By Emily Stifler Explorebigsky.com Managing Editor

MOONLIGHT BASIN – The Freeskiing World Tour brought 90 world-class skiers to Moonlight Basin last March, for a competition that headlined the steep, rocky, 1,000-foot Headwaters cirque.

Returning to Moonlight March 14 – 17, the 2013 throwdown will be one of at least 40 qualifiers in what is now the 2013 Subaru Freeride Series. A four-star event, it’s the highest competition level before the five-star championship series that under a new merger, combines the Swatch Freeride World Tour, the Freeskiing World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding.

“These premier four-star events provide crucial opportunities for athletes hoping to qualify for the world tour,” event director Bryan Barlow said in a press release. “We are excited to provide this opportunity on the country’s leading big mountain venues.”

The first four-star qualifier stops of the season were held in August, in New Zealand and Chile. Stateside hosts include Crested Butte, Colo. and Snowbird, Utah.

Athlete registration for the Moonlight event opens Dec. 4.

Subaru Freeride Series sponsors are Subaru, Sierra Nevada, Clif Bar, The North Face and Black Diamond. Watch footage from the 2012 FWT at Moonlight online, at vimeo.com/39292338.