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Women to Test Full Raptor Downhill

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
November, 21 2013

BEAVER CREEK, CO (Nov. 21) - The Best in the World U.S. women's speed team and a top field of international alpine athletes will have a true 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships test next week thanks to early season snowfall and premium snowmaking temperatures at Beaver Creek. Taking advantage of the ideal weather conditions, Beaver Creek Mountain operations crews have successfully prepared the full length of the new Raptor women's downhill for the inaugural Nature Valley Raptor Women's World Cup Week. The official announcement was made Thursday morning following careful analysis of overall mountain conditions and tremendous teamwork between snowmaking, grooming, race operations staff and volunteers. The Nov. 29-Dec. 1 races will feature downhill, super G and giant slalom on the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships women's venue.


  • The Nov. 29-Dec. 1 Nature Valley Raptor Women's World Cup week will feature a full-length test of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships downhill.
  • Tremendous work by Beaver Creek Mountain operations and favorable weather conditions allowed the organizers to make the announcement on Nov. 21.
  • The Best in the World U.S. women's speed team was able to train on sections of the course last spring, but the inaugural training run on Nov. 26 will be the first top-to-bottom run on the brand-new venue.
  • The three-race series will be precluded by three downhill training runs, followed by the first women's downhill of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season on Nov. 29. A super G is set for Nov. 30 and a giant slalom on Dec. 1.
  • Under the original scenario, the women were slated to run on a “hybrid” course comprised of the upper half of the new Raptor track and the lower half of the men’s Birds of Prey course. Optimal early season conditions have allowed the resort to not only complete the hybrid course, but to also open nearly triple the amount of acreage that was opened last year at this time, which is great news for mountain guests traveling to next week’s opening.
  • The men will still utilize the hybrid course for their races the following week.
  • The new Raptor women's speed course was cut over the past two summers in anticipation of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. 
  • The new downhill course incorporates portions of Solitude, Peregrine and Golden Eagle, along with two new cuts that have been dubbed Kestrel on the trail map. The course, located skier’s right of Birds of Prey, will join the men’s course at the Red Tail Jump and then flow into the current finish arena.
  • The 2013 FIS Beaver Creek World Cup Weeks are a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on Birds of Prey, visit  

Julia Mancuso, Olympic gold medalist
It's incredible they were able to get our full course up and running. We know how hard it is to prepare a hill this early in the season, so thanks Beaver Creek. Raptor will be difficult and a good challenge for the first race of the season.

Ceil Folz, President, Vail Valley Foundation
Having the ladies be able to run their full course was the ultimate goal for next week’s races. Hats off to our partners at Beaver Creek for making this happen. The World Cup ladies are going to be extremely appreciative of the tremendous effort that Beaver Creek Mountain put forth to make this a reality.

Doug Lovell, Chief Operating Officer, Beaver Creek Resort
We’re grateful to our mountain teams as we’re poised to have one of our better openings in recent years. We’re thrilled to provide the ladies with their new test track and offer so much terrain to our guests the first week of our season.

Calum Clark, Vice President Event, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
Beaver Creek has time and time again proven to be the best in the world at buidling and executing the international standard for World Cup organization. The effort that went into making a true test of the 2015 World Championship venue possible has taken their committment to the legacy of alpine ski racing in America to a completely new level.

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