Snow fantasies emerge at Breckenridge event

The blocks of snow are ready ... click on the photo for more information.

Snow sculpting competition begins under sunny skies, stay tuned for more photos and stories

By Bob Berwyn

BRECKENRIDGE — Snow sculptors from around the world started work Tuesday morning, shaving, chopping, measuring, scraping and shaping huge blocks of snow into fanciful works of art. We’ve posted a few pictures from the first few hours of the event as teams sized up the snow and started to form the rough outlines of their creations. Check back often with Summit Voice, as we’ll be updating this photoblog with more images.

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TRANSITIONS - Life's wheel of Time represents the cyclical nature of all things, particularly appropriate for this medium, since snow cycles eternally from liquid to vapor to solid and back again. The joint U.S.-Canadian team says the winged demon represents the bad things that must be controlled to limit damage to the wheel of life.
A closeup of some of the detail on the Alaska team's Last Iceberg, showing an Aleut hunter in a baidarka sharing an an iceberg with a salmon in its mouth. On this last iceberg, the last supper plays out, as each is interested in the other's catch.
A geometrical ode to love as a balancing act, with two lives combining in diverse ways. But nothing is possible without a risky reaching out, represented by the dangling heart. When things work well, convergence is achieved and balance is restored. The team is captained by local Stan Wagon, in his 10th year in the event.
Looking marble-like in near perfection, this organic carving represents the Föhn winds, the German name for the Chinook, a warm wind that blows down the mountainsides in many ranges of the world. Interestingly, the Föhn is also known as a snow-eating wind.
Team Mexico's Altar of Quetzacoatl, representing the god of life and death in traditional Mexican culture, and the symbol of the sun in its daily rebirth.
Team Idaho carved a group of intertwined chorus frogs, a reminder of the summer songs that ring through the reeds and are often longed for in winter.
Team USA, from Loveland, Colorado, carved a musical scene that made the snow sing with The Winter Blues.
Team China carved a group of Happy Herdsmen, depicting a scene from the life of the Elunke, an ethnic minority in northeast China who gather in the afternoons to celebrate the day's work with singing and dancing.
A delicate dance of shape, light and shadow.
A member of the Chinese team works on details of the Happy Herdsmen piece.
Carved snow gleams in reverse silhouette at the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge.
A team from Idaho is carving a group of western chorus frogs.
Team Breckenridge with an inspiring pillar of carved snow in the Breckenridge twilight.
Lithuanian artists have painstakingly created an intricate texture on their piece.
A member of the Czech team seems almost lost in his art Friday evening at the International Snow Sculpture Championship in Breckenridge.
A quiet gaze.
Many teams will work all night to get the details just right.
Simply ... amazing!
The final touches ...
The plans ...
The tools ...
Measuring ...
Lithuania starts carving ...
On top of the block ...
snow, magical snow!
A chainsaw works too ... but only for this sponsor sculpture. No motorized tools are allowed in the competition.
A sculptor uses a "hum dog" to shave a block of snow.
Details of a face emerge from a block of snow under the careful touch of an artist at the International Breckenridge Snow Sculpture championships.
One of the teams at the Breckenridge snow sculpting event is carving a giant peace sign.
A beautiful depiction of wildlife ...
The outline of a guitar shows the future shape of the sculpture.
Working from within, a member of the Czech team uses a curved saw to carve details of their entry, called Save a Place for Our Children.
The Lithuanian team is carving a simple and powerful symbol of peace.
Shards of snow fly off a block of ice under the skilled hands of an artist at the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships.
A team from Wisconsin is carving a piece called Dance of the Föhn Winds, the German name for the Chinook, a warm, downsloping wind that blows off the mountains.

A member of a joint Canadian-US team is wedged inside a crevasse, working on Life's Wheel of Time at the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships.
The Mexican team works on their geometric sculpture, called The Altar of Quetzacoatl.
Some of the teams are already working on detailed finishing touches to the massive snow sculptures at the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships.

21 thoughts on “Snow fantasies emerge at Breckenridge event

  1. Just done with the Breck snow sculpture event, the tenth time there for our team, which has members from Minnesota, Colo., and Massachusetts. For pics and a report see


    Tired now after working through most of the night — in cold conditions — last night.

    Stan Wagon

    1. Hi Stan, didn’t realize you were involved with the sculptures. The link posted didn’t come through in the comment for some reason. If you e-mail it to me, I’ll post it where people can get to it.

  2. Congratulations to all of the Artists from around the World! You all did an AMAZING JOB !!!! This was My First year to see the works at the festival and it was well worth it! My Wife, step son and I had a great time and arrived early enough to see the artist finishing up with their very long 36 hours of work. We had a special liking to Team Alaska with their Work Titled “The Last Iceberg” In My Eyes All of the teams were Winners…..

  3. Hey nice to know that there is things like these 🙂 it is nice to look at people who showed everything what they can do with snow 😉

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