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TRUCKEE, Calif. - Teams fromFinland, Germany, Canada, Japan, and the United States gathered at the Northstar Ski Resort in Truckee on Fridayfor 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 eight20-ton blocks of snowwere then turned over to the carvingteams.

Each team sculpted for 63 hours over five days to make their masterpieces, workingthrough 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 ofearly Valentine's Day, some ofthe carvingshad 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 ofthe resort's superior snow making technology which ranks among the best in California.

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