The Birds of Prey World Cup weekend in December was historical — in more ways than one.
Most know about the full slate of races getting swiped on account of weather for the first time. At the same time, in the same place, a full-circle, ski-significant gathering was transpiring.
“Training in the Hudson Highlands does not always afford the team a December snowfall, hence the desire to head west,” said MAJ Joseph Thew, the Army West Point officer-in-charge who brought Army West Point and Air Force Academy ski teams to the birthplace of the sport in North America — Camp Hale, Colorado — for a three-day pre-season training event from Dec. 1-3.
“But, this trip blossomed into something much greater and more meaningful once the cadets arrived.”
In addition to running an inter-squad race at Copper Mountain, the teams planned to experience both ends of the skiing spectrum: the foundations laid by the 10th Mountain soldiers at Camp Hale on one end and a World Cup event on the other.
“It’s the confluence of everything,” said John Tyree, a 1987 West Point graduate who organized the event in honor of his father, COL Thomas B. Tyree, a 1948 West Point graduate and the team’s ski coach in the late 1950s.
“When you think about it, the military overlay at Vail, the 10th Mountain overlay, (my dad) being the ski coach at West Point — it all seemed to come together.”
The Army West Point Alpine and Freestyle Ski Teams are two of the 120 cadet clubs at West Point, which include athletic, recreational, academic, religious, hobby, and diversity clubs. These clubs are made possible by donors supporting the Margin of Excellence.