Colorado's snow is good for more than skiing. The state's humidity and temperature also makes Colorado's man-made variety good for snow sculpting. And if you're in Breckenridge from Jan. 22 to Feb. 3, you can see just what we're talking about--the town is full of snow sculptures.
In addition to world-class skiing, the Ullr Festival tradition and a fun mountain town, Breckenridge is also home to the International Snow Sculpture Championships. Snow sculptors work on their craft for five days (65 hours altogether), get judged and then their works of art are displayed until Feb. 3, provided the weather's not too warm.
Here's how it works:
- Four-person teams are assigned a 12-foot, 20-ton block of snow that they are to sculpt from.
- Teams from around the world, 15 in total, are competing in this year's championships. The teams represent competitors that are new and seasoned to the event competition: Argentina (new), Australia, Baltic-Latvia/Estonia, Canada-Yukon, Catalonia-Spain, China, Ecuador (new), Germany, Great Britain-Wales, Iceland (new), Mexico, Mongolia (new), Singapore (new), USA-Alaska and USA-Breckenridge.
- Teams have five days, 65 hours, to complete their sculptures that are based on sketches that were already submitted and approved.
- Teams create their works of art without the use of power tools, internal support structures and colorants.
- Viewers can follow their favorite team's progress here and learn more information about the event here.
- Once time has expired and the sculptures are complete, the winners are decided.
- The awards ceremony was held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 27. First-time competitors, Team Mongolia, won the competition as well as the people's choice and artist's choice. Team Catalonia-Spain finished second, and Team Estonia took third. Team Canada Yukon was the kid's choice winner.
For more details about the event, check out this piece. And be sure to check out the sculptures after a day on the mountain--or before you hit the slopes. The sculptures will leaving you wondering, "How'd they do that?" They might even be better than a skier's favorite mountain landscape...at least temporarily.