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Scenes from global elite's exclusive ski retreat

A woman rests on a sun chair at the top of the Jakobshorn mountain in Davos, Switzerland.

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Scenes from Davos 2014

Ah, Davos.

The snow, the Swiss, the swank and swagger of the world's richest and most powerful.

The tension between the mass economic promise of globalization and the backlash against the global elite is as sharp as the mountain air at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

High in this alpine resort are the personalities that define Davos in all its splendor. Where else would investment bankers post personal greetings to Silicon Valley CEOs using first names? Where else would you catch Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson in a bear hug with a Russian oil minister (Davos 2011)?

Your typical Davos attendee isn't into snapping "selfies." So most of us, who lack the private jet to whisk us off to the Alps as well as the combined $71,000 for a WEF membership and Davos entrance fee, can only imagine the goings-on among the titans of capitalism and global technocrats who gather each year to tackle the world's biggest challenges and plan a brighter future for all.

The best we can do is catch a few glimpses, so take a peek with CNBC inside Davos 2014.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images