The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series Announces 2013 Schedule

Falling in line with the anticipation of a great winter, The North Face today announced venues for The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS).
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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (Oct. 29, 2012)– As the first traces of snow dust North American mountain peaks, freeskiing athletes everywhere are revving up for another exciting winter competition season. Falling in line with the anticipation of a great winter, The North Face today announced venues for The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS), including Copper Mountain, CO (Dec. 8-9); Whistler Blackcomb, BC (Jan. 14-17); Waterville Valley, NH (Feb. 23) and Northstar California Resort, CA (March 8-10).

“This year's events are perfectly scheduled to provide prime advancement opportunities for athletes ready to take their freeskiing career to the next level,” said Barb Hamblett PPOS Event Director with Mountain Sports International, Inc. (MSI). “Spectators can expect to see exciting top level competition at all four PPOS stops this season.”

All four PPOS events are part of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) competition schedule. The Copper Mountain and Northstar California Resort stops will both be International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned NORAM CUP events with athletes earning FIS points. Athlete registration for all four PPOS stops will open Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 at 10 a.m. MST.

“FIS is excited to be able to integrate The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series events in Copper Mountain, CO and Northstar, CA into the 2012-13 FIS Freestyle NORAM CUP,” said Konrad X Rotermund FIS Freestyle Continental Cup Coordinator-Americas. “These events will provide a great opportunity for athletes to get their needed FIS points to be part of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games qualification process and/or earn the opportunity to be the NORAM CUP Champion. Recognizing schedules are very full in North America, it is great to be able to cooperate with the already established PPOS events to give the athletes multiple avenues to meet their competitive goals in a single event.”

Founded in 2010, The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS) features slopestyle and halfpipe skiing competitions with $55,000 in total prize value up for grabs. As one of the only open-format event series, amateurs have the opportunity to compete alongside top pros.

"The North Face is excited to bring yet another season of freeskiing competition opportunities to athletes, both professional and amateur, across North America," said The North Face Director of Sports Marketing Katie Ramage. "The progression of the sport of freeskiing is important to us, and this competition format is another way for us to support that movement."

Slopestyle skiing takes place in a venue comprised of man-made features such as rails, boxes and jumps contained on a single slope. Halfpipe skiing takes place in a halfpipe similar to those used for halfpipe snowboarding. Skiers accelerate through the pipe to gain increased height jumping out of the halfpipe while simultaneously executing challenging grabs, spins, flips and other maneuvers. Skiers string together a series of aerials from the halfpipe in a single run. Judging is based on overall impression, including content, difficulty of run, style and use of park or pipe. Both slopestyle and halfpipe skiing will make their Olympic debut in 2014 at the Sochi, Russia Winter Games.

The PPOS will work in conjunction with the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) on competition judging with Steele Spence serving as head judge for the series.

“The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series is very important for North American freeskiing athletes,” said Steele Spence, PPOS series head judge. “The series is a stepping stone for athletes hoping to progress to the top level of competition. The events are very well organized with a full panel of AFP certified judges and courses at world-class resorts.”

2012-13 PPOS Series Schedule
Copper Mountain, Colorado (FIS Event) - December 8-9, 2012
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia - January 14-17,2013
Waterville Valley, New Hampshire - February 23, 2013
Northstar California Resort, California (FIS Event) - March 8-10, 2013

For athlete or registration information visit www.thenorthfaceppos.com or contact Julia Jimmerson MSI athlete relations manager at jjimmerson@mtsports.com or (801) 349-4616.

For media or general information contact Jessica Kunzer MSI marketing and communications director at jkunzer@mtsports.com or (801) 349-2612.

Follow The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series on Facebook at facebook.com/thenorthfaceppos and on Twitter at twitter.com/TNFParkandPipe and #PPOS.

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The North Face
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company's products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers, and major outdoor specialty retail chains. For more information, go to www.thenorthface.com.

Association of Freeskiing Professionals
In 2007 world-class athletes and ski industry professionals formed the AFP to ensure the progression of the sport, its athletes and its culture were maintained while bringing freeskiing to a mainstream audience. By uniting events worldwide under one true world ranking and implementing standards to ensure consistency in judging, competition scheduling and event sanctioning requirements, the AFP has legitimized the sport of freeskiing. This is evidenced by the global acknowledgement of the AFP World Ranking, and most recently the inclusion of Halfpipe and Slopestyle skiing in the 2014 Olympics.
For more information about the AFP, the World Tour and the World Ranking, please visit www.afpworldtour.com.

2012-13 FIS Freestyle NorAm Cup
2012-13 FIS Freestyle NorAm Cup is a competitive series of events, primarily designed to provide opportunity for United States and Canadian Athletes in Freestyle Skiing to gain pre-world cup experience. As a region of the FIS International Continental Cup worldwide series of events, the NORAM CUP is part of the path to the World Cup, World Ski Championships and Olympic Winter Games for all Freestyle Skiing athletes. This seasons NORAM CUP will host 36 Events in 16 Locations for both Lady and Men athletes in the Olympic Freestyle Skiing disciplines of ski cross, moguls, halfpipe, slopestyle and aerials with total prize purse of over $120,000 to be awarded.

Mountain Sports International, Inc. (MSI)
Mountain Sports International (MSI) is a private company, founded in 1997, to develop and produce action/adventure sports events and programming in North America. MSI operates the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face, in addition to several other properties and concepts. MSI launched MSI Live in 2009, to provide live HD webcast production, content management, encoding, and satellite uplink & delivery. MSI provides event management services, infrastructure and expertise for high-end brands, including The North Face, Red Bull, Subaru, UFC, Burton and Sierra Nevada. MSI matches brand and culture, company and credibility, to create sought-after events that help to define the action sports culture. For more information, visit www.mtsports.com.

Contact:
Jessica Kunzer
Mountain Sports International, Inc. | Communications and Marketing Director
O: (801) 349-4612
jkunzer@mtsports.com
Skype IM: UtahPowderGirl

Barb Hamblett
Mountain Sports International, Inc. | Event Director
O: (603) 502-1034
bhamblett@mtsports.com

Lindsey Sine
The North Face | PR Coordinator, Action Sports and Outdoor
O: (510) 748-2672
lindsey_sine@vfc.com

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