The 29th annual U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships are set to run at Stratton Mountain Resort March 6-13, with the world's best male and female riders taking part in halfpipe, slopestyle, and rail jam events.

The first day is set aside for registration and a rider meeting, and the last day for an open Junior Jam to entice younger riders onto the path that leads to top-level competition. In between are six days of competitions for men and women competitors.

It is the premier spectator event of the winter in New England, with Stratton's Sun Bowl dedicated to on-snow events, and base area fun. Admission is free.

The halfpipe and slopestyle venues will be closer to the sponsors' village this year so they are an easy-to-moderate walk from the main base area, depending on how high up on the slope one wants to climb.

Food and drink will be available in the Sun Bowl base lodge, and also in the sponsors' village, including an outdoor barbecue, beer garden, and individual food vendors.

This year's U.S. Open has some other new wrinkles: It is earlier than in previous years; competition starts immediately, on Monday; competitors must all wear a helmet; judges will use the new Snowboard Live Scoring System.

The Burton Global Open Series also has launched a new competition format for slopestyle and halfpipe that will put 10 men and six women into the finals, with the best of three runs winning.

The U.S. Open is the final stop on the Burton Global Open Series, which  includes the New Zealand Open, the European Open, the Canadian Open, and the Asian Open.

The U.S. Open also is the final stop of the men's and women's TTR World Snowboard Tour.

More information

Here's some video from the 2010 event.