MT. CRESTED BUTTE, CO. — Beginning March 25, skiers will descend upon Crested Butte, Colorado, to participate in what has become thenation's best-known freeskiing competition: the historic 12th Annual SAAB U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships, March 25-29, 2003 at CrestedButte Mountain. Bursting on the scene will be the latest unknown talent-creating future superstars-and it's all about egos, attitudes and going for the "sickest line and "phattest air.
"This now legendary event is responsible for popularizing extreme skiing and has showcased to the world some of themost daring in-bounds, big mountain terrain in the U.S., said Gina Kroft, CBMR's marketing communications VP andevent co-founder. "The competition has repeatedly identified future stars, continued Kroft, "with some of the bestknown freeskiers in the country -- people like Kim Reichhelm, Dave "Swany Swanwick, Seth Morrison, Brant Moles,Shane McConkey, Noel Lyons and Alison Gannett -- entering as either unknowns or 'up and comers' until they camehere, competed and took top honors in the U.S. Extremes. Extreme skiing is now a term that has all but lost itsmeaning — the competitors on the extreme circuit are now referred to as "Freeskiers.
More than 160 competitors, mostly aggressive young skiers will come to Crested Butte's rugged, backcountry-styleExtreme Limits hoping to launch themselves further in their sport and possibly into stardom. These infamous 448acres of double-black diamond, ungroomed, expert-only terrain are some of the steepest lift-served terrain in NorthAmerica. Any skier can qualify to enter, based solely on ability.
Crested Butte is a natural haven for freeskiing because of its abundant snowfall and unique mountain. Although thelower part of the mountain mellows into prime intermediate and beginner slopes, the steep, ragged, higher slopes canchallenge any skier or rider on the planet.
The 2001 events brought the first-ever junior category to the competition. Due to its tremendous success, thefourteen to seventeen-year old competitors have become a main-stay and will be back again this year. "The talentand athleticism of these competitors is truly a sign of the support these young men and women receive from theirfamilies, said Kroft. "Reaching out to the youth market through these type of events is necessary to develop andcapture the hearts and minds of teenagers in order to grow our sport.