MOONLIGHT BASIN SKI AREA

The Freeride World Tour Qualifier is returning to Moonlight Basin steep, north-facing Headwaters cirque March 14-18. The event will give athletes a chance to qualify for next year’s Swatch Freeride World Tour.

Last season, Moonlight held the sole qualifier stop on the tour, giving regional athletes a chance to pre-qualify for 2013 spots.

“We can’t wait to see what the competitors pull off this year, as last year’s competition was amazing to watch,” said Greg Pack, president and general manager of Moonlight Basin. “The Headwaters terrain is some of the most challenging inbounds skiing you will find and Moonlight is excited to watch these athletes showcase their talents.”

This season the event is back as a four-star qualifier for the Freeride World Tour, the highest rating for qualifying event without being a championship level event.

With the newly unified merger of North Face Masters of Snowboarding, Swatch Freeride World Tour, and Subaru Freeskiing World Tour, Moonlight Basin will host one of 40 qualifier events for the Freeride World Qualifier tour.

“After scouring the western United States resorts [in 2011], we found many good options to host a qualifier, but we chose Moonlight Basin over the rest based on their unique terrain and resort culture that embraces freeskiing,” said event director Bryan Barlow.

The event is also part of the Subaru Freeride Series, a series made up of three four-star Freeride World Qualifier events in the United States.

Skiers will be judged on five categories: line difficulty, control, fluidity and air, while losing points for crashes.

Moonlight Basin encourages spectators to watch the competition and cheer on the skiers from the finish line in Stillwater Bowl on Friday, March 15 for qualifying runs and on Saturday, March 16 for the finals. The event arrives at Moonlight March 14, and March 17 and 18 are reserved for inclement weather days.