Squaw Valley first came into prominence when the Winter Olympics were held there in 1960.

But it really gained its Big Mountain notoriety when such extreme skiing pioneers as Scott Schmidt used the resort's steep powder fields and granite faces as a featured element for many a Warren Miller or Greg Stump video back in the 1980s.

Squaw Valley returns to the forefront of big-mountain skiing and snowboarding when the Freeride World Tour sets up its tent at the resort for the Nissan Tram Face event for the week of Feb. 27-March 5.

The legendary Tram Chute, which falls precipitously for more than 1,000 feet below the first tower of the cable car, will be open on an official basis, for the first time in Squaw's history. The world's best freeriders - both men and women, skiers and snowboarders - will thrown down their best lines in the Chute while spectators can watch safely and comfortably from the valley floor.

Among those expected to compete are skiers Sverre Liliequist of Sweden and Jess McMillan of Jackson Hole, and snowboarders Cyril Neri of Switzerland and Aline Bock of Germany, the winners of the Freeride World Tour's season-opening competition in Russia Jan. 24.T

There will be a FWT qualifying event at Squaw Valley, dubbed the Monster Golden Ticket, Feb. 20-22, if you think you have what it takes to join these guys. Those interested in entering can obtain registration information at rlindquist@cruxevents.com.