Behemoth Bethel Snowman

February 02, 2006


Provided by: Jim Sysko
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Washington Post

This king sized snowman was made during the winter of 1999 in Bethel, Maine. It's 113 feet tall (34.5 m), weights approximately 9 million pounds and has entire fir trees for arms! Jim Sysko of Newry, Maine was the designing engineer and construction supervisor of this impressive snow structure. There's no way to roll the segments for something this big, so a circular frame 80 feet (24 m) wide and 4 feet (1.2 m) high was required to stabilize the base so this big boy wouldn't topple. About 60 people helped build it by climbing inside the frame to collect and pack the snow. The frame was then made smaller, more snow was added and packed and this process was repeated several more times until the sought after height was achieved -- kind of like making a huge layer cake of snow. In order to work on the upper most layers, volunteers were lowered into the sprouting snowman by a "cherry picker." The end result was a world record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, surpassing a 96 foot (29 m) monster built in Japan. Big "Frosty" finally melted away on June 10!

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