Breckenridge’s Short-Lived Masterpieces – Photo Essay

breck snow sculpture

Last weekend the International Snow Sculpture Championship began in Breckenridge, Colorado. Sculptors from around the world came to compete. They all started with the same block of snow.

These were my favorites.

breck snow sculptures and me

Bright colored lights added quite the theatrical dimension.



snow sculpture hands

A mighty fist bump.

fist bump snow sculpture


Breckenridge snow sculpture

The widow maker. An entry from Breckenridge, Colorado.

Breckenridge widow maker snow sculpture

A Martian’s space ship?

breck snow sculpture space ship

The new Barbie and Ken. Ha!

breckenridge snow sculpture man and woman

Artists travel from all over the world to compete in this challenge. They know their works of art won’t have much time before being destroyed by natural elements. Time ticks as the sun rises higher in the sky.

Imagine if you traveled from Europe, sculpted your entry and then watched it melt in the intense sunshine.

That’s what happened last Saturday. Temperatures hit the low 40’s. Two German entries, very intricate in design, fell apart in the intense Colorado sunshine. Luckily, they both won awards before melting.

As a writer, I know my words will last a little longer. They won’t melt in the internet or evaporate from my hard copies. Although they may not have much meaning over time, it’s how I touch people right now that is important to me.

Extraordinary writers change the way readers think. Their words have power. They become part of us. Their books are passed down through generations. Most writers only dream of being remembered that way.

But these sculptures will remain in my memories. I learned how the extraordinary can be formed from an ordinary block of snow. Some created with a stronger foundation will last longer during the heat of the day. Others, although brilliant, proved too fragile a design. No matter how long they exist before melting, they become timeless for those who view them.


There’s still time. The event runs through this weekend. They will remain on display until they become a puddle, evaporate and once again become Colorado champagne powder.

More of the Wild Ride!


Frozen Words – A Photo Essay 2013 International Snow Sculpture Competition daytime photos

Information on Breckenridge’s International Snow Sculpture Competition click HERE and HERE.

Click HERE to see more snow sculptures.

This is a response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Time.

Have you seen snow sculptures other than snowmen? Would you like to create something that lasts the vestiges of time? What book changed the way you think about your world?

Click for dramatic night photos of Breckenridge Snow Sculptures and links to this years event! Travel Colorado, outdoor adventures, nature, arts, North America #Colorado #snowsculptures #Breckenridge #travel #arts



62 thoughts on “Breckenridge’s Short-Lived Masterpieces – Photo Essay

Add yours

  1. Great post. Showed the boys. They are impressed.

    Danny Lindau Principal/Broker Associate The Colorado Group. Sent from my iPhone


  2. I once won a sand castle contest in Hawaii – same problem as with ice! All I have to show is a couple of old pictures! But it was fun and I would do it again.Lovely shots of the ice sculptures, thanks!


  3. Wonderful photos. I’ve never seen anything like these sculptures in person. They’re beautiful, made more so by their ability to dissolve in front of you. Kind of trippy. I like it.


  4. these are wonderful. I have never seen snow in my life being in South East Asia, but I have seen some Hindu temples made very beautiful statues with mud and after finishing impressive statues, the devotees take them to the river and put the statues on the raft and let the river carry them away. Later, the statues will sink and the mud will be absorbed into the river . Hindu people believe it’s the kind of paying respect to their Gods. I was very sad seeing that as a child. But the priest told me I should not be be sad about it because nothing is permanent in this world and we have to celebrate their short existence.


    1. I think you summed it up beautifully. Nothing organic lasts in our world, but we should celebrate its beauty while we can. That is such an amazing tradition! If we did that here in the States, the artists would cover themselves in mud too before splashing into the water. Not sure it that would be sacrilegious. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by from the South Eastern part of the world!


    1. The art was fantastic, Lisa! I don’t know how they carve them without destroying them. Maybe next year, I will record the sculpting part of the exhibition.
      The skull was a fan favorite and it won a prize!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Linda!
      Other than sunshine, rain is snow’s enemy. Winter has gotten mild in a lot of places. Breck’s elevation is 9,600 ft, so there is always snow this time of year. YES!


  5. Ooooh, I love these!! Unbelievable what art can be formed with snow and sand. So impressive. Thanks for sharing them with us because we don’t have anything like that near my neck of the woods. Great analogy to writing. 🙂


    1. Thanks, Maria! There is a lot written about why writers do what we do. Most want to be heard and others remembered. While others just need to write or spew regardless of being read. The sculptures will be remembered by me, that’s for sure!
      They each entered a sketch and a small 3-d model. It’s just amazing how they are blown up and rendered in snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great stuff. Love the alien! Never been to an ice/snow sculpture event but often get to the sand sculpture contest here in Virginia Beach. Amazing talents in either case. Someone should have done a sculpture of you with that look on your face. Priceless.


    1. NEXT YEAR! HA!
      I’ve been hearing here in the comments that sand sculpturing is equally amazing. I will have to check out a competition some day. 🙂
      The alien was amazing. I don’t know how they carved her inside the craft!!!


      1. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion…I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears…in…rain. Time to die.”

        Sorry, I just waxed all Blade Runner for some reason. :-] But, seriously, I’ve seen similar in ice sculptures in Cripple Creek, really neat! Thanks for sharing, Susie!

        I wish writers would produce similarly with they get a Writer’s Block.


        1. I bet that competition is really amazing. Sun would really be the enemy.
          You just have to start chiseling away and see what you create! Once in a while I use stream of conscious writing. It’s pretty cool.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! They are always amazing. I can’t figure out how they create some of them without breaking the block of snow. I would love to watch them being created sometime.
      Thanks, Lynn!


    1. Photographs capture the fleeting moment! If they didn’t have a way to take a picture of them I wonder if they would compete…. I would have a hard time creating something I knew wouldn’t last more than a week or two…


      1. I’ve done a few installation pieces at festivals, and I think knowing they had a limited lifespan added a different flavour to their creation, not better or worse, just different. The sense of accomplishment is the same though, being able to kick back at the end, look at it and go, “Cool!” 😀


    1. I was just thinking about that. Oftentimes what I think are my better blog posts don’t get the views I would like. Then they pass into the feed. In a way they are the same, but at least they are recorded here similar to photos!
      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing the photo, all captured perfectly. That was the sad part in snow sculpture they better took a great shot from it… Showing arts in what ever form is pretty amazing but not at all forms remain longer. I am glad we have cameras now.


    1. I think you’re right! Snow sculptures never last long. Although Breck is located at a very high elevation, the sun is intense year-round. The expiration does add an element of “see them before they’re gone.” Literally!


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