The area around Salida, Colo., is well-regarded for its terrific whitewater kayaking runs.

So neighboring Monarch Mountain resort decided, what the heck, why not combine the region's two greatest passions - sliding down a snow-covered slope and paddling down a raging river - into one outrageous event.

Thus came the one and only Boatercross, which will be held for the fourth time April 4 at Monarch.

The Boatercross event sends kayakers, competing head-to-head, down a specially constructed course filled with banked corner, berms, rollers and small jump on the Freeway run. The single-elimination format matches the fastest boats in the finals, and the winner will be awarded a new kayak, with the second-place finisher getting a cruiser bicycle, and third place taking home a 2009-10 Monarch season pass.

There will be an expo replete with kayak manufacturers, retailers, and raft outfitters, and title sponsor New Belgium brewery will be giving away swag and other goodies and prizes. The entire Boatercross event can be viewed from the base lodge deck and is free to the public.

Participant registration for the event is $20 and includes an event T-shirt. The registration opens at 10 a.m., practice starts at 11, and the single-elimination runs begin at 1 p.m.