Snow Sculptures, Breckenridge, Colorado 2020

This winter there has been a lot of snowfall in the Colorado Mountains.   Everything is white and beautiful.   However, for the international snow sculpture competition, snow made at Breckenridge Ski Resort is used.   The snow is made with a specific ratio of snow to water, some of the best for sculpting.   This January was the 30th Anniversary of Snow Sculpture Champions.   Here we are in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Breckenridge festival 2020

This train is not part of the competition, but is snow glow art with light and sound, and sadly, operates only after dark.

Snow Glow Art, not in competition

We live less than 2 hours from here, and we will be home before dark.   Let’s look at some of this year’s snow sculptures.

Team Turkey. Puzzle Circle

Turkey sculpted this Puzzle Circle.   These creations are carved from a 20 ton block of snow that is 10 feet by 10 feet and 12 feet tall.   Team India won Artists Choice Award with Triumph Over Evil.

Team India. Triumph over Evil

This year 16 teams from the USA and around the world competed.  No power tools are allowed during the sculpting.   Many teams make and bring their own tools.   Just can’t find many snow sculpting tools in large stores.   Team Mongolia created Social.

Social by Team Mongolia

Notice the details in the hands, fingers and fingernails.   Amazing.   Team China completed Bride.

Bride by Team China

So intricate.   For environmental awareness, Teddy the Yeti is on display.

Teddy the Yeti

Zeb tries out this seating area.

Sit with Teddy

Nice, but a little chilly.    The small humans loved this bench.   Toyota sponsored this event.

Festival sponsored by Toyota

A very nice vehicle of snow.   Snow blocks were made the week before sculpting began.   Sculpting began Monday, January 20, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. and ended Friday, January 24 at 9:00 a.m.   That is when judging began.   Viewing continued through Wednesday, January 29 at 7:00 p.m.   The sculptures were taken down then.   This year was cold enough, but some years sculptures melt and fall early.   Breckenridge tries to prevent anyone from being injured by falling sculptures.  Unfortunately we are not showing all the team entries.   This post would just be too long, and it is rather long as it is.    All of the sculptures were award winning quality, but let’s look at those that did win.   Third place to USA Team Wisconsin.

Third place Winner. Duplicity of the Soul. Team USA Wisconsin

This is titled Duplicity of the Soul.   You must look from both sides.

Third place winner. Duplicity of the Soul. Team USA Wisconsin

Energy flows through and each person must choose how to live their life.   Second place to Team Great Britain.

Second place Winner. Nice to Meet You. Team Great Britain

Titled, Nice to Meet You, this should bring a smile to anyone that has ever owned a dog.   Or perhaps, full blown laughter.

Second Place Winner. Nice to Meet You. Team Great Britain

Again this is best viewed from two sides.   We will admit, we loved them all, but this from Great Britain is our favorite.   And first place to Team Mexico.

First place Winner. Greed. Team Mexico

Titled Greed.   We love these snow sculptures.   Remember that Breckenridge is also a great ski area.

Gondolas to transport skiers to top

The gondolas take skiers up the mountain.

Rocky Mountains of Breckenridge

And the mountains are beautiful, snowy and very tall.   Visit Breckenridge for snow sculptures, skiing or any of the other great festivals during the year.


Winter in Colorado with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

It is winter here in Colorado.   Denver has over 300 sunny days each year, so our winters are usually pleasant.   We do get snow, but often our intense sun melts the snow within a few days.   This winter started with heavy snow in October, a little early for us.   Let’s look at some winter photos from the past.

Snow on frozen lake

A cold, snowy day in Denver.   We ducks are enjoying this weather and we like the almost frozen lake behind us.

Canadian geese

We are not the only birds out today.   These geese stay here all year.   Snow is much heavier in the mountains, and of course, in our world famous ski areas.   Last February we visited Rangely, Colorado in the northwest corner of the state.

Snow pile

Rather high snow piles here.   Ice climbing is popular in Colorado.

Ice column

Here you can practice or learn the basics of ice climbing.  We often go to Winter Park in January.   Winter Park is a popular ski area and only about 90 minutes from Denver.   This resort is also developed for summer fun.  Many of our ski resorts are year round vacation playgrounds.

Cleaning the roof

Here maintenance people shovel the roof of our condo.   A few feet of snow and ice is too dangerous and heavy for many roofs.   And the parking area also needs to be shoveled.  Melting caused by our intense mountain sun lets melting occur daily, but then freezing takes over every night.

Icicles on our deck

The resulting icicles are pretty big–and sharp.   Icicles can be seen all over Winter Park.

Good food inside

Horse drawn sleigh rides are available.

Horse drawn sleigh. Ducks on step ready to get in.

We love these.   Riding through clean snow with beautiful mountain views is fun.

Colorado Rocky Mountains from our sleigh

After the ride, we enjoy roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate.   More fun available here.

This is a big snowmobile. Too big?

Snowmobiles are available in most places.   These are near the tubing hill.   But let’s see Colorado’s main winter sport.

Skiers and Snowboarders

Skiing is very popular in the Colorado mountains.

Skis and snowboards are temporarily placed here

And, of course, a place to leave skies while eating or shopping is necessary.   We hope to be back in Winter Park soon.   In Breckenridge, Colorado, another ski resort, late January brings world champion snow sculpting.

Team Iceland

This is from a past year.   If you are in Colorado in late January, try to visit Breckenridge to see these sculptures.

Team Breckenridge

They are wonderful to see.   Rocky Mountain National Park is close to Denver, an easy and enjoyable day trip.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The snow falling is like living in a Christmas card.

Bull elk in the snow

And a breathtaking sight is a bull elk standing by the road, knowing you will stop for him, and admire him.   If you are in Colorado during the winter, enjoy the mild weather of Denver, but visit our mountains for a true winter wonderland.   We will soon be heading to the mountains for some winter fun.

Breckenridge, Colorado Snow Sculptures 2018

Zeb the Duck is back!   The International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado, one of my favorite festivals, was last weekend.   Let’s go look.

Let’s go see the snow sculptures!

This one did not win an award, but I loved it.

Mindful from Team Turkey

Team Turkey says the mind is an amazing machine.   When a man and a woman develop a relationship, they become connected at the deepest level and their minds work as one even when they are apart.   The bumps on the top are a zipper to put the two minds together.

Team Turkey’s Mindful. Other side

Here is the other side of this sculpture.   Even the pupils of the eyes are carved in snow.   These sculptures, carved from 25 ton, 12 foot tall blocks of snow were finished and judged Friday evening.   We visited them Monday.   And look what happened over the weekend.

Team USA Wisconsin. 3rd Place but now fallen

This creation from Team USA Wisconsin, A Dance Devine, collapsed after being awarded 3rd place.   This was three leaf like figures dancing within a vine structure.   At 9,600 feet (2,926 meters) above sea level the intense Colorado sun can be brutal on snow sculptures, but the sun with 30 degree (F) temperatures are delightful for human and duck spectators.   The Thinker crafted by Team China earned 2nd place this year.

Thinker. Created by Team China

The Thinker also won Kid’s Choice award.   The apple represents wisdom in the Bible and it represents gravity in Newton’s law.   In modern times it represents technology.   The orangutans represent humans.   This design means thinking is a necessary part of human evolution.  To enter the competition each team submits their design and a brief explanation of their sculpture.   We appreciate the help understanding everything the artists are trying to express in their sculptures.   First place went to Team Mongolia-Erdene.

Team Mongolia Erdene. Secret. First place winner

This is titled Secret.  Women talk about a lot of things.   But they sometimes save their secrets.   They save secrets and mystery in their minds.   It’s like a locked chest.

Team Mongolia Erdene. Secret

A side view of this creation.   Secret also won People’s Choice Award.  Glad this do not melt and fall.

The Artists’Choice Award was bestowed on Time.

Time by Team Mongolia Tserendash. Artists’ Choice Award winner

This sculpture by Team Mongolia-Tserendash was a favorite for me, Zeb the Duck.   Time is the most powerful thing in the world.   It is honest because no one is given more than 24 hours a day.  It is immutable because no one changes the rhythm between minutes, seconds, and doles.   It is forceful because no one can survive from death; even the smartest one, the strongest one, and the most beautiful one eventually gives up along the time that goes gradually and endlessly.   But, the humans use time in their own rhythms, in relatively different way.   How they use time develops who they are.   This 28th Annual International Snow Sculpture Championships was presented by Toyota.

Toyota. Cosponsor of event

And by Breckenridge Brewery.

Breckenridge Brewery. Co sponsor of event

You may remember from prior years here, that no power tools are allowed in the creation of these snow sculptures.   All hand tools, sometimes as small as a potato peeler, are used on these snow blocks.   So interesting to see and notice so many little details.  There was one more sculpture I want you to see.   Catch & Release by Team USA Breckenridge, Colorado.

USA Breckenridge. Catch & Release

It is about the adventure, not just the prize.   Taking a journey down to the river in pursuit of catching a fish is less than the whole story.   This fisherman says after the fight, you finally reach down to collect your prize, unhook your lure, smile at your accomplishment and then just turn around and release this magnificent award back to nature.   At the end of it you take home nothing more than a sense of relaxation, a picture and a few fish stories.   Catching and releasing; a way to ensure that the fish will be there the next time to strike the fly and create the next memory.

Team USA Breckenridge, CO Catch & Release

The fisherman is done for the day, and so am I, Zeb the Duck.   We hope you are exploring and enjoying your home town and our incredible world.

Breckenridge Snow Sculptures with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

400 tons of snow??   Really?  And we are going to see it?   Back to Breckenridge, Colorado we happily view these entries for the 27th annual International Snow Sculpture Championships.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado

We love this event.   First place was awarded to Team China for Mermaid.

Team China

Team China

These mermaids look like they are underwater.   Second place belongs to Team Sweden.

Team Sweden

Team Sweden

Titled:  4 (Ever) Wheels Reflection.   Team Sweden wrote  “This sculpture is a reflection of the car as a cultural tool and an extension of our bodies.   The car constitutes the duality of freedom and dependency.”    OK, so how did all this snow get here?   Breckenridge is a ski resort and they made the snow.   The City of Breckenridge hauled snow, in dump trucks, to the sculpturing area.   The snow, dumped into forms, is packed by humans jumping on it.   Each block of snow is 10’x10’x12′.   Each of the 16 blocks weighs 50,000 pounds.   That is 400 tons of snow!   Third place went to Team Mongolia for We are One Family.

Team Mongolia

Team Mongolia

This seems to be the front of the sculpture.   But, the back and sides were a bit different, and Zeb and Soapy want you to see this view also.

Team Mongolia

Team Mongolia

Also awarded is People’s Choice award.   Spectators vote by placing one dollar bills in the voting boxes in the Thaw Lounge.   This year was the first time there was a tie vote.   And, the two winners were Team Mongolia for We are One Family (also third place winner), and another Team Mongolia for Before It’s Too Late Protect Earth From Today!

Team Mongolia

Team Mongolia

Team Mongolia’s sign says  “This lizard on a human palm represents the intertwindedness of humans with nature.”   This was our favorite sculpture this year also.   We really liked all 16 of these entries.    Team Iceland’s, Ancestry In Ice was great.

Team Iceland

Team Iceland

The Viking ship was perhaps the greatest technical and artistic achievement of its time, they say.   Team Italy names this STOP!

Team Italy

Team Italy

They believe our worst enemies are within ourselves:  They are our own fears.  Team Breckenridge, the host city, entered Life Saver.

Team Breckenridge

Team Breckenridge

This is a tribute to the National Ski Patrol, established in 1938.   The National Ski Patrol provides eduction and emergency care and safety eduction.  They also are the main Search and Rescue group for the mountains.   We thank the over 28,000 members, serving over 650 patrols.   But not all snow was entered in the competition.   This one is for fun.

Just for fun

Just for fun

At first, kids could play and climb here, but then the weather got warmer, a little thawing, more freezing, and now it is covered with a layer of ice.   Still climb inside, but outside is too slippery now.  This year there is a new sponsor.

Sponsored by Toyota

Sponsored by Toyota

Toyota sponsored this 27th International Snow Sculpture Championships.   For the competition, no power tools are allowed, only small hand tools.   The sculpting began Tuesday at noon and the ended Saturday at 9:00 a.m.   Then the judging begins.   Many teams work through the nights to finish these masterpieces.   But, remember this is a mountain town, a resort town, a ski area, and a great place to visit.   On main street we like this Colorado Store.

Breckenridge Main Street

Breckenridge Main Street

And we especially love the benches made of old skis.   Breckenridge received a lot of snow the week before this competition.



Much of it is still here, in town and thankfully on the mountains.   Looks like it was windy also.

Crazy icicles

Crazy icicles

The icicles look like they were blown as they froze.      We love Breckenridge.   They have many festivals during the year, but it is fun even without festivals, any time of the year.   We hope you visit soon.

Snow Sculptures: Finished and Judged

Freezing my rubber duck feathers with a temperature of only 4 degrees, the snow sculptures in Breckenridge, Colorado were the focus of our trip.   I, Zeb the Duck, showed you sculpting in process last week.   Now you will see the winners.   First place to USA Team Vermont with Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus.

Team Vermont: Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus

Team Vermont: Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus

My friend, Tom, is holding me.   Team Switzerland captured second place with Converse.   However, after Saturday’s judging, half of the sculpture fell off.

Team Switzerland: Converse After the fall

Team Switzerland: Converse After the fall

Fortunately, it was after the judging.   My friend, Tom, is holding me so I don’t become part of a snow sculpture.   USA Team Loveland received the third place ribbon with Bolting From Extinction.

Team Loveland: Bolting from Extinction

Team Loveland: Bolting from Extinction

The elements of nature can destroy the best efforts.   Unfortunately Team Germany fell victim this week.     The creation, Metanoia, was progressing nicely last week,

Team Germany: Metanoia

Team Germany: Metanoia

but this week, just a pile of snow.

Team Germany: Metanoia after the crash

Team Germany: Metanoia, after the crash

That is so sad.    We want to show you more snow sculptures.   Team Ukraine presents Love Wins.

Team Ukraine: Love Wins

Team Ukraine: Love Wins

Depicting a fist symbolizing brute force, violence and war, that is stopped by an open palm.     The open palm is a metaphor of peace and love.   The artists hope that peace and love, with negotiations and compromise, will return peace to Ukraine.   Team Breckenridge shows The Widow Maker, referring to the pneumatic drill once used to mine gold.

Team Breckenridge: The Widow Maker

Team Breckenridge: The Widow Maker

My friend, Tom, is holding me again.   Team Great Britain created Tale of Two Dragons.

Team Great Britain: Tale of Two Dragons

Team Great Britain: Tale of Two Dragons

Team Mongolia, Bayanmunkh, sculpted the Lion and Butterfly.

Team Mongolia Bayanmunkh: Lion and Butterfly

Team Mongolia Bayanmunkh: Lion and Butterfly

Thanks again, Tom.   The slide and tunnel in this snow sculpture is great for small humans to play and have fun.

This one is for fun and sliding

This one is for fun and sliding

Remember Budweiser is the sponsor of this competition.   This is by Budweiser, not for competition, just for fun.

Busdweiser, the sponsor, presents this mug

Busdweiser, the sponsor, presents this beer stein.

Mom, I hope you know that I, Zeb the Duck, fell in the cold snow.   Don’t forget me!   Now you know why I am so grateful to my friend Tom.   The snow is cold  and I could get lost in all this white stuff.   All of these are wonderful works of art by very talented artists.    And, the Artists’ Choice Award goes to Team Wisconsin for their representation of Dia de Muertos.

Team Wisconsin: Dia de Muertos

Team Wisconsin: Dia de Muertos

The Colorado Traveling Ducks appreciate all the talented artists, and we will eagerly await next year’s creations.   These are great!   These snow sculptures will be destroyed Saturday evening, so if you have not seen them yet, please hurry!

Sculpting Snow with Zeb the Duck

Let’s sculpt a 20 ton block of snow.   January in Breckenridge, Colorado brings the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships.

26th Annual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships

26th Annual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships

We usually go to Breckenridge to see the finished sculptures.   However, this year mom is not working as a tax preparer, so we can go more often.   We watched the artists carve the 20 ton snow blocks.

20 ton block of snow. 12' x 10' x 10'

20 ton block of snow.   12′ x 10′ x 10′

When a team wants to compete here, they must submit a drawing of their sculpture and a description.   These are displayed during the competition.   Team Germany’s entry, Metanoia, represents the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self or way life.

Team Germany: Metanoia

Team Germany: Metanoia

Mongolia shows The Happiness of Family.

Team Mongolia: The Happiness of Family

Team Mongolia: The Happiness of Family

Motherhood is the most invaluable intervention for the personal developments and skills of any animal/person in the world.   The sculpture reveals the moment in which a mother teaches her babies how to swim.   Estonia sculpts Human Space.

Team Estonia: Human Space

Team Estonia: Human Space

This sculpture from Budweiser is not entered in the competition.   There was no drawing or explanation, but maybe…  This Bud’s for You.

This Bud's for You

This Bud’s for You

Mongolia won the position of two sculptures.

Team Mongolia: Lion and Butterfly

Team Mongolia: Lion and Butterfly

The Lion and Butterfly was being created here.   Team USA Wisconsin presents Dia de Muertos.

Team USA Wisconsin: Dia de Muertos

Team USA Wisconsin: Dia de Muertos

The sculpture represents the holiday of Mexican origin from October 31 through November 2, honoring and remembering those who have left this life.   Team USA Vermont presents Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus.

Team USA Vermont: Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus

Team USA Vermont: Rhonda and her Recycling Robo-Octopus

We loved all of these sculptures.   There are many more on display.   The judging Saturday, January 30.   The sculptures will be on display through Sunday, February 7, weather permitting.   We hope  you can go to Breckenridge to see these elaborate snow sculptures.   While we were in Breckenridge, we saw the horse cart.

Horse team

Horse team

Also, near the Visitor’s Center, I sat on this wagon.

Historical wagon

Historical wagon

Humans cannot climb or sit on the wagon, but I, Zeb the Duck, am small enough that I was allowed to sit here.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, love Breckenridge and hope to see you there to view the completed snow sculptures of the 26th Annual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships.

Snow Sculptures in Breckenridge, Colorado 2015

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, went to Breckenridge, Colorado on Thursday to see the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships.

We love this event in Breckenridge, Colorado

We love this event in Breckenridge, Colorado

We went last year also, but this is one of our favorite events to visit.   We want to show you some of the snow sculptures we saw and admired.  Team Mongolia made “Nomadic Culture”.

"Nomadic Culture" by Team Mongolia

“Nomadic Culture” by Team Mongolia

Mongolian herders roam from one place to another searching for high nutrient pasture land for the livestock.  The Mongolians typically roam with carts and camels.   Team Mongolia also sculpted “On the Way to the Dream”.

Team Mongolia, "On the Way to the Dream"

Team Mongolia, “On the Way to the Dream”

This illustrates the strength of nature shown by the thrusting natural wave powering the boat, captained by two indigenous people whose heritage and future wish is to preserve and sustain nature with the advances of new technology, demonstrating respect for the environment.    Team Ukraine presented “Doves of Peace”.

"Doves of Peace" by Team Ukraine.

“Doves of Peace” by Team Ukraine.

Team Argentina created this sculpture “Don Quijote”.

Team Argentina's "Don Quijote"

Team Argentina’s “Don Quijote”

Don Quiote is a novel by Miguel de Cervantes.   This sculpture depicts Don Quijote on Roxinante, his trusty steed, with his loyal friend, Sancho Panza.   Team USA West Virginia, gives us “The Bear and The Fish”.

Team USA, West Virginia presents "The Bear and the Fish"

Team USA, West Virginia presents “The Bear and the Fish”

This is a polar bear balancing on a rogue ice cube while carefully studying a playful trout.   The trout was partially submersed under the water, with only his head and tail fin peaking out of the water.     Team USA Alaska presents “Cabin Fever: the Mad Trapper and the River.

Team USA, Alaska, with "Cabin Fever:  The Mad Trapper and The River"

Team USA, Alaska, with “Cabin Fever: The Mad Trapper and The River”

This was the winner of the Kid’s Choice voting.   Team China entered “Winter Fishing”

Team China with "winter Fishing"

Team China with “Winter Fishing”

People from Heze Nationality, one of the Chinese minority, residing in Northeastern China, live on fishing during the winter. They still continue this tradition.   The first place sculpture was made by Team Lithuania.

First Place:  Team Lithuania and "The Wind of Eternal Change"

First Place: Team Lithuania and “The Wind of Eternal Change”

The Wind of Eternal Change” focuses on water and the various forms of water.   The constant change is emphasized, and depicts life itself arriving from water and the survival of Noah’s ark.  Where will the wind of constant change lead this ark, our life, our humanity next?

Close up of the ark on winning snow sculpture

Close up of the ark on winning snow sculpture

We really liked this piece from Kaiser Permanente Health Care.

By Kaiser Permanente.  Fun for kids and ducks!

By Kaiser Permanente. Fun for kids and ducks!

This is “Kids Interactive”.  This piece gives kids, and ducks, the opportunity interact with the art, be safe and have fun.   We saw these sculptures last Thursday and the judging was the previous Saturday.   You can see that our Colorado skies are bright blue and very clear with intense sun.   Of course, there was some melting.   If you did not see the snow sculptures this year, we hope you visit Breckenridge next year between January 26 and February 7, 2016 to enjoy the snow.   These sculptures are carved from block of snow, 10 feet by 10 feet and 12 feet tall.  The snow blocks weigh about 20 tons.   No power tools are allowed.   These are great!

Snow Sculptures at Breckenridge Colorado

We went to Breckenridge.  I, Zeb Duck and Soapy Smith Duck went with my mom to Breckenridge.  They have international snow sculpture championships here.  Saturday, January 25, 2014 the sculptures were finished and judged.  We went Sunday, January 26, 2014 to see them.

Here we are in Breckenridge.

In Breckenridge Colorado

In Breckenridge Colorado

Budweiser sponsors this competition and they have a great snow sculpture featuring a Clydesdale horse and Spuds Mackenzie, the dog.

Budweiser snow sculpture with Spuds

Budweiser snow sculpture with Spuds

This year 16 teams from 14 countries, including the United States, were scheduled to compete.  One team withdrew due to illness.  Here are a few photos of the finished work.

Team Lithuania.  "Once upon a time here was a forest…"

Team Lithuania. “Once upon a time here was a forest…”

Team France.  "Dark Side of the Moon"

Team France. “Dark Side of the Moon”

Team Germany.  "Apecheta The source where the flow begins"

Team Germany. “Apecheta The source where the flow begins”

Thursday, January 16, we went to Breckenridge to see them make the snow blocks.  The blocks of snow are 10’ x 10’ and 12’ tall.  They weigh 20 tons each.  Huge!!

20 ton snow block and 2 small ducks

20 ton snow block and 2 small ducks

Breckenridge ski area makes snow.  The ski area makes extra snow that is trucked to the snow sculpting contest area.  Snow is put into frames, stomped on for packing

Humans stomping on snow in wooden frame to pack it hard

Humans stomping on snow in wooden frame to pack it hard

and placed in the sculpting position.

Snow blocks ready for the artists

Snow blocks ready for the artists

Because this is made snow, the consistency is the same throughout the block.  That is important for the artists.

Here are more finished sculptures.

Team Great Britain  "The Somerset Hunky Punks"

Team Great Britain “The Somerset Hunky Punks”

Team USA Colorado.  "Must be using the wrong bait

Team USA Colorado. “Must be using the wrong bait

Team USA Colorado.  Maybe we are the bait

Team USA Colorado. Maybe we are the bait

The artists have only 65 hours to complete the masterpiece and no power tools are used.  Some teams use potato peelers and some used cookie cutters for finishing touches.

This is the first place entry.

Winter Fun is the winner in 2014

Winter Fun is the winner in 2014

Team USA from Breckenridge, Colorado created this.  It was inspired by the simple pleasure of winter.

Sledding is fun

Sledding is fun

Team Breck competes internationally and is recognized as one of the best in the world.

Yesterday we enjoyed warm sunny weather in Breckenridge; so if you want to see these sculptures, go today.  They will melt soon.