The best snow carvers in the world right now? They’re from Skagway.

Team Alaska’s winning snow sculpture depicted a bear bursting out of the backside of a camper. (Photo courtesy of Team Alaska)

A team of snow carvers from Skagway represented Alaska at the World Snow Festival in Grindelwald, Switzerland over the weekend. Teams from nine different countries competed to see who could construct the best snow sculpture. Team Alaska took first place in both the juried competition and the people’s choice categories.

Skagway residents Peter Lucchetti, Michael Yee, Ken Graham, and Philip Clark carved the winning sculpture.

Team Alaska’s carving depicted a camper trailer with a large bear bursting out of the back side. It was designed months in advance of the competition. Team member Philip Clark said the details on the inside of the trailer set it apart from the other sculptures. 

“Almost hyper-detailing is a big part of the design. Hollowing out the trailer we discovered that the negative space is put to good use and doing the finishing touches on the inside really seems to make these sculptures pop,” Clark said.

Sculptures were judged based on three criteria: execution, artistic expression, and interpretation of the theme. This year’s theme was hospitality. 

Skagway has had a snow carving team for about 18 years. They regularly compete at events all over the world. This is the second time they have won the snow carving competition at the World Snow Festival in Grindelwald. 

Team Alaska’s next competition is the Snowking International Snow Carving Competition in Yellowknife at the end of February.