Saturday, February 4, 2012

On Saturday morning we set off for the town of Breckenridge to see the International Snow Sculpture Championships. On the way we stopped at Silverthorne and visited the amazing ice castle Brent Christensen is constructing, it relies primarily on cold temperatures and water.

Early this winter, the artist started creating and placing between 4,000 and 8,000 icicles daily. After 3 million gallons of water, he aims to construct 10-foot walls with 40-foot towers. Embedded inside the walls are 200 compact fluorescent bulbs, capable of producing more than 350,000 lumen's of light. At night the walls glow with ethereal hues of green and blue. The size of the sculpture is expected to double from December to March.

Although it cost us $30 to all go inside we were really impressed! It was really cold and windy which made it even colder, but Yas and Max could not contain their excitement at being able to walk inside ice caves. It was like a man-made Jenolyn Cave - but made of ice!

Breckenridge history is rich with tales of pioneer life and adventure. It is a town filled with Western culture, gold mining tales and residents keen on preserving their way of life. Breckenridge has grown from a prime Native American hunting ground to one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. The history will need to wait for our next visit as this trip is all about snow sculptures and skiing!

 We instantly fell in love with Breck as we drove down the main street on our way to our hotel - Beaver Run Resort, which is a ski in and ski out property. We were really happy to find that we could see the chair lift from our lounge room window, and we were only meters from the kids ski school. All still hopefull for a great stay at this stage.

We arrived late afternoon, settled in and set out to purchase lift tickets for Sunday. We nervously booked Yas and Max into a full day of ski lessons each - from 9.00am - 3.30am. I was a little concerned as they would not be in the same class and hoped that Max would cope. Garry and I decided this would be the best way for them to learn and fingers crossed give us some time to ski alone together. Only the morning would tell if this was a very expensive and successful plan?

We then drove into town to look at the snow sculptures. It was a very cold below zero with a wind!
The International Snow Sculpture Competition had fifteen teams enter from eleven nations - even Australia had an entry!

each team starts with a 10 metre square ice block

this amazing sculpture was the eventual winner


Their was also an amazing play area with ice castle sculptures and igloos with tunnels to play in, on and around. The sunset was amazing!

At one point we lost Yas, but when I saw the horse and carriage on the road of the main street I knew instantly where she would be. We all were feeling the cold and headed back to our room for a home cooked meal in our kitchenette in preparation for our first real day of skiing.

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