Beyond the Snowman

Starting today, teams from Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Latvia and Estonia will be competing with groups from the good old U-S-of-A in the International Snow Sculpture Championships, held every year in Breckenridge. "At the heart of it, it's pretty exciting to watch the transformation and see this temporary sculpture gallery rise in downtown Breckenridge," notes Breckenridge's Rachel Zerowin. "Seeing it from start to finish is really special. And this year, we do have a lot of returning teams that have medaled in snow sculpture in Breckenridge and around the world, and I think that's going to make it really competitive."

The snow is made right there in Breckenridge, transported to the Riverwalk Center and moved into molds ten feet wide on each side and twelve feet tall. "Volunteers stomp the snow down until the block is full, which makes a compact block of snow that the teams can then sculpt," explains Zerowin. (No power tools are allowed; all the sculptures are hand-carved.) And if you haven't seen the results in a few years, you'll notice that Breckenridge has added LED lights to the scenery, which make for lovely viewing after the sun goes down.

The sculpting will start today, and the sculptures will be on display through Thursday, February 5, weather permitting; viewing the process is free and open to the public. Visit for details.
Jan. 24-Feb. 4, 2012


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