It's freezing out there

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By Katy Korkos

The days may seem balmy, but there is some serious freezing going on in Los Alamos Canyon at night, to get the ice rink ready for the season’s activities. Ice sheet formation has been going on every night this week in Los Alamos Canyon and the rink should open today, Recreation Programs Manager Dianne Marquez said. This will be the fifth season of refrigeration for the ice rink, which used to rely on weather alone to maintain ice in the canyon.“Making the ice sheet is a really strenuous operation,” Marquez said. She said that the process began last week with a thorough cleaning and power washing of the rink. After the rink was clean, all of the edges were sealed with tape. The next step in the process is to begin forming the sheet, with the crew starting after dark on Tuesday to form the first layer of ice by spraying water with misting wands. “It takes six or 10 passes to build about a quarter inch of ice,” Marquez said. The crew works until midnight over the course of four or five nights to get the ice sheet started by hand, to ensure that the ice will stick.“First, we have to get a good bond, so we get a good sheet and a good season,” Marquez said. White paint is added to the ice sheet after the base layer of ice goes down, and the colored markings of stripes and circles are painted in by hand on the third night.

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