"With the incredible response from the inaugural The North Face Ski Challenge, we knew we wanted to expand the Challenge in order to give young skiers from all across Europe-both boys and girls - a chance to demonstrate their unique abilities," explained Patrik Frisk - VP/General Manager The North Face (Europe, The Middle East, Africa).

"With so many new ski disciplines-from big-mountain freeriding, to slopestyle and freestyle skiing-today's young skiers face a different world than the primarily alpine-style world of their elders." Mr frisk continued.

Frisk believes that national ski federations are struggling to keep up with the sport's rapid evolution with a danger that contemporary young skiers get left behind.

"We are sponsoring the expanded Ski Challenge tour and finals to celebrate Europe's undiscovered, young prodigies, and to give them a chance to rise to top of their chosen specialities," he said.

For 2007-2008, the Ski Challenge tour will include nine grassroots-style qualifying sessions in both freeride and freestyle ski categories, running from November 2007 through to April 2008. Qualifying events are scheduled to take place in The United Kingdom, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Val Thorens, in the Trois Vallees region of France, will again host the finals for The North Face Ski Challenge, on April 12-13th, 2008.

Also new to The North Face Ski Challenge: all category winners will receive prizes and gear giveaways from The North Face. What's more, the top two finishers in both boys and girls, 16-18-year old categories will win sponsorship contracts from The North Face.