One of the most asked questions snow carvers get is — how do you make those blocks?
I will attempt to describe the process that the organizers go through to supply the sculptors with their “canvas”.
They start with a search for perfect snow that is clean and plentiful. Some events use artificial snow, so they just make as much as they need. While others go to great lengths to find the snow and truck it to the site.
Once enough snow has been stockpiled for all the blocks it is time to fill the forms (usually made from wood due to the immense outward pressure of the snow when it is compacted). Front end loaders (or massive snowblowers) are used to fill the forms. Once there is a bunch of snow in the form, it is time for the stompers to pack the snow down and get rid of as many lumps as possible. They are also trying to ensure any cracks are filled. This goes on until the form is filled.
In some cases, a front end loader is used to pack the snow and in the case of artificial snow, just the process of blowing the snow in compacts it to a solid block.
The size of the blocks vary from event to event. They can be anywhere from 8ft tall by 4ft by 4ft to giant sized blocks of 16 ft tall by 12 ft x 12 ft.
Once the blocks have been made, they will sit for a period of time before they are carved. With any luck, the sun will stay behind the clouds, there will be NO rain and the temperature stays below -10C.