Each of the forty-four athletes competing at Tignes will have just one chance to prove their mettle to the judges. From the top of a cable car, athletes will hike for 45 minutes to reach the 2,882-metre Grande Balme. Each snowboarder and skier will be allowed one run down the 40-45-degree pitch, with 500 metres of vertical descent and countless lips, jumps, cliff bands and gullies. Judging is based on three criteria: choice of line, control and fluidity. Steepness, exposure, snow conditions, difficulty of the terrain, obstacles, jumps, control, falls, continuity, pace, smooth transitions, style, technical ability and energy-all of these elements will also be taken into account.
A different three-member jury judges each section of the Freeride World Tour for each discipline. Each judge is trained and certified by the Professional Freerider Board (PFB). The line-up in Tignes consists of the best-ranked riders of each discipline (14 men and four women) after the three previous contests of the Tour)
First prize for the men is $10,000 USD apiece for the top snowboarder and freeskier. Both of the winning women take home $3,000 USD each. Second and third place finishers in both disciplines and genders also score a portion of the prize purse-$40,000 USD in total. Even better, the top overall finishers will earn themselves a coveted place in the tour finals-the Verbier Xtreme-held straight afterwards on 14-23 March in Verbier, Switzerland.