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Ice world looks ahead to next year's preparations

Updated : 2024-01-22

By ( China Daily )

Workers use professional tools to cut the ice on the frozen surface of the Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Wednesday. The ice will be stored for the Ice and Snow World in the city next winter, which is a major tourism attraction. The ice harvesting work is expected to be completed in a few days. ZHANG SHU/FOR CHINA DAILY
Harbin Ice and Snow World, one of the most popular scenic spots in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, has already started its annual task of selecting and storing a batch of high-quality ice blocks for next year's event.
On the frozen Songhua River, which runs through Harbin, workers located a place near the riverbank where the ice is over 40 centimeters thick. Then the crew used a chain saw to cut blocks to the required size.
According to the carving rules, each block of ice is about 90 cm wide, 40 cm thick and 180 cm long.
As man-made ice often contains air bubbles and is not strong enough to carve, ice blocks for the park are brought from the frozen Songhua River.
"Different from the ice landscapes in other places, most of which are made of artificial ice, the park is built with raw materials from nature," said Xu Zhiqin, an ice sculptor who has participated in each ice event in the park over the past 25 years. "The blocks appear a little bluish in the sunshine, which is the purest ice."
In late November, 100,000 cubic meters of ice blocks that had been preserved for around a year were used for construction of the 25th Harbin Ice and Snow World, helping the park open for tourists earlier than usual.
The 100,000 cubic meters of ice blocks also set a record for the largest ice reserve in terms of volume in the Harbin Ice and Snow World.
Using a combination of traditional ice storage and modern multilayer insulation technology, the company provided suitable storage conditions for the ice blocks — low temperature, light avoidance, insulation and sealing — ensuring the ice does not melt even when temperatures exceed 30 C during the peak of summer.
"To ensure the quality of the preserved ice can meet construction requirements, we will also pay a lot of attention to details such as the stacking method of the ice blocks and the maintenance of moistureproof covering materials," said Sun Zemin, a staff member from the company.
The park, which combines ice, snow, sound and lights, is in its 25th consecutive year of operation, and visitors can appreciate more than 1,000 artworks made from over 250,000 cubic meters of ice and snow.
They can also enjoy a range of other activities, including a 521-meter ice slide, the longest built at the park to date. A giant Ferris wheel in the shape of a snowflake has also been set up to provide a dazzling landscape after dark.
"To welcome the 9th Asian Winter Games held in 2025 in Harbin, the park is built as the largest one in its history," said Xu. "To finish the construction as early as possible, there were around 10,000 workers on the site together, including various types of workers such as ice sculptors and transport workers."
"With the good opportunity of the Asian Winter Games in 2025, we will strive to improve our service quality and innovate product design in the future," said Sun.

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