The snow is one artist's giant canvas

Last updated 10:33 24/12/2013

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As the Northern Hemisphere prepares for a white Christmas, one man is looking at the falling snow as his next giant canvas.

British artist and map-maker Simon Beck spends hours shuffling around on the hillside high in the French Alps, walking on snowshoes for kilometres for an average of 10 hours at a time creating his huge, intricate works of art in the snow.

The majority of the snow art takes place in the ski resort of Les Arcs, where Beck owns an apartment and spends most of the winter.

He used to be heavily involved in orienteering, until problems with his feet saw him transfer his attention to snow art more seriously - turning it into his main winter activity.

The idea to make the snow formations "just seemed a natural thing to do," Beck said.

The environment means Beck's work is only ever lasts until the next heavy snowfall, but he is not deterred.

"Most of the skiers think I am a bit mad, and it's a waste of good skiing time . . . but I hope to spread the message the mountains and snow are beautiful and worth preserving."

Beck is building a collection of photos of his work with the aim of producing a coffee table book.

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