The Subaru Freeskiing Series, which is celebrating its 10th year of existence this winter, is a seven-stop global tour that attempts to identify the world's best big-mountain athletes.
These guys and gals plunge down seemingly sheer-sloped mountainsides from vertigo-inducing heights trying to rack up points without doing damage to life, limbs, and gear. The competition is judged by several criteria, including choice of line, technique, aggressiveness, control and fluidity. Higher points are awarded for unique and/or difficult routes, which means the athletes often ski down uber-steep terrain at high speeds and hurtle off cliff faces.
The United States portion of the freeskiing series kicks off with a World Tour Qualifier in Telluride Feb. 5-8. This event will advance the top five men and top three women who were not previously qualified into the finals of later stops on the tour.
The boys and girls with the big cajones then move on to the U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships at Crested Butte Feb. 18-22. Other stops in the national series include Snowbird in Utah, March 10-15, and Kirkwood in California, March 19-22 (the "world" portion of the tour will have events in Verbier, Switzerland, and Les Arcs, France).
The Subaru World Freeskiing Championships will take place April 8-12 at Alyeska resort in Alaska.