Montana's [R81R, Bridger Bowl] is known for being home to scads of randonee skiers who take advantage of the resort's open boundary policies to slip out of bounds. It's only fitting then that the resort hosts one of the most grueling randonee rallies in the region-the Skin To Win.

"We've been doing the event for several years, and now we have new terrain to throw into the mix," Director of Marketing Doug Wales told in reference to the new Schlasman addition.

The route encompasses much of the ski resort. Competitiors hike up, ski down, and hike again-donning skins, taking them off, and putting them on again. The pros climb 5,000 total vertical feet while the amateurs climb 2,100 feet.

The 80 or so competitors line up in a mass start to jump into their bindings. "It's a mad Le Mans start," said Wales. "We've got world-class athletes competing, pros from the circuit and Jackson Hole."

Brandon French from Whitefish nabbed last year's pro title in one hour and 53 minutes. "That's an insanely quick time to cover all that terrain," added Wales.

This year's Skin To Win Randonee Rally is scheduled for Jan. 31. All competitors are required to carry avalanche beacons, skins, shovels, probe, and backpacks. Helmets must be worn, and boards must have metal edges and brakes or retention straps. Instructions, fees, and requirements for competitors are listed online.