The 25th annual International Snow Sculpture Championships gave rise to a temporary outdoor art gallery in downtown Breckenridge, Colorado. Sixteen teams from 10 countries worked for 65 hours over five days to create enormous works of art from 20-ton blocks of snow.
Carving ended January 31 and sculptures will remain on display through February 8.
Artists created their sculptures without using power tools or internal support structures, per competition rules.
Team China's "Winter Fishing" represents a minority people of northeast China who today still live on fishing during the winter, organizers said. Chinese teams have long participated in the competition.
Team USA-Minnesota's "The Tempest" depicts a Mother Nature figure summoning the power of the eagle's wings to create the tempest that knocked down large portions of the Boundary Waters in 1999, according to organizers.
Team Lithuania won first place with "The Wind of Eternal Change," which depicts Noah's Ark "floating on clouds above a tremendous downpour that speaks poetically of our changing climate and times," judge coordinator Jenn Cram said on behalf of the five-judge panel.
Team Germany-Agrawal won second/silver with its piece, "Yantra." The five-judge panel praised its 360-degree range of precision and execution.
Team USA-Minnesota won third/bronze for "The Tempest."
Mongolia-Tserendash won Artists' Choice with their piece, "On the Way to the Dream." Artists' Choice voting is only open to fellow sculptors.