International Snow Sculpture Championships each year brings decorated snow artists to Breckenridge, Colo. During the five-day competition, teams hand-carve 20-ton blocks of snow into incredible works of art. Once the judging is complete and darkness falls, colored lights showcase the pieces and create a temporary outdoor art gallery.
In its earliest days, snow sculpting was part of Ullr Fest, Breckenridge's annual celebration of the Norse god of snow. Today, the event stands on its own with artists from countries such as Morocco, Switzerland, Russia, China, Argentina, Mongolia and more.
Insider Tip: Stomping week takes place each January prior to the event. Using front-end loaders and a huge blower, snow is moved into giant wooden molds. Five to ten volunteers, “snow stompers,” climb into the block and stomp the snow to help pack it down. The process is repeated until the mold is full and packed into a sculpt-able block.