Want to pit your steep-mountain snowboarding skills against some of the best riders around? Now, here's your chance, as the North Face Masters tour checks in at Snowbird for a two-day stop Jan. 20-22.
The three-stop tour is touted as the "largest big mountain" competition in the world and, in the past three years, it has attracted top snowboarders to test their free-riding metal on some of the nation's gnarliest terrain. Top riders will look to cop some, or all, of the $15,000 in prize money. Judges score in terms of line, fluidity, control, creativity and style, based on a 0-100 point system.
Snowbird Ski Resort certainly can supply appropriate terrain. The competition, which is open to any advanced snowboarder 18 years or older, has been held in the steep, narrow chutes of The Cirque just off the summit of Hidden Peak. The exact location of competitive venues will be selected as the event's start approaches. Most of Snowbird's venues, especially The Cirque, offer a clear view from below for spectators.
Registration is limited to the first 100 competitors and costs $165 per person. Sign up online (see link below) and click on "Registration Information." The first day's competition will pare down the field by about half, depending upon conditions, and two runs on the second day trim the field to about 10-15 women's and men's finalists.