For over ten years, the French Alps have been beginning to see huge depictions of animals and fractal pictures inspired by Koch snowflakes and Sierpinski triangles appear on their snowy hillsides. Their giant size and precision could lead you to think that aliens, having grown weary of cornfields, have spent the night in the powder snow. But the truth is quite different.

All of these marks are the work of the first and most famous snow artist: the Englishman Simon Beck. His passion for orienteering, studies as an engineer and a career as a cartographer have significantly contributed to the mathematical rigor that he puts towards his designs. What began as a game in 2004 has quickly ‘snowballed’. Much sought after by major brands, Simon Beck sees his work as a way of getting some exercise and raising awareness around environmentally-friendly behavior among the general public.

Twenty-five kilometers in twelve hours. That’s the average distance that the artist has to cover in his snow boots, equipped with his compass, to carve his wonderful patterns in the snow. The biggest measure between 1-4 hectares, or the equivalent of 2-8 soccer pitches.

A decade of work and more than 200 patterns are compiled in the Snow Art collection, edited by S-Editions.

Watch the beautiful video of his work in Canada:

All images by Simon Beck: