HAM LAKE (WCCO) — Two brothers from Anoka County decided to turn the record winter into a record of their own. The giant pile of snow in their yard was the inspiration to fulfill their boyhood dream — the biggest snow fort the Twin Cities has ever seen.
“We have been building snow forts all our lives and they keep getting bigger,” said Mark Wiosky, age 25, who built the snow fort outside his family’s Ham Lake home along with his younger brother Luke, 23.
It started when they began snow blowing all the winter’s record snow on their family’s large property into a single pile.
The mountain of snow was at first a sledding hill, but then, the brothers decided to dig.
After three months, late nights, and some 500 man hours later, they had their castle. It’s complete with a bench, a bar, electrical supply, and support columns to hold the structure up.
“We started digging in and once we got deep enough, we started to think about safety,” said Mark.
The pair estimates the snow fort is 700 square feet, 35 feet long, more than 20 feet wide, with 8-foot ceilings, and walls 3 to 4 feet thick.
The fort has now become a snowy spectacle, with neighbors and kids stopping by.
“Nobody has seen anything like it. People we don’t even know pulled in and wanted to check it out,” said the brothers.
In some ways, the hideout helps them hold onto winter.
“It’s going to be depressing when it melts, going to be a sad day,” said Luke.
“This is going to be the last chunk of snow to melt in Ham Lake for sure,” said Mark.
They’re still shoveling to set a snow fort record, just in time for spring.
They want to know if anyone has built a bigger snow fort.
“I looked up Guiness World Records, but that (fort) was made with ice blocks,” said Luke.
The brothers say that their goal is to make an even bigger one next year.