ST ADOLPHE (Manitoba) • An a-maze-ing snow labyrinth in the frigid, windswept prairies of Western Canada has broken the record for the world's biggest.
According to Guinness World Records, the 2,789.11 sq m of snowy terrain dwarfs the previous Canadian record holder at the Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
For years, farmers Clint and Angie Masse would ring in the autumn harvest by building a corn maze on their property just outside the small town of St Adolphe, a short drive from Winnipeg, Manitoba. With a long, cold winter in the Canadian forecast, they decided late last year to try to extend the experience of finding one's way through the network of paths and hedges by several months.
And despite temperatures plunging to a low of minus 40 deg C in January, people kept coming in droves.
It was no easy feat, Mr Masse said, noting that building the maze required weeks of planning, tens of thousands of dollars and 370 truckloads of snow to supplement the relatively thin powder on their fields.
There were design challenges too. "You're not designing a path, what you are is designing walls and every wall has a double duty: it's got a path on this side and a path on that side," Mr Masse said.
The couple used commercial computer-aided design and drafting software to help them.
Inside the labyrinth, visitors walk between walls of snow that stand 1.8m high, atop a layer of snow packed tightly to prevent it from melting too soon into slush under the pedestrian traffic.
"It was fun," visitor Jillian Crooks said. "It took us a while. We didn't time it... Maybe like half an hour? Yep!"