An eagle with a camera attached to it perfectly captured the length of the Streif ski run during the 76th Hahnenkamm race in the Austrian village of Kitzbühel last week.
The footage offers a unique bird's-eye view of the course as the trained bird of prey swoops above the snow. The video shows the bird exiting the start gate and following its trainer, who can be seen pulling something along via a piece of rope in order to entice the eagle down the course.
The Streif course on the Hahnenkamm mountain is notoriously treacherous, and the race is often make-or-break for many ski pros who are brave enough to take part. The race, which began in 1931, sees the downhill professionals shooting down the Streif, and also includes the slalom on Ganslernhang and the combination.
The race this year took place all last week, from 19th to 24th January. It’s a popular event that sees the small Tyrolean village of Kitzbühel come alive with Hahnenkamm fever and the best ski athletes in the world gather to take part in this highlight of the winter sports calendar.
(video courtesy of: RedBull TV)
The Streif itself is widely considered to be among the most spectacular ski runs in the world. It begins at an elevation of 1,665 metres above sea level, finishes at 805 metres and covers a distance of 3312 metres.
The Hahnenkamm race sees athletes tackling a multitude of challenges, including jumps of up to 80 metres and steep slopes of up to 85% gradient. It’s not uncommon for speeds of up to 140 kilometres per hour to be reached throughout the race, with an average speed of 103 kilometres per hour.
Peter Fill from Italy won this year’s downhill event, while Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway took the slalom title. Kristoffersen claimed he “skied to his limited” but still said winning was “unbelievable”.
The eagle was unavailable for comment.