The winners of the 32nd annual International Snow Sculpture Championships, hosted in Breckenridge, Colorado, were announced this past Friday. Twelve talented teams representing eight countries spent a total of 94 hours — and braved single-digit temperatures — hand-carving their spectacular creations.
Founded in 1990, the competition honors Breckenridge’s decades-long tradition of snow-carving, and is today known for its “spirit of culture and camaraderie,” according to a press release from the city’s tourism office.
Teams were tasked with transforming 25-ton, 12-foot-tall blocks of snow into masterful works of art and were judged on their “technical skill, creativity, expressive impact and adherence to the original submission,” which was proposed and sketched out in detail prior to each team’s arrival. Sculpting began on Monday, January 23 at 11 a.m. and participants worked around the clock, with breaks in between, until Friday, January 27 at 9 a.m.
Leading the winners this year was Team Germany-Bavaria, which won the gold medal for its sculpture, “Sub-Zero-Gravity.” The design was “inspired by the concepts of concrete art and minimalism and plays not only with the nature of the snow in its given circumstances, but even more with its gravitational properties.” The local Team USA Breckenridge took home silver, with Team Lithuania earning bronze and Team USA Wisconsin-Snowblind winning the People’s Choice Award.
Now that judging has concluded, the snow sculptures will remain on display for public viewing until Wednesday, February 1 at 7 p.m.
Gold: Team Germany-Bavaria, “Sub-Zero-Gravity”
Silver: Team USA Breckenridge, “Ullr”
Bronze: Team Lithuania – “Warn(m)ing Clouds Intersect”
People’s Choice Award: Team USA Wisconsin-Snowblind, “Forest Jam”
See the gallery below for photos of all 12 teams with their work.