Birds of Prey gets the nod | VailDaily.com
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Birds of Prey gets the nod

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK ” Give them cold, and they’ll make snow.

Friday, the International Ski Federation confirmed the race schedule for next week’s Birds of Prey World Cup at Beaver Creek.

“We’ve had three really good nights of snowmaking,” said John Dakin of the Vail Valley Foundation, which puts on the races. “Cold temperatures and (Chief of course) Greg (Johnson) and all of his troops on the course have helped ensure that we will be racing next week.

A streak of warmer-than-normal days and a lack of snow had put a delay in course preparations for the races, which start Tuesday with downhill training and finish on Sunday with a giant slalom.

“Kudos for everyone on the hill, not only to what has been accomplished over the last few nights, but what was done back in October on the upper part of the course, which is the toughest part to get ready because it’s the steepest,” Dakin said.

There is still some course work that needs to be done around the Abyss and by the compression out of the Golden Eagle jump.

“Then we really need to focus on is everything outside the fences ” the area in and around the stadium, so we have snow platforms for the tents and enough snow to put fencing and polls around the finish area, and the access roads up to the course,” Dakin said.

Not only has Beaver Creek been able to work on the race course, but it also has been blowing snow on trails open to the public.

“This is all part of the plan,” Dakin said. “You’re not detracting one from the other.”

With the mostly man-made surface on Birds of Prey, Dakin expects the course to be faster than normal.

“It’s going to be a wild ride up there because every ripple in that course is going to be apparent unless we get a large amount of natural snow that fills in the terrain,” he said. “These guys better come from Lake Louise with their chin straps buckled.”

The men are in Lake Louise, Alberta, for a downhill today and a super-G Sunday.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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