Snow art will spiral through Rabbit Ears Pass this weekend |

Snow art will spiral through Rabbit Ears Pass this weekend

Past snow drawings on Rabbit Ears Pass. This year's community snow drawing will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 5.
Courtesy photo / Bud Werner Memorial Library

This Saturday, on a sprawling, snowy hay meadow at the base of Rabbit Ears Pass, community volunteers will create an enormous, landscape-scale work of art using just their snowshoe-clad feet. Each person will walk an individual path within the collective space to create giant snow drawing encompassing this year’s theme, “Spiraling out of COVID.”

Community snow drawings in the Yampa Valley began as a collaboration with environmental artist Sonja Hinrichsen when, in 2010, she came to Steamboat Springs via a Colorado Art Ranch residency at The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch. She returned the following winter to create another solo installation, and, when she realized that the valley offered many canvases for winter installations, she decided to involve the entire community.

In 2012, she returned once again to lead a community snow drawing project in collaboration with the Bud Werner Memorial Library and The Nature Conservancy. That series received both national and international attention. In the past decade, the community drawings have been done on frozen lakes, public lands and working hay meadows by more than 350 volunteers from the Yampa Valley community.

"Hertzog, Wither, Lambert" drawing for the socially distanced 2021 Community Snow Drawing.
Steamboat Pilot & Today file

Betsy Blakeslee has participated in the community project for the past decade. She remembers years when the volunteers were up to their thighs in snow, but, she pointed out, they always persevered. While past years have had different themes, Blakeslee thinks that this year’s theme of spirals — a nod to their first community theme in 2012 — will work well.

“It’s very meditative and it’s a cool design where you can get lost in your own space and you don’t have to think a lot,” Blakeselee said. “It’s kind of like walking meditation.”

Participants must register by 8 p.m. on Friday, March 4, by visiting On Saturday morning they will meet promptly at 9 a.m. to share information about the landscape canvas, answer questions and offer ideas, inspiration, and instruction on how to begin.

Lazy J drawing for the socially distanced 2021 Community Snow Drawing.
Steamboat Pilot & Today file

Last year, due to COVID-19 concerns, participants created individual snow drawings across the Yampa Valley. Now, many are looking forward to reconvening together again to create art in nature.

“It’s so unique to our community that we can pull together to recreate in nature,” Blakeslee said. “We’re so used to doing that anyway, and this is another way that ends up in a really good feeling of collaboration in nature.”


What: Community Snow Drawing

When: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 5

Where: Rabbit Ears Pass (participants will be given an exact location after registering)

Register: By 8 p.m. Friday, March 4 at

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