Crested Butte Mountain Resort celebrates 20 years of hosting the U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships this week, a truly extreme action sports event that predates the X Games and other extremism in sports lexicography by about four years. The resort bills itself as "the birthplace of Big Mountain competitions," and it's celebrating another big anniversary this season: 50 years in the big mountain biz.
Junior competition started yesterday, Freeskiing World Tour qualifiers start tomorrow, and the big show is on Saturday for the Freeskiing World Tour Final, part of the The Subaru Freeskiing World Tour. At stake? The McConkey Cup, named in honor of big mountain skiing legend Shane McConkey.
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The word "extreme" has been thrown around a lot in these sports over the last two decades, so much that it's fallen out of favor. But at Crested Butte it's still the most appropriate word choice: The Extreme Freeskiing Championships are duked out on slopes as steep as 45 degrees and littered with boulders, cliffs and trees. It's also been dumping this year, particularly this week, and it's supposed to keep snowing through the competition, which means it'll be a big mountain powder competition, too, the best kind. Head to Crested Butte to see it in person, or watch it from the comfort of your desk: This year's Extremes will be webcast live at www.FreeskiingWorldTour.com