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Working at a WC - Birds of Prey

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Have the opportunity work the SG and Downhill, WC races at Beaver Creek in early December. Work would be on course prep and maint. About 5 days all day. Free snacks, lunch and employee lodging. No pay just volunteer work. What your opiniion, have any of you done this?

PROS. Get to watch WC racers up close and personal, spend a week with my best ski buddy in Colorado. Maybe get in some actual skiing, ski on my way home stopping at; Steamboat, Vail, JH, Targhee.

CONS. Either fly into Denver at get out to Beavercreek (how and recommendations?) Work all week instead of ski. I am leaning toward "if I am going to spend all this $ and time then maybe I should do it to ski not to help out as a volunteer. Whats the snow conitions the lst week of Dec? If I drive it is 1100 miles. Driving would give me more versatility, exspecially on the way home skiing and I could take my quiver.

Your opinions would be appreciated. thanks Pete
post #2 of 17
Unfortunately, the 1st week of December can be fabulous or horrible. Last year wasn't great. The year before was really good.

If you fly into Denver you can either rent a car to drive up or use Colorado Mountain Express which is a shuttle, now owned by Vail Resorts, that is popular.
post #3 of 17
WOW! What an opp., maybe never come along again. Thing is,it's a job and no vacation (pun). You are a work horse hauling gear on skis in any weather. It will make you a better skier. Go for it! PS-Take camera phone for pics.
post #4 of 17
Don't miss it. Working with a committed, well-oiled organization. Full Days. Early mornings. Your time is theirs. Good shwag. In your face racing. Hangin' with the big boys. A new eye-opening respect for what's done to host a race for so few. New friends and comraderie. Great stories and memories. Have a blast!

On the hill, plan to sweat. Be prepared to strip layers prior to soaking yourself. In your backpack: an autograph pen, a leatherman (don't lend), point and shoot camera, extra hat, gloves and goggles, snack food for 8-10 hours and a thermos. No poles. Have sharp skis. If it's good, it'll be slippery.

Keep your eyes up the hill!
post #5 of 17
All the hard work is done before the race week (safet and crowd control). If the weather is clear and cold, the majority of the work will be raking the rut and polishing the track. If it snows, then it can be a chore moving all the soft stuff.

If I was in your shoes I'd be confirming travel plans and making sure accreditations are in place
post #6 of 17
I would personally not make that sort of commitment. Think of how you'll feel if it dumps and you're working the course instead of skiing.
I've volunteered on the Aspen WC DH (years ago) and was able to basically drop in on the days I wanted to work--pushed snow off the track for half a day, slipped the course on race and training day (which was pretty fun--snowplowing the course at about 40mph, make sure you get a good partner), that sort of stuff. Didn't have to devote the entire day, got to ski, it was fun, and I got a lift ticket for each day (or part of a day). But on the days when it was really good at Highlands I could blow it off because I wasn't committed to helping out on the course.
I'm sure it'll be fun either way, but I could see it being frustrating if the skiing is really good and you're stuck with a shovel on the side of the course.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post
Unfortunately, the 1st week of December can be fabulous or horrible. Last year wasn't great. The year before was really good.

If you fly into Denver you can either rent a car to drive up or use Colorado Mountain Express which is a shuttle, now owned by Vail Resorts, that is popular.

All in the perspective! Didn't they get dumped on? Not good for racing but for the rest of us...
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by whygimf View Post
Don't miss it. Working with a committed, well-oiled organization. Full Days. Early mornings. Your time is theirs. Good shwag. In your face racing. Hangin' with the big boys. A new eye-opening respect for what's done to host a race for so few. New friends and comraderie. Great stories and memories. Have a blast!

On the hill, plan to sweat. Be prepared to strip layers prior to soaking yourself. In your backpack: an autograph pen, a leatherman (don't lend), point and shoot camera, extra hat, gloves and goggles, snack food for 8-10 hours and a thermos. No poles. Have sharp skis. If it's good, it'll be slippery.

Keep your eyes up the hill!
I would do it in a heart-beat!
post #9 of 17

I wouldn't...

...if you've never worked a race before, it's nothing but work. You won't even see the racers. For a tech event, you can see a lot of stuff, for speed events, you get to see one turn/one bump...maybe. Where I train Masters (Eldora), I am happy to give a weekend's worth of volunteer time for course crew for our annual FIS race. I figure I need to give back to the sport. And because it's a tech weekend, I get to see a lot of good stuff. But it's mostly work, and any sightseeing is an unexpected bonus...
post #10 of 17
It might be fun but sounds like a Ton of work!!
post #11 of 17
Pete, I worked the Snowbasin Olympics in 2002 (Downhill and Super G) and the attempted-but-snowed-out WC familiarization race the year before.

How much work it is really does depend on whether it snows. If it snows a lot overnight, every course crew member ends up working his/her butt off trying to move snow off the course. It's hard, sweaty, backbreaking work if you have a lot of snow to move.

If it doesn't snow, it's really not a huge amount of work once the course and all the netting is set. From then on, it's usually more a question of sideslipping, a little raking or shoveling, hauling things like gates and panels and netting around, etc.

I am *SO* glad I did it. I had a wonderful time and got to see these incredible racers right up close. No visual of ski racing compares to actually watching a downhiller go by about twenty yards away. TV coverage doesn't even begin to convey the power of the skiers, their balance and reactions, the hardness of the "snow", and the sheer, insane speed.

Yes, it'll be a lot of work. Yes, you'll wonder "What was I thinking!?!?!" if it snows hard and you're shoveling giant mounds of snow while everybody else is skiing powder. But it's something that any true fan of ski racing should experience. My advice would be to jump on the opportunity.

I've considered volunteering again for 2010.
post #12 of 17
I will be out there this year with a group from PA. I look forward toward regardless of the workload. It is the experience that matters most. So if you have the opportunity, Go!
post #13 of 17

Birds of Prey.... course prep volunteering....

Hi Pete-

Although you posted your EpicSki.com thread re: volunteering for the Birds of Prey WC race @ Beaver Creek back in August, I thought I would respond anyway. Perhaps my thoughts as someone who has experience volunteering at the Birds of Prey race can provide some helpful info. However, at this point in October, you may have already received lots of feedback and answers to some of your questions. I will be there this year as well. I will arrive from California at the end of November.

Firsts of all, you will not find or work with a better organization anywhere on the planet than the one that has the responsibility for putting this whole event together. That organization is the VAIL VALLEY FOUNDATION (vvf.org). They are top notch in every respect and due great things on many levels in and for the area mountain community.

So, your involvement will place you on a team within a large group of course prep workers called the "Talon Crew". There is a ton of work involved which could entail all or a combination of heavy lifting/carrying while on skis, shoveling snow, side slipping icy steeps, etc. Typically, the day begins quite early and ends late. With regard to your skis, I would recommend perhaps a second pair you may have as there may the potential of them getting dinged or the widdling down of edges.

With that said, the experience can be pretty physically draining, but very enriching and educational. However, more importantly, you will meet and potentially develop friendships and network with many like-minded people. You will see lots of behind the scenes activities... especially as the the first day of the races draws closer as racers, coaches, and the media arrive. Your contribution of time and muscle are highly appreciated by all involved at all levels of the event. They communicate their appreciation often, both verbally and materially.

You will receive a lift pass for both Beaver Creek and Vail during the full duration of dates of course prep and race days. Further, as you may know, with a minimum of four days of your time, you will receive a very nice brand name ski jacket embroidered with all event related logos and names. I often where my jacket from last year on the slopes and receive lots of compliments and questions about the race. In addition, the more days you can work, the more 'swag" you will receive.

I am actually looking at my paperwork for this year's race now. The volunteer schedule runs from Sat., 11/28 - Sunday, 12/7. Although you will put in many hours of your time there, you will have the opportuntity to list the days you are able to work. For example, depending on how many days you can volunteer, you may want to consider a day(s) between work days to ski "The Beave", or Vail which is down the street and around the corner. But every day you are able to offer your time with the event really contributes to the theme of the event's volunteering campaign.

Anyway, I hope this helps. Maybe we will run into each other there. If you have any questions, feel free to private message me.

"Keep your britches between the ditches"!!

Dan
Huntington Beach, CA
post #14 of 17
Seems like just about everyone had a great experience with volunteer course work and mine was no exception. We had our one and only World Cup SL and GS in Australia at Thredbo back in about 1990 during the Tomba-Girardelli-Zurbriggen era and what a cracker event it was! I have a long lasting memory of hauling around course netting in the middle of a bright moonlit night, looking down on the lights of the village.The race days were great to be a part of and it was an opportunity to give something back. You will always be able to look back and say "I was there when..."
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

WC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School SL View Post
Seems like just about everyone had a great experience with volunteer course work and mine was no exception. We had our one and only World Cup SL and GS in Australia at Thredbo back in about 1990 during the Tomba-Girardelli-Zurbriggen era and what a cracker event it was! I have a long lasting memory of hauling around course netting in the middle of a bright moonlit night, looking down on the lights of the village.The race days were great to be a part of and it was an opportunity to give something back. You will always be able to look back and say "I was there when..."
Old School SL. I see you're from NSW. Happen to be a firefighter? Met/skied with a lot of firefighters at Tahoe and Perisher. Pete Reedy. A friend of mine, Mike Sodengren and his wife dies at Threadbo in the mud slide. Great instructor.
post #16 of 17
Hey Pete, a little off topic I know but, no, I'm not a firefighter but I do know "Spike" Milliken at the Thredbo station from my time working in the village. Unfortunately Ive been stuck in the "real world" for the last 10 years so don't get much snow time! I remember talk at the time of our World Cups of a southern hemisphere World Cup circuit with N.Z. and South America but that never came to pass. It would have been great to get involved in a few more of those. I just have to be content with Masters races and trying to ski more on my inside ski! (Who'd of thunk it!) Sorry to hear about Mike and Mim. A lot of us lost people that night.
post #17 of 17
The time is near and I am very excited to arrive in CO. I hope to meet some of you while I am out there woking on the "Talon Crew"
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