Ely Nordic Club News

Candlelight Ski Event February 9th, 2019

Attention all Crafty Skiers – we need your help!!!

The Ely Nordic Ski Club is hosting an evening candle-lit ski on February 9th, 2019, at Hidden Valley.  It will be a frosty and fun tour through a few Kilometers of gently lit trails.  This means LOTS of ice luminaries are needed, and that’s where you come in!!! This is a fun winter skill to have, and the more we make the prettier the ski will be.

We are hoping that you will join us in making ice luminaries for the event.  If you are so inclined, we’ve included the directions for making them.

The weather is perfect for freezing things right now, so get crackin!

All finished luminaries need to be dropped off at Hidden Valley by the side of the Chalet by NOON on Thursday February 7th.  We’ll supply the candles that go inside them and will get them out and lit by the 9th.

If you have questions, contact Ledoux at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she’ll get you pointed in the right direction.  Hope to see you there!

To Make an Ice Candle Luminary:

You need: a five-gallon bucket.  More buckets mean you can make more luminaries!  More is better.

  1. Fill the bucket 2/3 with water.  Put it outside.  Leave it outside overnight or through the day.

  1. Ice will start forming around the sides of the bucket and on the top.

  1. The length of time to leave the bucket outside depends on the outside air temperature.  At 10 below, you can make an ice luminary in 12 ​hours.  If it's warmer out, leave the bucket out longer.  

  1. To see when the luminary is ready, brush the snow off the top of the ice in the bucket so you can really see the thickness of the ice on the sides of the bucket.  You want the side ice to be about  2 inches thick.  We are going to drag these around on a snowmobile trailer so they need to hold up!  

  1. If you leave the ice out way too long, however, it will freeze solid and will break your bucket.  Don't use your favorite gardening bucket for this project......

  1. When your side ice is 2-3 inches thick, bring the bucket inside.  Put a folded towel in your sink, as nice thick padding.  Put the bucket UPSIDE DOWN in the sink.  Pour warm water over the bucket until you hear the ice dropping into the sink, out of the bucket.  Remove the bucket.  You can save water by just waiting awhile until the ice drops on its own once it has melted a little.

  1. You are now looking at the ice luminary, and it's now right side up and almost ready to go.  Take a hammer and flat blade screwdriver or dull chisel and gently, gently make a hole in the top of the luminary.  Go slowly as you might crack the whole thing (if you do, take heart as you are joining legions of ice artisans who have cracked their luminaries while learning this wonderful northern skill.  Start over.)

  1. Gently make the hole bigger.  Make it at least 4 inches in diameter so you can get your hand inside easily.  Pour out the water, and put the luminary outside.  We'll add the candle later. You are done! 

9.  If you have a 4" hole saw bit and a drill, skip step #7 and  #8​ and just cut a hole in the top of the luminary with the hole saw bit.  This will make you feel powerful… because you are.

  1. Begin again; as stated above, we need lots of these and I do mean lots.  Bring them to the Chalet and add them to the pile! We need them at the Chalet no later than Feb 7th.

  1. That's all there is to it!  Come on out and ski with us, the evening of Feb 9th.  We’ll have a bonfire, some food, great company and trails lit by candlelight.  Ahhhhhhh




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Remeber to purchase your MN Ski Pass, as well. Some of our trails are directly funded with this statewide program. (Sold online or from any business where state licenses are sold (for example, Holiday gas stations, Ace Hardware, etc.). Or call 1-888-646-6367.