The Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom is one of the coolest events around. The LBS event staff always takes care of the competitors really well, with lots of salmon, hot beverages at the top of the course, and a really fun course to ride. This year’s event will be 2/11-2/13. Check out Mt. Baker’s website for more info.
The North Face Masters of Snowboarding enters its 4th season in existence. Last year participants included Travis Rice, Mark Carter, Lucas DeBari, and Sammy Luebke, and it seems like more big names show up each year. The first stop will be at Snowbird, Utah on 1/20-1/23. The second stop will be at Crystal Mountain 2/6-2/9, conveniently right before the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom. The final stop will be at Kirkwood on 3/3-3/6, on the Cirque, pictured below. This year’s finals are also part of the Freeride World Tour, so expect to see some of the top Euros on that tour paying a visit. Details of how the two tours will work together are yet to be published, but I’d expect to see a qualifying round or two, with prequalified athletes from both tours skipping the first round. Registration for the TNF Masters series opens on 12/7, and is limited to the first 100 or so competitors. The spots have been filling up faster and faster each year.
The other events to keep on your radar are Tailgate Alaska and King of the Hill, on Thompson Pass in Valdez, AK. Official dates haven’t been announced yet, but I’d keep the end of March through the beginning of April clear if you’re interested in participating; some riders even tailgate for over a month, camping at the ABA helipad and office. Below are a few shots from last year’s event.
That sums it up for the major freeride comps in North America for this season (that I know of). Please let me know if you know of others!