BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (Dec. 14) – U.S. Snowboarding and The Arctic Challenge have partnered to add the Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix as the only North American qualifier to The Oakley Arctic Challenge (TAC) this season. The top three riders from the Saturday, Dec. 16 Paul Mitchell Progression Session, featuring a 30-foot quarterpipe in downtown Breckenridge, will receive entry into the prestigious event hosted by snowboarding icon Terje Haakonsen in Norway this March.

“To be able to team up with The Arctic Challenge and Oakley is huge for U.S. Snowboarding and the Grand Prix,” said Jeremy Forster, U.S. Snowboarding program director. “It validates that we are putting on some of the highest level contests that focus on providing the riders the best venues and overall contest experience. Partnering with TAC along with Mountain Creek being a 5-star TTR (Ticket to Ride) event this season continues to raise the level of the Grand Prix series.”

Luke Mitrani (Mammoth Lakes, CA) highlighted the event last December with a towering method air of 31-feet above the lip of the quarterpipe via snowmobile tow-in, sending him 61-feet above the parking lot packed with thousands of fans.

Grand Prix venue designer Pat Malendoski of Planet Snow Designs will again build the feature in downtown Breckenridge located in the Miners Parking Lot right in the middle of downtown Breckenridge. All the snow for the event has been trucked in and the quarterpipe is once again anticipated to be right about 30-feet high. Plus in keeping with the Grand Prix tradition of combining entertainment with the world’s best snowboarding competition, DJ Roots and DJ Vajra will perform live during and after the downtown exhibition.

“One of the goals of the Grand Prix is to host events that truly push the progression of the sport of snowboarding. Having the event be a qualifier for The Arctic Challenge legitimizes this goal and helps to solidify the Grand Prix as the premier snowboarding series in North America,” said Grand Prix Director Eric Webster.

“There are two elements that must be in place to make this year’s TAC event a true success: First, the perfect arena and second, the ultimate rider list. By partnering with an exclusive group of events as the Grand Prix in Breckenridge, we know we’re getting the best riders out there.” Henning Andersen, CEO of TAC said.

A total of 24 riders will receive entry into TAC with further qualifiers taking place in Europe and Scandinavia in January and February. TAC opens Monday, Feb. 26, giving riders six days to session the quarterpipe prior to the finals on Saturday, March 3.

Fans can tune into Versus (formerly OLN) on Christmas Eve at 6:00 p.m. ET to see all the action from the Paul Mitchell Progression Session in downtown Breckenridge.