January 2010 Archives

Snow Sculptures Happen

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

snow_sculpture_peace.JPGPlenty of people showed up this weekend to see the results of the hours of work artists put into snow sculpting in Breckenridge this week.

The weather was beautiful, melting the sculptures a little and softening the detail quickly but pleasant conditions for viewing.

The winning team made this gloved hand gesturing and was from Lithuania. The second place was the Canadian team from Ontario and its Asian woman. The third place when to the Aztec looking gateway made by one of the Mexican teams.
From the last post you can see how the forms help volunteers create the giant blocks of snow the Town of Breckenridge makes for the annual snow sculpture competition. 

From these 10x10x12 foot tall blocks have the look of marble, but carve like a hard block of ice cream. The temperatures in Breckenridge are so cold at night in January that the quality of our snow is some of the best in the world for snow sculpture. It's hard and consistent because it's man-made with the help of Breckenridge Ski Resort.

When the weather is sunny, the sculptures need to be protected from sun and melting during the work week, which accounts for the spinikers and other flying colors.

Artists come with their own tools which include floor scrapers, big razor blades, chains, spades, chisels, and cheese graters.

Often, they are working from a three dimentional model that they are trying to create on a big scale.

The final details are added on the last night, Friday, when everyone usually works late into the dark. The competition ends at noon on Saturday, and the awards are announced later in the day.
Frozen-town-creek.jpgDowntown Breckenridge in January. The Blue River, frozen and covered with snow, is in the foreground. To the right of the flag is the central park in downtown Breckenridge. This corridor, and the pedestrian bridge over the river connects Main Street to the Riverwalk (Events) Center.

Next week the 20th annual snow sculpture competition will take place at the Riverwalk, and the snow blocks are being formed now. So they will be ready for 13 teams from 7 countries: Czech Republic, China, Canada, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia, and the U.S. Teams from Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota. Loveland (CO) and a Breckenridge team.snow-sculpture_forms.jpg
These forms will make 12 foot blocks of snow (12x10x10), no power tools are allowed. And the teams of three or four people will have from Tuesday until Saturday noon to complete their work.

USA Today calls it one of the top 10 ways to celebrate winter due to the awe-inspiring yet fleeting art gallery that is created outdoors.

Up Peak 8

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Snow lasts longer at high altitude. So, while new snowfalls have been coming down in inches not feet this winter, the conditions are very good on Peak 8 as you can see from these photos.

January is a great month to ski because the mountain is less crowded than it was during the holidays and often the weather is glorious. As you can also see from these photos. The sun shines, and there's not a cloud in the sky. Mornings and night can be very cold, but by mid day the temperature is easy to be out in.

Ullr Parade

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

2010 Parade to Start Any MinuteUllr2010.jpg

Under cloudy skies, people started flocking to Main Street to the 2010 Ullr Ullr & beyond 094.jpgParade just after 4 p.m. Although that is the scheduled time for the parade's start, everyone knows that it's just the moment everyone must start thinking about how and when they should chant:  OOH-LUR, OOH-LUR. And the late start just means someone can't find their Viking horns, or their fur-covered WonderWoman Amazon Bra.

Since I have an office on Main Street, and a great view of the parade that will be heading down it any minute, I invited folks in from the cold and we started celebrating at 3, so we'd be sure to be ready when it does eventually start. If you're view isn't as good, you can watch it from my webcams pages: Real Breck Views.

Of course, we have tome to wonder what treats are in store: floats with a ski jump, floats with too few articles of clothing for our climate, some great political jokes, or something entirely new?


Ullr Fest 2010

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Snow is to Breckenridge as sand is to Hawaii, but every year the people of Breckenridge can only hope that this year's snow will be the right kind. This annual worry is unknown to Hawaiians who don't have to wonder if their beach is going to be small pebbles, sharp rocks or white sand next season.  Because of this anxiety, the townsfolk of Breckenridge, in the days well before snowmaking, made up the fable of Ullr, a fictional, Norse god of snow. Not that the rational people of Breckenridge really believed that crying OOH-LUR, OOH-LUR for a week in January would bring them a better base of snow, they just wanted a reason to celebrate the best time of year to ski. 

In January,  the snow is usually sufficient and often the weather is mild. The frightful cold we can see in December is usually over, and the holiday crowds ... we'll they're gone.

And this might be counter-productive, but someone thought that having a street festival with bonfires and parades might bring more tourists to town. 


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2009 is the previous archive.

February 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.