'Snow mountain' at Valley West Mall in West Des Moines, Iowa

'Snow mountain' at Valley West Mall in West Des Moines, Iowa (© KCCI.com)

For many, Iowa brings to mind horizontal imagery. And while the heartland state is not as flat as a pancake, it's certainly not known for mountains. So when winter snows were piled higher and higher in a West Des Moines parking lot, the temporary topography drew attention.

As reported by KCCI, plowed snow at the Valley West Mall grew over the winter into a huge "mountain range" of grimy, rock-filled ice.

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For months, parking lot snow was repeatedly hurled 50 feet and higher by a giant blower. The peaks of the pile nearly reached the tops of light poles in the Midwestern deep freeze.

While Iowa is warming up as spring approaches, the frozen ridge of gunk lingers. According to Trisha Barton, a mall spokeswoman, the slowly melting feature has a bit of a future left before it completely trickles away.

"That snow pile probably is going to hang around for another three weeks," Barton said.

Reporter Mark Tauscheck in front of the 'snow mountain' in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Reporter Mark Tauscheck in front of the 'snow mountain' in West Des Moines, Iowa. (© KCCI.com)

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Frigid, grungy hills of plowed snow are a yearly geographic feature outside the mall, sometimes well into late April. But this exceptional accumulation of dirty ice crystals has locals wondering if the mound will survive into May.

While the full duration of the dingy massif remains to be seen, it will keep mall security busy for the time being, keeping kids from playing on its potentially dangerous slopes.