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Verbier takes snowboarding to the extreme

A snowboarder jumps into a 55 degree couloir on the top of the Bec des Rosses

(Keystone Archive)

Some of the world's best freestyle snowboarders are expected to descend on Verbier from March 23 to 25 to test their daredevil skills in a competition which is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Verbier, known for its challenging slopes, is hosting the "Red Bull Xtreme" event for the sixth time.

Snowboarders will try to impress judges with their style and daring cliff jumps on the slopes of the north face of the Bec des Rosses. The steep face includes a 500-metre vertical drop.

The riders will be competing for $50,000 (SFr84,000) in prize money.

On the day of the competition (March 24), the snowboarders will walk to the summit of the Bec des Rosses, accompanied by guides, before taking their turn at impressing the judges and public.

A jury selected from the crowd will join a panel of experienced snowboarders in judging competitors' performances.

About 5,000 people are expected to follow the competition from an "event village" set up below the north face of the mountain. Food, drinks, DJs and sideshows will keep spectators entertained. Among the attractions will be stunts performed by paragliders and parachutists, and a demonstration of the local tradition of cow fighting.

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