The Subaru Freeskiing World Tour, with a $20,000 purse per stop and a $100,000 total cash payout, is the largest and longest running competitive big-mountain circuit in the history of the sport.

The tour features such top-notch extreme skiers as Cliff Bennett, Dylan Clay Grossman, Christian Boucher, Craig Garbiel and Guerlain Chicherit on the men's side and Jennifer Ashton, Crystal-Rose Lee and Jaclyn Passo on the women's side.

These and other like-minded athletes have vied for the title of the true kings and queens of the mountain for the past 10 years. 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 Freeskiing World Tour brings it all home for the 18th annual U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Champships at Crested Butte, the birthplace of big-mountain skiing competition in America, during the week of Feb. 17-22.

Other stops in the national series include Snowbird in Utah, on 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.