Taos attracts those into extremes with the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships scheduled for Mar. 6-8. The event, which boasts a prize purse of $10,000 pits competitors against each other on the steeps. At stake? Who can rage the gnarliest lines with best style through near-vertical cliffs.
Last year's competition drew 36 competitors —both men and women—from British Columbia to California and Colorado. It's a grueling competition, where skiers hike 40 minutes to the top of Kachina Peak to demonstrate their wares. It's not lazy groomer skiing, and it requires aggressive maneuvers, guts, and a few tricks. Spectators show up in droves just to admire artistry and watch for potential carnage.