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Breckenridge — time to stomp!

Preparations for the 2013 Snow Sculpture Championships begin

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Photos and story by Jenney Coberly

BRECKENRIDGE — Creating art requires serious preparation, and the International Snow Sculpture Championship in Breckenridge is no exception. Before the artists can begin their ephemeral masterpieces, dozens of volunteers and town employees gathered this week at the Riverwalk to “stomp” 20-ton blocks of snow.

The Riverwalk Center parking lot bustled with activity as construction of snow monoliths commenced. Workers use a crane to assemble the big construction forms for holding the snow as it is compacted. Operators drive bulldozers and operate giant snowblowers to get the snow into the forms. Once a sufficient layer of snow is deposited, volunteers climb up a scaffolding and then down a ladder into the form to stomp the snow firmly into place.

Snow stomping will continue until Friday, January 18. Opening ceremonies kick off the start of sculpting on Tuesday, January 22, and the artists work morning, noon and night until early Saturday morning, January 19. The snow sculptures will be on display, weather permitting, until February 3.

Visit the GoBreck website for the schedule and complete information about the event.

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Video: January events in Breckenridge

There was lots of sight and sound and motion in Breckenridge in January, 2011.

With the Breckenridge New Year’s Eve fireworks and concert, the Ullr Fest parade, and the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships, January was a good month for video. The 11 videos posted in January on the Summit Voice YouTube Channel garnered more than 3400 cumulative views so far.

The most viewed video in January was the Ullr Fest Parade, with 735 views as of today. The next most popular were the Tuaca Body Art Ball, with 397 views, and Breckenridge Snow Sculpture Championships Day 2, with 372 views. For coverage of the snow sculpture championships from day one through the awards ceremony and beyond, check out our Breckenridge Snow Sculpture page.

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Perpetual Motion in Breckenridge snow

Stan Wagon looks back at 13 years of snow sculpting

(Left) Eva Hild, her model, and the completed work. (Right) A view at night, showing the effects of the new LED lighting system at the 2011 Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships. Click on the photo to read how this year's sculpture emerged from the snow. The sculptures, well-preserved by this week's chilly weather, are on display for a few more days. PHOTOS BY RICH SEELEY.

Editor’s note: Stan Wagon is a professor of mathematics and computer science at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and a backcountry explorer and mountaineer.  He lives in Silverthorne for part of the year. Click here to visit his website. And click here to visit Seeley’s website.

By Stan Wagon

Perhaps some of you have looked at the snow sculptures on display in Breckenridge and thought: “That doesn’t look so hard and would be fun to do.”

That is what I thought back in 1998 when I talked a sculpting friend, Helaman Ferguson, into joining me and some others in submitting an entry for 1999. We were accepted and sculpted our intended piece, but we were really beginners as far as tools went. Continue reading

Breckenridge: Fantastic colors and forms in snow

The snow sculptures are fantastic in the daytime, but they reach otherworldly heights at night, contrasting against the dark sky.

The multicolored lights of the eco-friendly LED lighting system are constantly shifting, lending a mesmerizing quality to the sculptures. In spite of the warm weather and melting over the weekend, the sculptures remained a visual feast Sunday night that was not to be missed.

The Eyes of Medusa, by Team USA / Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

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Breckenridge: and the winners are…

North America sweeps snow sculpting prizes, with Team Mexico, Canada and Breck/USA taking top spots in Colorado contest

Snow sculpture crowd.

By Jenney Coberly

BRECKENRIDGE — There was gridlock on the streets of town as people thronged  the Breckenridge Snow Sculpture Championships during the weekend.  The warm and sunny weather brought out the crowds, but the strong sun wasn’t so kind to the sculptures. The Eternal Bridge, by Team Germany, fell victim to the sun on Saturday afternoon, and there was melting and smaller collapses on some of the other sculptures. In spite of the vagaries of Mother Nature, the sculptures remained beautiful to behold.

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Breckenridge: Artists finalizing their snow sculptures

Sculpting continued on Thursday and Friday as artists work towards the 10 a.m. Jan. 29 deadline for judging at the Breckenridge snow sculpture contest

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VLOG: Breckenridge Snow sculpting, day two

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, day two of sculpting, I check out progress and talk with three artists about their concepts.

Day Two: Taking form.

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