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“The North Face Masters" BIG MOUNTAIN Snowboarding Tour to Launch 2008

January 11, 2008

The North Face and Mountain Sports International Announce the Launch of “The North Face Masters" 2008 BIG MOUNTAIN Snowboarding Tour

Snowbird, Utah, and Alyeska, Alaska, to host long awaited big mountain snowboard competition

Enthusiastically expanding competition opportunities in the sport of big mountain snowboarding, The North Face and Mountain Sports International (MSI) proudly unveil The North Face Masters, a two-stop tour designed to cater to the motivation, talent and skill of world-class big mountain snowboarders.

“Open big mountain competition is very exciting to the development of the sport,” said world-renowned rider and The North Face athlete, Johan Olofsson. “With the simplicity of a starting line, mixed terrain, and a finish line, what each snowboarder opts to go for during their runs will be the result of creativity, skill, and risk.”

The North Face Masters features a $45,000 cash prize purse and an opportunity for big mountain snowboarders to pit themselves against athlete and mountain alike.

The North Face Masters kicks off at Snowbird, Utah, February 8-11, where competitors can look forward to the notoriously challenging Little Cottonwood Canyon terrain littered with chutes, cliff drops, and the legendary lake-effect Utah powder. The North Face will award male and female champions of The North Face Masters, Snowbird, the chance to continue their winning streak at The North Face Masters tour in Alaska. Airfare, lodging, and entry to The North Face Masters, Alyeska, AK, will also be awarded to the male and female winners of these other big mountain competitions:

• Nissan Mammoth Quest (Jan 14 -17, 2008)
• Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom (February 8-10, 2008)

Stop number two will bring competitors to the epic venue of Alyeska Resort, Alaska, April 2-6, to push their limits against the Chugach Range’s palette of jaw-dropping steeps, couloirs, and wide-open Alaskan faces. Adding even more incentive, final round athletes of the Alyeska event will be rewarded with a heli-drop at the start of the Finals, courtesy of Chugach Powder Guides, where they will compete in the final run on an area of Alyeska Resort named “Big League,” a section of the mountain not open to the public until 2010.

“With the creation of The North Face Masters, the riders who live and breathe this aspect of snowboarding finally have a stage on which to show off their skills and creativity,” said Jason Ford, Group Publisher for Future US, home of Future Snowboarding magazine, The North Face Masters media partner. “It’s been a long time since the U.S. has taken a good look at the big mountain side of the sport, so this is a huge opportunity for the riders, as well as the spectators!”

With the induction of the The North Face Masters 2008 comes the gathering of the big mountain snowboarding tribe from all over the world. All male and female snowboarding competitors over the age of 18 are welcomed to participate.

“Today's riders are redefining what is possible—they're taking the tricks and skills learned in the terrain parks to the big mountain environment,” said Joe Flannery, Vice President of Marketing for The North Face. “As a company that was born in the mountains, we're excited to see today’s brightest snowboarding stars with a venue that celebrates what they do.”

Fans of big mountain snowboarding can also catch same-day live coverage of the Semi-Final and Final rounds on the event website, where there are complete videos, photos, athlete profiles, detailed event schedules, registration information and more.