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Not everyone was wishing away recent temps; in MN, volunteers happily built an "ice-cropolis" for Loppet Foundation ski fest later this month.

"A hardy group of volunteers descended upon wind-swept Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis this weekend, thrilled that temperatures were crashing to record lows. Their mission: to build 40 8-foot columns of ice that eventually will form an “Ice-Cropolis” enjoyed by thousands of participants in the City of Lakes Loppet ski race and festival this month. Some years, it can take up to a week for the columns to build up the mandatory 4-inch-thick ice walls. This year, the walls could develop a solid core within 40 hours, volunteers said." -- Jean Hopfensperger, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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