BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– Bone-chilling cold, the perfect conditions to turn giant blocks of snow into world-class art sculptures. Now the race is on for teams around the world to finish those sculptures.

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“We will come up with an idea for a sculpture then will come up with the idea for a tool to make that sculpture,” Keith Martin with Team Breckenridge told CBS4’s Matt Kroschel.

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Giant blocks of packed snow are slowly transforming into works of art for the 29th annual Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships.

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“It is cold, but it’s great for us. I wish the sun would go away to be honest,” Team Wisconsin member Brett Tomczak said.

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These championships bring together 16 teams from across the world for a 96-hour race to finish. The 12-foot tall, 20-ton blocks of snow are unforgiving.

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That’s something Team Wisconsin learned in the final minutes of last year’s competition.

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“It was a sunny, warm 63 degrees and at 9 o’clock Thursday night, 12 hours before judging, it completely collapsed total failure,” Tomczak said.

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But if the cold snap holds tight its grip on Breckenridge for the rest of the week, there shouldn’t be a repeat this year.

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“Looks like Mother Nature is going to be on our side this week,” Tomczak added.

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This year’s teams are from China (Yan Zhang), China (Wang Haifeng), Ecuador, France, Germany (Agrawarl), Germany (Theil), Great Britain, India, Italy, JAPAN, Mexico, Mongolia (Tserendesh), Turkey, USA-Colorado, USA-Breckenridge Colorado, USA-Wisconsin.

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The International Snow Sculpture Championships are through Jan. 25, with the Snow Sculpture Viewing Weekend (weather permitting) set for Jan. 25-30.

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Matt Kroschel

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