More than 100 skiers and snowboarders are expected to compete in [R454R, Taos] in the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships March 4-7 for their share of a $12,000 purse as well as the chance to qualify for Freeride World Tour events. The freeride comp has seen a record-breaking number of entrants to date.

"We're really happy with the registration so far," says Taos' Alejandro Blake. "It's a reflection of the quality of the terrain and competition here at Taos and we're excited to show the world some authentic New Mexican hospitality."

"This is a natural part of the progression of the event," adds Chief of Race, Tom Winter. "With the inclusion of snowboarding, which is also supported by the FWT, as well as the opportunities that the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships can now provide to the athletes who wish to compete on the World Tour, we've developed an event with global significance. It's really cool and the level of competition should be the best ever."

"Taos has always been one of the top events in big-mountain skiing and snowboarding," adds Blake, "and the Freeride World Tour is the top international tour, featuring the best athletes and venues for this type of competition on the planet. We're proud to be a part of it."

As a qualifying venue for the FWT, the Taos event will allow athletes to gain points and become eligible to compete in the FWT's four showcase events: The Nissan Russian Adventure (Sochi, Russia), Nissan Tram Face (Squaw Valley, USA), Nissan Freeride de Tignes (Tignes, France), and Nissan Xtreme (Verbier, Switzerland). Taos also joins an elite group of venues, from Italy and Norway to Austria and Slovakia as a FWT Qualifying event.