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Smokin’ Aces competition to feature evening rail jam

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Big Sky Resort will host the Montana Slopestyle Championship, a festival-style skiing and snowboarding competition held the weekend of March 25 in the Swifty and Swifty 2.0 terrain parks. This year the event will kick off with a rail jam in the Swifty 2.0 park the evening of Friday, March 24 and the Slopestyle Championship event will follow on Saturday.

This is the fourth year Big Sky has hosted a Smokin’ Aces event, and event director Billy Marcial expects more than 70 competitors to turn out. “The terrain park crew at Big Sky does an outstanding job and we are excited to kick off our event with a rail jam Friday,” Marcial said.

Last winter Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Whitefish Mountain Resort and Big Sky Resort hosted the 2016 Smokin’ Aces Tour, a three-stop freestyle competition series. This winter the events have been narrowed down to two state championship events, one at Big Sky Resort and another at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho.

Marcial said the switch to a festival-style event helps increase sponsor interest and allows more skiers and snowboarders to compete. “The first year we started there were very few competitions in the region so it made sense to spread the events over the winter. Now there are more sanctioned events being organized, which is a great sign of the growth in the sport, so it makes sense for us to have a one-stop state championship style event.”

The Montana Championship is open to all athletes, with no license or membership fees.“These events are open to all skiers and snowboarders and spectators are welcome,” Marcial said, adding that Smokin’ Aces events are among the most well attended freestyle competitions in the region.

Preregistration for the event is available online and competitors can register the day of the event in the Mammoth Room of Mountain Mall from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Training will take place Saturday morning with the event scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.

The rail jam will include three divisions in both skiing and snowboarding: amateurs, open and women. Registration for the Rail Jam takes place at the bottom of Swifty 2.0 terrain park on Friday from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

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