Snowboarding Corbet’s Couloir is like reserving a one-way ticket to South America (or truly pursuing a profession in sports activities writing). The concept sounds good. Somebody or one thing piques your curiosity to provide it a strive. However you then’ve acquired to do it. And the execution is far tougher and far scarier than you’d ever thought.
It’s aesthetic is intimidating if you’re watching movies of lunatics throwing backflips into the chute. There’s the cornice, which is menacing in itself. There’s the cliff on skier’s left, which these hucking into the chute appear to hug (once more like lunatics). There’s the truth that typically circumstances are hostile with poor visibility and robust winds.
I studied the highest of the run on YouTube and Instagram. I wished to know how folks approached the entry, how they jumped in and the way they landed it. And finally, that analysis led me to the conclusion that I’d not have the ability to huck the cornice. However I might most likely tuck my tail between my legs and ski into the run by dropping into the steep and pretty technical spot on the left facet.
Snowboarding with a handful of mates, I took the tram to the highest of Jackson Gap.
“Let’s simply take a peak at Corbet’s,” I mentioned.
My mates agreed to look.
We wouldn’t must commit if we had been simply trying. However after all, I wasn’t planning on simply trying. Smooth, feathery snow was falling — it was the most effective circumstances I skied throughout my journey in Jackson. We acquired roughly 12 inches on daily I used to be there — besides today. On today, we solely acquired 4 inches, however the storm raged all through the day and the snow didn’t develop dense. As an alternative, it rested flippantly on the snow that had come earlier. The consequence was a bouncy and smooth snowpack. It felt like two ft of recent snow.
Simply as we approached the run, I acquired a have a look at two skiers who dropped into the spot the place I’d deliberate on coming into. They took the ski-in spot on the left, the place you’ll be able to jump-turn and bypass the challenges of hucking (and possibly consuming shit in a bone-breaking manner). After they did it, I knew there was no turning again. So I dropped in with the intention of hitting the bounce flip and cruising into the chute.
I didn’t hit the bounce flip, scraped into some rocks and stumbled into the run. It wasn’t an unsightly or painful fall, like the numerous that fell earlier than me. It lacked grace and elegance. It lacked the requisite respect for the run — you shouldn’t simply scrape your manner into Corbet’s.
I discovered a option to make the epic look mundane — and never in a great way.
As soon as I acquired previous the cornice, I hugged the cliff face on the skier’s left, and bounced from flip to show with the powder at my waist. On three turns, I acquired blasted with faceshots of snow to the purpose the place I couldn’t see the place I used to be going. I felt like I used to be snowboarding by the world’s softest ball pit.
On the backside, everybody’s goggles and beards had been coated with snow. Nobody might cease smiling. We had been hooting, hollering and excessive fiving. I simply wished to shout it from the highest of a mountain, however I wasn’t on the prime of the mountain, so I had my newsroom and a pc. (Anchorman reference.)
Two days later, I returned, pondering that I used to be able to huck the cornice. On the tram trip up, I appeared on the face of the cornice and cliff and swore loudly. After I noticed the drop from the highest of the cornice, I knew. I simply knew. I used to be too huge a child to make the drop. So for the second time, I tucked my tail between my legs to ski into the run. This time, nonetheless, the ski-in possibility had grown steeper and better, due to the mix of heavy wind and snow. I advised myself that I’d strive the bounce flip, however as I fell into the drop, I knew that that was all I might do: fall.
Similar to final time, I ate it.
This time, I wasn’t rewarded by steep and deep circumstances. The brand new snow had frozen right into a clumpy crust. And after I fell my manner into the run, my mates determined it wasn’t value it. (In different phrases, my fall appeared so silly that my mates wouldn’t even be part of me.)
I’m sorry that I suck, Corbet’s Couloir. I didn’t ski you nicely.
Even worse, I didn’t have a fall that was worthy of posting on social media. I didn’t make it epic. However belief me you, I’ll be again. I’m sure that I’ll huck the cliff and stomp the touchdown (or break my leg making an attempt). Subsequent time, Corbet’s, I’ll deal with you proper otherwise you’ll deal with me very, very improper.