Photo: Chris Kendig


DECEMBER 6-8, 2024

Ranked as the number one overall stop by the athletes and coaches who participate, the Beaver Creek Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup has become legendary in the ski world.

Beaver Creek Mountain is home to the formidable Birds of Prey racecourse, challenging an international roster of top athletes for one week of racing featuring Men’s Alpine Super G, GS, and Downhill competitions.

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December 3, 2024


December 4, 2024


December 5, 2024



Friday, Dec. 6, 2024


Saturday, Dec. 7, 2024



Sunday, Dec. 8, 2024


Birds of Prey

RACE History

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 2,470 feet (757 meters) and contains an average gradient of 31 percent (17 degrees), with a maximum of 63 percent (32 degrees). 

The first competition on Birds of Prey took place December 2-6, 1997, with a pair of men’s World Cup Downhill races and a men’s World Cup Super-G.  The course was officially opened with a ceremonial Native American blessing, performed by tribal elder Red Ute, along with a traditional ribbon cutting.

Germany’s Stefan Krauss was the first racer down Birds of Prey in the opening day of Downhill training and Italy’s Kristian Ghedina was the first race winner, capturing the opening Downhill on December 4, with a time of 1:41.16.  The remaining two races of the inaugural weekend of competition were won by Austrians Andreas Schifferer (Downhill #2) and Hermann Maier (Super-G).

During the 1999 Championships, Birds of Prey was the site of the first ever World Championships gold medal tie as Maier and Norway’s Lasse Kjus each mined gold for their Super-G efforts, with times that were identical down to the thousandth of a second.  Maier’s Austrian teammate Hans Knauss finished third, a mere one-hundredth of a second off the pace.

An estimated 20,000 spectators were on hand Feburary 6 of 1999 to witness the World Championships men’s Downhill competition, the largest crowd in U.S. ski racing history.  The race was won by Austria’s Hermann Maier, one of his record eight victories on Birds of Prey.

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.  That win also ended a 19-year American Downhill victory drought on U.S. soil, marking the first time since Bill Johnson’s 1984 Downhill win in Aspen that an American male had stood on the top step of a World Cup Downhill podium in the United States.

History was also made on Birds of Prey in 2004 with the one-two American Downhill finish of Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves, marking the first time that U.S. men have claimed the top two spots in a World Cup Downhill and the first time since Phil and Steve Mahre captured gold and silver medals in slalom at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo that Americans had gone one-two in any discipline.

FIS alpine world ski championships Host

The Vail Valley Foundation, organizers of the Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup, have also played a key role in the Local Organization of three FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (1989, 1999, and 2015).


(SG) Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

(DH) Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

(SG) Marco Odermatt

(SG) Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

(DH) Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

(SG) Marco Odermatt

(DH) Beat Feuz

(GS) Tommy Ford

 (DH) Beat Feuz

 (SG) Max Franz

 (GS) Stefan Luitz

 (SG) Vincent Kriechmayr

 (DH) Aksel Lund Svindal

 (GS) Marcel Hirscher

 (DH) Aksel Lund Svindal

 (SG) Marcel Hirscher

 (GS) Marcel Hirscher


  (DH) Kjetil Jansrud  

 (SG) Hannes Reichelt

(GS) Ted Ligety


 (DH) Aksel Lund Svindal

 (SG) Patrick Kueng  

 (GS) Ted Ligety


(DH) Lara Gut 

(SG) Lara Gut

(GS) Jessica Lindell-Vikarby

(DH) Christof Innerhofer 

(SG) Matteo Marsaglia 

(GS) Ted Ligety


(DH) Bode Miller

(SG) Sandro Viletta  

(GS) Marcel Hirscher 


(WSG) Lindsey Vonn 

(S) Marcel Hirscher

(GS) Ted Ligety

(SG) Georg Streitberger

(GS) Ted Ligety

(SC) Carlo Janka

(SG) Carlo Janka

(GS) Carlo Janka

 (DH) Aksel Lund Svindal

 (SG) Aksel Lund Svindal

 (GS) Benjamin Raich

 (SC) Daniel Albrecht

 (DH) Michael Walchhofer

 (GS) Daniel Albrecht

 (SG) Hannes Reichelt

 (SC) Aksel Lund Svindal

 (DH) Bode Miller

 (GS) Massimiliano Blardone

 (S) Andre Myhrer

 (DH) Daron Rahlves

 (SG) Hannes Reichelt

 (GS) Bode Miller

 (S) Giorgio Rocca

 (DH) Bode Miller

 (SG) Stephan Goergl

 (GS) Lasse Kjus

 (S) Benjamin Raich

 (DH) Daron Rahlves

 (DH) Hermann Maier

 (SG) Bjarne Solbakken

 (DH) Stephan Eberharter

 (SG) Didier Cuche

 (DH) Hermann Maier

 (SG) Fredrik Nyberg

 (DH) Hermann Maier

 (SG) Hermann Maier

 (GS) Hermann Maier

 (S) Didier Plaschy

 (DH) Kristian Ghedina

 (DH) Andreas Schifferer

 (SG) Hermann Maier

 (DH) Fritz Strobl

 (DH) Pernilla Wiberg

 (S) Andreas Schifferer

 (SG) Katja Seizinger

 (GS) Michael Von Gruenigen

 (GS) Deborah Compagnoni

 (S) Lara Magoni

 (S) Finn Christian Jagge

 (DH) Renate Goetschl

 (SG) Svetlana Gladishiva

 (GS) Martina Ertl

 (GS) Michael Von Gruenigen

 (S) Elfie Eder

 (S) =Michael Tritscher

 (DH) Luc Alphand

 (SG) Lasse Kjus

 (GS) Blanca Fernandez-Ochoa

 (DH) Hilary Lindh

 (SG) Sylvia Eder

 (GS) Heidi Zeller-Baehler

 (DH) William Besse

 (DH) Katja Seizinger

 (SG) Jan Einar Thorsen

 (SG) Diann Roffe-Steinrotter

 (GS) Kjetil Andre Aamodt

 (GS) Martina Ertl

 (S) Vreni Schneider

 (DH) Miriam Vogt

 (SG) Ulrike Maier

 (DH) Katja Seizinger

 (SG) Merete Fjedavlie

 (DH) Sabine Ginther

 (DH) Chantal Bournissen

 (SG) Regine Moesenlechner

 (GS) Anita Wachter

 (GS) Vreni Schneider

 (DH) Franz Heinzer

 (DH) Peter Mueller

 (SG) Frank Piccard

 (DH) Sigrid Wolf

 (SG) Marina Kiehl

 (SG) Maria Walliser

 (DH) Pam Fletcher

 (SG) Marina Kiehl

 (DH) Katrin Gutensohn

 (S) Robert Zoller

 (GS) Ingemar Stenmark

 (GS) Phil Mahre

 (GS) Tamara McKinney

 (GS) Jean Claude Killy

Photo Reel