Specials Reviews

Posted by: Travel Addict

Beaver Creek Men's Alpine World Cup

Beaver Creek, November 30 - December 2, 2012


As winter gets underway in the Vail Beaver Creek region and the area is expecting its first significant storm of this winter season, it’s time to start thinking about SKIING! Marking the opening week in Beaver Creek is the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup Alpine Men’s Ski Race. The race kicks off on Friday November 3, 2012 and concludes on Sunday, December 2, 2012 (schedule posted below).
Beaver Creek is the only US stop on the tour circuit and has been a World Cup circuit host since 1987 when the Birds of Prey run first opened in 1987. During the run’s opening week, the World Cup events which had been originally scheduled to occur in Val d’lsere, France, came to be hosted at Beaver Creek due to snow-challenged year. It became an annual event after a successful affair at the US location.
This year’s race gives US fans an opportunity to view the contenders for the World Cup championship. The Birds of Prey racecourse at the Beaver Creek ski resort in Colorado was built in 1997 for the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships. The racecourse was designed by Bernard Russi, an Olympic Downhill gold medalist. The run starts at the top of chair lift #8.   When the course officially opened, Red Ute, a Native American tribal elder, performed the opening and traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Fun Facts about the Beaver Creek World Cup:

-          During the 1999 Championships, Birds of Prey was the site of the first ever World Championships gold medal tie.  Austria’s Hermann Maier and Norway’s Lasse Kjus each earned the gold medal in the Super-G race, with times that were identical down to the thousandth of a second. 
-          On February 6, 1999, an estimated 20,000 spectators attended the World Championship Men’s Downhill competition, the largest crowd in U.S. ski racing history. 
-          The fastest World Cup or World Championships Downhill race time ever recorded on Birds of Prey is 1:39.59, courtesy of the U.S. Ski Team’s Daron Rahlves in 2003.

Beaver Creek World Cup Schedule:

Friday, November 30, 2012   11:00 AM   Men's Downhill Race Start Time
Saturday, December 1, 2012   11:00 AM   Men's Super G Race
Sunday, December 2, 2012    9:45 AM   Run 1, Men's Giant Slalom Race
Sunday, December 2, 2012   12:45 PM   Run 2, Men's Giant Slalom Race


Event Description:


Downhill racers attempt to be the fastest one down the mountain through a minimum number of control gates.  Speeds in Downhill often exceed 80 mph on major courses and require a hill with at least a 750 meter vertical drop. 

Downhill racers must have two training runs on a course before each race, although the second training run may be waived. 


Initially created in order to provide the Downhill specialists with an additional opportunity to score World Cup points, essentially giving the “speed” skiers two events, while the “technical” racers had Giant Slalom and Slalom.

A cross between Downhill and Giant Slalom, Super-G is a one-run event like Downhill, but with more frequent turns, ala Giant Slalom.  Unlike Downhill, however, there are no prior training runs for Super-G, just a racer inspection on the morning of the race.


Giant Slalom is the event characterized as being the discipline requiring the most technical skill as skiers race down the mountain through a faster and more open course than in Slalom, which requires the execution of many short, quick turns. 
The number of gates in a Giant Slalom course is determined by the vertical drop of the hill.  The event is staged in two runs, with the total time of each run added together to determine the final finish order.

In World Cup competition, the finish list from the first run is cut to the fastest 30 racers and reversed to determine the second run start order.  In Olympic or World Championships competition, all racers who finish the first run are allowed to take a second run.


Looking for a place to stay?  The Ritz Carlton Club in Bachelor Gulch, CO offers complimentary shuttle service from the Ritz Carlton resort and up to 8 free lift tickets per day to be used at Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, or Vail. For more information on the Birds of Prey World Cup Races, click here