Snow sculpture at Carve Tahoe
TRUCKEE, Calif. - Teams from Finland, Germany, Canada, Japan, and the United States gathered at the Northstar Ski Resort in Truckee on Friday for Carve Tahoe, the region's first snow carving competition.
"The process starts using cement forums. We blow snow in three-feet increments and then six people jump into the forum and stump the snow. Everyone climbs out using a ladder and then the process is repeated", explains Kathryn Keown, Carve Tahoe Founder.
The eight 20-ton blocks of snow were then turned over to the carving teams.
Each team sculpted for 63 hours over five days to make their masterpieces, working through the night on Monday to complete their sculptures by the Tuesday deadline.
The "People's Choice" award went to the local team from Truckee while Team Germany's "Four Elements" sculpture won first place overall. Second place went to Team Japan's "Heart to Heart" while Team USA/Idaho took third for "Endangered Bears".
According to Keown, "the Carve site will be open for viewing until the sculptures melt".
As of early Valentine's Day, some of the carvings had already collapsed because of the unseasonably mild temperatures in the Sierra.
This was the inaugural year of Carve at Northstar and the resort hopes to host the event again in 2014.
Northstar was selected by organizers primarily because of the resort's superior snow making technology which ranks among the best in California.