MISSOULA, Mont. -

Sunday afternoon crowds of spectators headed up to Montana Snowbowl to watch skiers from around the nation compete in an annual competition.

For over 35 years during the last week of February Snowbowl has hosted a ‘gelande’ or ski jumping championship.

The competition features skiers on alpine equipment who jump as far as they can after dropping between two narrow cliffs. 

Professional ski jumpers tell us the goal is to jump as far as 200 feet through the air and stick a solid landing. 

NBC Montana caught up with one professional ski jumper from Wyoming who compares the experience to flying.

“It really is just about the closest thing to flying,” said gelande competitor Darin Gamba.  “It's just so fun to go off the jump and have the wind actually push you in the air and you can feel it and it kind of slide through it.”

Sunday’s Snowbowl festivities weren't limited to adults; young skiers up to age 14 traveled from around the state to compete in slalom skiing.

“It's just so much fun and you get to learn a lot and have a fun time with your friends,” said Bridger Mountain Ski Team member Sam Saarel. 

NBC Montana chatted with one competitor from Bozeman who said he likes events like these because he gets to make new friends and race.

“The competition is really tough but it's kind of fun to have competition because then when you win you're like ‘yes, I win!” said Bridger Mountain Ski Team member Kolter Stevenson. 

It may have been cold on the mountain but the competition was hot.

For more information about Snowbowl’s annual ski competitions click here.