January 25th to February 6th is one of my favorite winter mountain events, the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge.  What?! you say?  But Dave, there’s no skiing or boarding!  No crowds, no DJ’s, and no cowbells!  That’s right, it’s one of the more laid back mountain events, but it wins points because it’s just so damn cool.  It’s a free event, and I’ve never even been there for the actual carving, but when you go walk through all of the sculptures you can’t help but marvel at how impressive these crazy scenes are carved out of 12 foot blocks of snow. They’ll have everything from dragons, to bears, to obscure geometrical shapes (imagine MC Escher’s mom never gave him a pencil and just said, “MC, go outside and play in the snow!”).

The cool thing about this event is that the whole family can enjoy it.  I’ve brought my parents out to see the sculptures and they had just as much fun as my little 2-year-old nephew… well, maybe not quite as much, but close.  It’s very accessible and as I mentioned before, totally free.  So even if you’re just driving by Frisco on I-70, it’s worth it to turn in and driver to Breck to check out the sculptures and maybe grab lunch at Mi Casa or brunch at the Blue River Bistro.  And the crazy thing is that it is truly international. Teams come from all over the world to compete in this event.

Sculpting is from Tuesday, January 25 at 11:00 a.m. until Saturday, January 29 at 10:00 a.m., judging is at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 29, the awards ceremony is at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 30 and sculptures will remain standing weather permitting until the night of Sunday, February 6, 2011 (until approx. 11:00 p.m.).