Taos' Extreme Freeride Champs is New Mexico's largest and most prestigious ski and snowboard competition. Last year, athletes worldwide stomped Taos Ski Valley dreaming of that $12,000 prize purse. They went head-to-head with the resort's famed steeps and this year the world again returns to Taos in March for the sixth installment of this venerable competition.
Registration opens Nov. 2 for anyone willing to tackle some of the best double-diamond terrain in the country for points, prizes, and bragging rights. Kachina Peak and the West Basin Ridge are littered with tight lines, cliffs, and rocks. Exact routes will be determined by the ski patrol, chief of race, and event staff, and are subject to change depending upon snow and weather conditions.
The Taos comp is a Freeride World Tour qualfier in North America and will allow athletes to gain points and become eligible to compete in the FWT's four showcase events: The Nissan Russian Adventure in Sochi, Russia; Nissan Tram Face in Squaw Valley, USA; Nissan Freeride de Chamonix in Chamonix, France; and Nissan Xtreme in Verbier, Switzerland. Taos also joins an elite group of venues, from Italy and Norway to Austria and Slovakia, as a FWT Qualifying event.
"We expect to host some of the best big-mountain skiers and snowboarders in the world," says Taos' Alejandro Blake. "I'd advise athletes to register early and spectators should plan their vacations now if they want take advantage of seeing some of the world's best compete in Taos."
Taos will not be an IFSA competition this season. Instead riders face judging standards that slightly differ from similar types of big-mountain competitions sanctioned by the IFSA.