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Beaver Creek Prepares For Alpine World Championships

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A helicopter helping construction at Beaver Creek (credit: CBS)

A helicopter helping construction at Beaver Creek (credit: CBS)

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s construction season at Colorado ski resorts and some of the toughest jobs are wrapping up as the state prepares for one of the biggest skiing events in the world.

“Ski racing happens on really, really steep slopes … so having a helicopter that can place these towers on this really steep pitch was a really big help for our crews,” said Ellen Galbrayth, Beaver Creek Racing Manager.

Massive aluminum and steel poles will hold what ski racing calls “A-netting.” It’ll line the race course keeping the athletes from further injury if they’re out of control on the course.

“This is a protection system. We are meticulous about how we install these systems and take care of them and we have athletes that have crashed and may crash when we’re putting them up,” Galbrayth said.

The last time CBS4 checked in on the brand new women’s course at Beaver Creek was April and only temporary netting was installed.

“It really serves as the best form of protection when an athlete goes down to keep them on the course and in the arena,” Galbrayth said.

The work had to be done according to a complicated schedule for the helicopter and pilot.

“We were on standby for fires and other projects,” Galbrayth said. “So we were thankful to have him for a few hours and we got a lot of work done in a short amount of time.”

It’s the second year for construction on the new women’s course in preparation for a World Cup event later this year, and the 2015 World Championships.

“The World Championships is a race at the same level as the Olympic Winter Games. Those two events are the top tier of international events.”

Vail Resorts wouldn’t say how much the entire construction of the new course will cost, but the first test will come at the end of November when the first official race takes place.

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