,” she added. “I watched kids off in one corner making their own little sculpture, inspired by these big sculptures. You can see how people are gathering and watching. And the background couldn’t be prettier with the snow-covered hills in the distance and the bright blue sky.”

Bob Wiederrick adds depth to the bear’s eye.

The carvings will be on view at Croy and Main streets in Hailey through Sunday, Feb. 14. Spectators can vote for their favorite carving on the City of Hailey’s Facebook page or at the Hailey Public Library.


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