Breckenridge Snow Carving Championship (part II)

25 February, 2016 – 11:29 pm

On Monday morning we had a few more hours in Denver to have breakfast and look around the immediate area. Gorgeous sunshine and blue skies.

At 11am we were picked up in a huge luxury 4×4 provided by one of the many sponsors. We climbed up into the mountains through gold and silver mining communities, prospects still available to buy and people still sinking everything into the uncertainty of gold mining. The landscape was something out of wild west movies, there was snow and huge pine trees, we saw a herd of buffalo on a reserve. Breathing was becoming more difficult, the snow was getting deeper and the mountains were getting more impressive. There were frozen lakes where the locals fished through holes. It was obvious that this was going to be a difficult week.

When we arrived we stopped to get our keys and welcome pack so we could get settled into the condo, it was cold and windy but it was so warm in the vehicles and buildings. Our first stop was the local supermarket, we had a lovely couple called Fran and Roy who were our hosts and helped us when we needed supplies. We decided to spend our breakfast budget so we could cook breakfast in the condo and then head down to the carving area-there wasn’t always time for breakfast and altitude sickness diminished my appetite. I think I shocked the locals when I had to take my snow trousers off in the supermarket. It was cold outside but I had jeans on under my thermal trousers and it was just too warm. Obviously the locals know better than to wear outdoor clothes over normal attire!!

Our condo was about a 10 minute walk away from the snow blocks but due to the rarefied air it took anything up to 30mins as I had to stop so often and rest.

We had an amazing view of the mountains, you could see the snow billowing off the peaks but it was warming up and the snow was melting.

On Tuesday we had a welcome breakfast, to meet the other teams and be formally welcomed by the organisers. I did not feel well and couldn’t breathe, thankfully there was oxygen tanks that we could hook up to if and when we needed. At 11am there was a canon start and the event began.

The block of snow was 10ft square by 12ft high. We were lucky enough to be next to the Estonian team and they kindly lent us their chain saw-not what it sounds like. It’s a chain with nuts and bolts fixed through the links-ideal for sawing snow. The first job I was given was to section off the block into thirds so our captain and the designer could start mapping out the dragons. Ed was given the job of hacking off the top of the block and helping Marie to saw some of the snow. I’m afraid I had to take some Oxygen.





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