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Today in Stoke: Silverton Mountain to host 2011 Red Bull Cold Rush freeskiing contest

Huge news from Silverton Mountain this week: The Red Bull Cold Rush big mountain and big air freeskiing competition is coming to Colorado, March 14-18, after being held in Canada (first at Red Mountain, then at Retallack Lodge) each year since its inception in 2007.

"We worked closely with Red Bull on the Shaun White Project X private halfpipe in 2009, and I think being at Silverton when that was happening helped show Red Bull what we have to offer in terms of terrain and snow," says Silverton co-founder Jen Ader Brill. "If they needed any more convincing that we were the right venue for the Cold Rush after that, I think opening up 22,000 acres of heli-skiing terrain this year certainly did the trick."

Look for the list of competitors to include last year's top three men's finishers (Sean Pettit, Dash Longe, and Dave Treadway) and top three women's finishers (Suzanne Graham, Grete Eliassen, and Claudia Bouvier) as well as skiers like Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Dane Tudor, and Tim Durtschi. This year's Cold Rush field is expected to include at least 15 men and five women: By Cold Rush tradition, the athletes will vote amongst themselves to determine the winner.

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"Silverton Mountain is one of the premiere big mountain destinations, and bringing this event here pretty much confirms it," says co-founder Aaron Brill. "I'm excited to see what these athletes can do with the mountain, and the terrain for the event itself will probably end up being a combination of our lift-served and hike-to runs and whatever we can get to in the helicopter. If you look at all the people who have won the Cold Rush events up in Canada, it's mostly been the young bucks. But I think Silverton just might favor a more experienced skier and change the playing field."

How gnarly is this competition? Check out Red Bull's highlight reel from the 2010 Cold Rush at Retallack Lodge in British Columbia (below) to get a sense of it.

For more on Silverton Mountain and how to get a piece of all that powder for yourself, check out The Edge, our 2010-2011 winter activity guide.

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