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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek Racecourse

Updated: Dec 1, 2023



Beaver Creek Mountain is home to the formidable Birds of Prey racecourse.

The 2023 Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup races will feature two Downhill and one Super-G races.



December 1st Downhill 10:45 LOC / 18:45 CET

December 2nd Downhill 10:45 LOC / 18:45 CET

December 3rd Super-G 10:45 LOC / 18:45 CET



The Birds of Prey was the Men's racecourse for the 2015 World Championships. It is regarded as one of the most difficult Downhill courses in the world and features a vertical drop of 757 meters. With lower starting gates, it is also used for Super-G, Giant Slalom, and Slalom races.

The Birds of Prey is host to the only Men's Alpine Skiing World Cup event in the United States.

Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey racecourse was built during the summer of 1997 in preparation for the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships. Designed by Olympic Downhill gold medalist Bernhard Russi of Switzerland, Birds of Prey starts west of the top of Chair 8 and finishes at the bottom of Red Tail at the confluence of Chairs 10 and 11. The course features a vertical drop of 710 meters and contains an average gradient of 27 percent, increasing to 45 percent in the middle of the course and again in the final third of the course.

The first competition on Birds of Prey took place December, 1997, with two Men’s World Cup Downhill races and a Super-G.

The first World Cup race in the Birds of Prey racecourse was won by Italian Kristian Ghedina in December 4, 1997.

The fastest World Cup or World Championships Downhill race time ever recorded on Birds of Prey is 1:39.59, set in 2003 by the U.S. Ski Team’s Daron Rahlves.


Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek
Sam Morse. Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek. Picture: Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom

Facts Birds of Prey Downhill Racecourse:


The challenging Birds of Prey Downhill racecourse in Beaver Creek is one of the most brilliant tracks in the World Cup in terms of topography. After a decisive flat part (the Flyway) were they must pick up speed, skiers face a technical sharply turning steep track with 6 jumps named after birds of prey (Peregrine, Goshawk, Screech Owl, Golden Eagle, Harrier, and Red Tail). The first section, an iciest and gnarliest plunge called "The Brink", is the most challenging part. skiers are forced to tackle blindly before they face "The Talon" turn.

  • Altitude at the start: 3,483 m

  • Altitude at the finish line: 2,730 m

  • Vertical drop: 753 m

  • Length of race track: 2,623 m

  • Steepest section: 63%

  • Average gradient: 31%


Birds of Prey Downhill and Super-G Winners


1997

DH Kristian Ghedina, ITA

DH Andreas Schifferer, AUT

SG Hermann Maier, AUT


1999

DH Hermann Maier, AUT

SG Hermann Maier, AUT


2000

DH Hermann Maier, AUT

SG Fredrik Nyberg, SWE


2002

DH Stephan Eberharter, AUT

SG Didier Cuche, SUI


2003

DH Daron Rahlves, USA

DH Hermann Maier, AUT

SG Bjarne Solbakken, NOR


2004

DH Bode Miller, USA

SG Stephan Goergl, AUT

GS Lasse Kjus, NOR


2005

DH Daron Rahlves, USA

SG Hannes Reichelt, AUT


2006

DH Bode Miller, USA


2007

DH Michael Walchhofer, AUT

SG Hannes Reichelt, AUT


2008

DH Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR

SG Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR


2009

DH Carlo Janka, SUI


2010

SG Georg Streitberger, AUT


2011

DH Bode Miller, USA

SG Sandro Viletta, SUI


2012

DH Christof Innerhofer, ITA

SG Matteo Marsaglia, ITA


2013

DH Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR

SG Patrick Kueng, SUI


2014

DH Kjetil Jansrud, NOR

SG Hannes Reichelt, AUT


2015

DH Kjetil Jansrud, NOR

SG Marcel Hirscher, AUT


2017

SG Vincent Kriechmayr, AUT

DH Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR


2018

SG Max Franz, AUT

DH Beat Feuz, SUI


2019

DH Beat Feuz, SUI

SG Marco Odermatt, SUI


2021

SG Marco Odermatt, SUI

SG Aleksander Aadmot Kilde, NOR

DH Aleksander Aadmot Kilde, NOR


2022




Beaver Creek Resort is a major ski resort in the western United States, Colorado a few kilometers from Vail. Beaver Creek is one of the most luxurious and best winter sports resorts in America. The resort is owned and operated by Vail Resorts. The ski area has 150 km of slopes and 25 km of ski routes served by 25 ski lifts. The ski domain is located between 2,255 and 3,488 m.

Beaver Creek has also made a name for itself as a race organiser with the “Birds of Prey” Men’s World Cup Races.

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana.



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