Launching "The Talons’ | VailDaily.com

Launching "The Talons’

Stephen Lloyd Wood

At Saturday’s dedication of the new Birds of Prey Express Lift, Beaver Creek’s chief operating officer, John Garnsey, will introduce The Talons, an area newly identified as Beaver Creek’s most advanced terrain reaching from the Birds of Prey Express south to Grouse Mountain and west to Larkspur Bowl.

The new lift, which has been running since the World Cup visited Beaver Creek earlier this month, is key to a new marketing campaign aimed at expert skiers. The concept comes from a look at the trail map focusing on Red Tail Camp, known primarily as the venue for the annual Birds of Prey downhill race, part of the World Cup.

If the new strategy works, Red Tail Camp will become the base facility for a new area of sorts called The Talons; and the deck at Red Tail Camp now will be known as Talons Deck.

“In addition to being a great family mountain, we have some of the most challenging terrain in the Rockies,” says Garnsey. “The Talons Challenge encourages advanced skiers and riders to conquer our toughest slopes with one of our experienced instructors.”

Beaver Creek has established he Talons Challenge as the standard for taming the resort’s expert terrain. Offered exclusively through Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School and certified Talons instructors, the program invites experts from all ages in private or group lessons to test their skills.

Participants earn a special ski-pass lanyard and gold membership for completing one run from each of the three chair lifts rising out of The Talons area. Those who complete all 13 expert runs in The Talons area earn a special Talons pin, a lanyard and a platinum membership.

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Participants can devote several days throughout the year toward completing the challenge.

Platinum members, meanwhile, also will be recognized on the “Wall of Fame,” with each member’s name added to a plaque displayed in the school. They also are eligible to purchase personalized beer steins and receive discounts at Red Tail Camp.

For more information on the Talons and The Talons Challenge, call the Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School at 1-800-475-4543.