Now in its sophomore year, the North Face Masters of Snowboarding has become the largest cohesive competitive big mountain snowboarding tour in the country. The three-stop tour begins at [R404R, Snowbird] Jan.29-Feb. 1 and will cater to the motivation, talent, and skill of world-class big mountain snowboarders. Second stop is at [R120R, Crested Butte], Colo., and culminates at the ultimate big mountain competition venue of [R201R, Kirkwood], Calif.

"The North Face Masters tour is going to be off the chain this year," said TNF Masters Alyeska, Alaska, 2008 champion Rob Kingwill. "I am excited to be a part of the movement toward giving big mountain snowboarding competition the recognition it deserves. All three 2009 venues are world-class, and I can't wait to see what happens."

TNF Masters features a $45,000 cash prize purse and serves as a qualifier event to the Freeride World Tour. Winners from the Snowbird and Crested Butte TNF Masters events will have the opportunity to compete in the Nissan Tram Face at Squaw Valley, California.

"Freeriding, the use of natural terrain, fall line, and innovation from riding style is the essence of big mountain snowboarding," said TNF Masters Head Judge Tom Burt. "The TNF Masters series is designed around this and that is the reason why I agreed to become the head judge. All [venues] have different flavors of terrain so each will bring its own challenges for the riders, and every rider will bring their own style and innovation to each venue."

TNF Masters gathers big mountain snowboarding tribes from all around the world. All male and female snowboarding competitors above age 18 are welcomed to participate. Registration is now open online.