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Corbet's Open... - Page 2

post #31 of 231
I went to Whistler and Skied Coulior extreme and I went to jackson and checked out Corbets(it was closed) My friend described it as a hole in the earth and I can say that there is no contest between the two, corbets is way more hardcore. I was shocked at how narrow it was.
post #32 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treewell
It's no contest...I've skied both and Corbet's is HANDS DOWN tougher. Many would ski Saudan but not even think about hitting Corbet's
Agreed. The first time I ever skied up to Colouir Extreme (CE), I wondered what all the hype was about. I skied it without hesitation. They even hold races with gates on CE. Looking at that picture of Corbets, I'd definitely hesitate. I may not even go in if I couldn't find a way in without needing a parachute. Looking at the big piture that Mudfoot posted, it looks like once you make it in, it's no big deal. It widens up fairly well. I just don't like hitting the ground on a super steep pitch at 50mph. Anything under a 7-8' drop (ceiling height), and I'd probably go in.
post #33 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
If you think you're a big dog because you jumped Corbett's, go over to the high point to the left of Corbett's in this picture and check out S&S. I believe it is named after two patrolmen from the 60's that jumped it. I crawled to the edge on my stomache and looked over(60' - 80' range?) and got vertigo just looking down it. There are skiers, and then there are "skiers".

http://www.biglines.com/photos/norma...ines_49843.jpg
I went to JH for the first time last year and jaunted up to Corbett's to get it done. Fortunately for me it was closed, so I didn't have to manufacture any whiny excuses about not dropping in. Then I crawled up to S&S to see the view. I didn't even make it to the edge, as I was sure every sphincter in my body would fail if I got that close. As we say in the back of the pack, if you aren't the lead dog the view never changes.
post #34 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
If you think you're a big dog because you jumped Corbett's, go over to the high point to the left of Corbett's in this picture and check out S&S. I believe it is named after two patrolmen from the 60's that jumped it. I crawled to the edge on my stomache and looked over(60' - 80' range?) and got vertigo just looking down it. There are skiers, and then there are "skiers".

http://www.biglines.com/photos/norma...ines_49843.jpg
No, i'll pass on that baby. 80 feet is just to big
Corbetts is a calculated risk
S&S is just a flat out big risk, and with my luck I would be taking a heli trip and not to a summit either
post #35 of 231
I shat my britches just looking at the picture.:
post #36 of 231
How funny! I'm currently in an advanced ski class with Stan "The Bullet" Nowakowski at Copper, although it appears he now goes by Stan "Pow Pow NowaKow" ski. Stan is taking us up to JH for "training," and has been regaling us with how we are all able and should be willing to ski Courbetts! Hopefully, it will not be through a cornice crack!

Mike
post #37 of 231
Nice shot Bob when Corbet's is at that level of snow the hit at the bottom is pretty damn hard unless you get a run at if of about 5-8mph. That always took balls on my part. I tried skiing the snow bank you see there on the left side of the chute with a jump turn in but Its a lightening fast down the slope with a big rock to miss. Its damn near scarier than the drop.

Anybody with guts can ski Corbet's. The ski out below Corbet's is no tougher than the Chutes off Thunder. Its relatively easy. Off you go! You will arrive at the bottom of the drop. You won't get stuck in the air.

Would I ski it now. Norfolk & Way.
post #38 of 231
Let's see some more pictures guys!
post #39 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
Would I ski it now. Norfolk & Way.
I got to thinking about my own last statement here. It is so nice to be far enough over the hill that there is no longer a little guy sitting in my head saying "Oh yeah, you gotta do it, you have no choice, sucka".
post #40 of 231
There are harder inbounds runs at WB than CE that are named too, what about Excitation/Exhileration or some of the shots off Peak chair (Coffin I think it's called?). CE was nothing special at all at least when I've been there, pretty boring in fact.
post #41 of 231
Nice Pics!

It looks like the guy in the orange can just ski straight down the corner and then skim one of the sides before going over the tips. I can't see how suddenly it transitions from near vertical to much more flat though. I would hate to stick it in the transition.

I'm sure there are steeper and scarier lines. I haven't been there, but I can see the intimidating thing about it is it's all or nothing. There's no working up to it; it's not like a cliff that gets steeper as you go along.
post #42 of 231
Great pic - I fell down that thing during my first visit to JH.

Body surfed the heck out of Tower Three Chute too now that I think about it.

Ahh - the golden days when "youth equalled stupidity".
post #43 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
Don't.....Push......Me......'cause......I'm....... .Close.......To......The.....Edge......
post #44 of 231
In life, you can never be quite sure of what you will or will not do.

However, as I am terrified of heights, and even a good-sized mogul activates it, I am quite, quite sure that I will never, never ski Corbets. Or Saudans. Or any bloody horrible couloir cliff death thing.
post #45 of 231
Also having skied both, I agree with Treewell than Corbets is so
much harder than Saudan's (CE) that there is no comparison.

The Palisades at Squaw Valley are the only thing that even
comparible but I think they are not designated runs. They involve
freefalls of varying heights but have nice straight runouts with
out the risk of hitting a rock wall like Corbets.



The time (once was enough,thank you) I did Courbets I was so
supprised I aced the landing that I skied 30 ft further then fell
(without injury) on the runout.
post #46 of 231
i remember the first time i dropped into corbets. ate it up top and lost a ski. by the time i gathered my self and looked around i couldn't find my ski. i yelled up to ask the people that watched my fall where it went and the said down bottom. i turn just in time to see my ski almost completely to the bottom with no intention of stopping. i ended up having to ski the rest of the run on one ski.
post #47 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by gramboh
There are harder inbounds runs at WB than CE that are named too, what about Excitation/Exhileration or some of the shots off Peak chair (Coffin I think it's called?). CE was nothing special at all at least when I've been there, pretty boring in fact.
Agree. There's a LOT of stuff steeper. Even Secret Chute, right next to one of the chairs at Blackcomb is quite a bit steeper. I found one called Calvin & Hobbes Chute (not named on the map, but access through Spanky's) that was good for getting the hair to stand up on your neck. The stuff off the back side of Harmony Ridge and off Peak Chair is steeper too. And none of these others are as crowded as CE.
post #48 of 231
I think that Couloir Extreme is more of a right of passage. Definitely not the steepest out there.

I skied one off the Peak chair I think that was called "the Cirque" that I found was steeper. Also, I skied "secret bowl" that led to a chute called Pakalalo or something like that which was very steep and narrow.

Gonna have to do some exploring this March!!
post #49 of 231
Agree that Whistler has far steeper stuff than CE. CE didn't even have a drop in, or at least not a big one IIRC. There's a marked but unnamed DD behind the patrol hut at the top of the Harmony Express lift that is seriously frightening. Very large drop to a steep and narrow face that leads into Whistler bowl. I passed. The Coulier (not CE) also had a very large drop. The Cirque was steep but only in one spot. Went head over heals after hitting an exposed rock on that one.
post #50 of 231
Thread Starter 
I just realized I haven't responded to several questions/observations that were posted here.

So here goes:

gschlact: You can't really slide in from any side because it's pretty much vertical everywhere but that very narrow slot in front of the guy with the orange jacket. The slot in front of him is just a bit less than vertical.

JohnH and ghost: Expanding on the comment above, there are times when that slot in front of orange jacket is a bit wider than it is in this photo. At those times, some people do manage to sideslip down quite a ways and then commit further down. This method is known as taking the "goat path" and doesn't earn the user very many style points with the locals. Also, JohnH, you could straightline that slot as it is in the photo and your skis would never leave the snow but you will be going very fast very quickly because there's nowhere to make a turn until you're about ten feet or so below the bottom of this photo.

Seven and habacomike: It is indeed a small world. Say "hi" to Stan for me. He may not remember me but you never know. habaco... pm me when you all come up here. It would be fun to see Stan (and see if his version of that story is fundamentally similar or if my Alzheimer's is already setting in).

Flipper66: Yes, that second photo is Rendezvous Bowl.

Mudfoot (and others): S&S Couloir is definitely far scarier than Corbet's, but it's not quite as big a drop as you're making it out to be. It varies between 30 and 35 feet - measured. That makes for an interesting sidenote, because S&S is still considered one of the most initmidating things around here, even though you'll hear in the bar all the time about the "30, 40, 50-foot cliffs I hucked today". Cliff height is much like fish length.

If I get a minute, I'll write up a few of my more enjoyable Corbet's experiences.
post #51 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
you could straightline that slot as it is in the photo and your skis would never leave the snow but you will be going very fast very quickly because there's nowhere to make a turn until you're about ten feet or so below the bottom of this photo.
That's what I would choose. How fast could you get going, assuming you weren't trying to slow down, before you were forced to turn or before it flattens out?
post #52 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters

At those times, some people do manage to sideslip down quite a ways and then commit further down. This method is known as taking the "goat path" and doesn't earn the user very many style points with the locals. Also, JohnH, you could straightline that slot as it is in the photo and your skis would never leave the snow but you will be going very fast very quickly because there's nowhere to make a turn until you're about ten feet or so below the bottom of this photo.

I was thinking an aggressive snow plow might work well.

So Bob, what is an appropriate strategy to get started there. I'm real good at tight turns on steep stuff, but it doesn't seem likely here. Do sane people jump the cornice? Is there a shallow spot? I doubt there is a fluffy landing!

The chute in the picture: It must end in something nasty like a sharp bump. What's there after you make it down the chute?

I want to ski it but I don't want to die!
post #53 of 231
Thread Starter 

Corbet's Stories... Post 1 of 2

Okay. Corbet's Stories.

To set the stage, it helps to know that I was a backcountry ski guide here at JH twenty-odd years ago. We did about half of our guiding out of bounds and about half inbounds.

Corbet's has always been a major goal of many of the people who come here to ski, so I ended up taking a fairly high number of guide clients into the couloir at one time or another. ANYONE's first time in Corbet's Couloir is something they'll always remember.

*****************************

My own first time was pretty anticlimactic. It was a powder day in 1978 and I had convinced myself it was time. I stood at the top for several minutes, nervous as could be, very close to scrapping the whole idea and just skiing away. Finally, I just said "what the hell" and jumped. It's incredible how quickly you pick up speed and how long it feels like you're in the air. When I touched down, it was relatively soft and steep and I somehow stayed upright. You land in a little trough that leads you straight toward a rock wall on the right side of the couloir, but that trough ramps upward as you approach the wall. There, it's a matter of doing a very fast airplane turn to the left and then (if you're me, anyway) just dumping speed in the main part of the chute. It all worked, I was still alive, and I doubt that my heart rate dropped under 200 the rest of the day.

Of course, I told everybody I knew. I was jazzed then and I have been every single time I've done it.

******************

One of the most amazing experiences I ever had there was with a group male of Ivy League college students who were in JH on a school break. These guys were all jocks of some sort or another but not necessarily what you might call great *skiers*. I guided them for a couple of days and of course they all decided they couldn't go back home without doing Corbet's.

So, I went in first and positioned myself a couple of turns below so I could rein in the carnage. There were a total of six of them and it took a little while for each one to work up the courage. Two of them fell and blew up, so it would take a little longer for us to get the gear and the bodies out of the way, so this process was taking quite some time.

One of the guys still at the top was just a bit nuts. He went on to become a Navy pilot flying fighters off carriers, so you have a pretty good feel for HIS risk-taking threshold : . He decided it was taking too long for this whole thing to unfold, so he backed up a few steps behind where the orange coat in my picture is standing and took a running start off the edge.

He didn't plan his trajectory horribly well and actually HIT THE WALL to the right side of the photo about where the shadow in the photo curves right and intersects that rock. He whacked the wall with both feet and of course both his skis flew off. At that point, he kind of, to use an aeronautical term, stalled out and tumbled backwards down into the couloir.

As he and his gear slid past, he was shouting "WHOOOOOOO-HOOOO!!!".

He was luckily unhurt.

******************************

Because Corbet's, especially the first time, is such an adrenaline rush, I liked to make a big deal of it with clients. If I knew someone was likely to do it for the first time on a certain day, I would put a bottle of cheap champagne (sorry, I should say "sparkling wine") in my pack for a little celebration.

I was guiding a father and his two college-age daughters and we had spent most of a week out of bounds. Corbet's was in great shape and the girls wanted to try to ski it, so I took my bottle along the next morning. About noon, we headed to the top of the couloir and I showed the father how to ski around East Ridge and down to where we would meet him after we finished.

We all skied it and the girls did great. They were so excited they just couldn't stop screaming. Then we skied on down the apron to meet up with the father in Tensleep Bowl. When we all got together, he was thrilled for them and they were all hugging.

I brought out the bottle and popped the cork. Each of the girls took a swig and then I tried to pass it to the dad. Both girls suddenly go, "Oh, no! The champagne is ONLY for people who skied Corbet's. Dad doesn't get any."

Well, that was all it took. We skied down, went back up the tram, and all of us, Dad included, skied it one more time. When we were done, everybody got to share the champagne.

*********************

My strangest experience was with a woman who was a friend of my wife and I. She wanted to ski Corbet's and wanted me to go in with her.

The day she picked was a VERY windy, snowy afternoon with fairly bad visibility, but that was the day she made up her mind.

So, we go over to Corbet's and the wind was just howling and snow was blowing all over. I suggested that maybe we could pick a little better time, but she was set on doing it.

I went in and was standing below. I could barely see her through the blowing snow, and all of a sudden she just dropped out of the plume. The visibility was so bad that she never saw the landing. When she hit, she just rag-dolled into the slope. She lost both skis, hat, goggles, and so on, but her only injury was a small cut on her lip.

As we were getting all her gear together, I asked her why she didn't wait until the wind let up for a minute.: She said she was so scared that she knew if she waited any longer she would never do it, so she just stepped off into the snowstorm.

Now THAT is resolve.

**************************

This one is just my favorite personal memory of Corbet's. I was skiing a really big snow day in March of 1983. Three friends and I were doing trams and the ski area was practically deserted.

It had snowed and blown so much that the lip of Corbet's had drifted in to the point where it was probably a drop of no more than 6-8 feet and the powder in the landing was waist-deep and more.

Our first time down Corbet's that day, we all stopped, looked, listened, and then did it individually. By our third trip, we were jumping in side-by-side, all at the same time, without even stopping. I did it five times that day and it remains the very best skiing I ever had in Corbet's Couloir.

***********************

The second post will be my all-time classic story of someone skiing Corbet's Couloir.
post #54 of 231
Bob, I really enjoyed your stories, and will read more anytime you care to post them.

My only time in Corbets was in 1975 while I was going to school at Utah State. Went to Jackson Hole with friends and we were living on the cheap at the Best Western in Jackson. Rode the tram up first day and skied left out of Rendevous to the couloir. I'd never been so scared of anything. This massive overhanging cornice dropping onto an icy chute and wind slab. I still think the cornice was allowed to be bigger then. I wouldn't have gone in except for peer pressure and this guy who walked up while we were considering our options. He dropped straight in and didn't turn until he was well into the apron. It wasn't so bad, and conditions were softer than they looked. Lots of fun on 205 cm GS skis.

I'm glad I did it then, so now I don't have to.
post #55 of 231
In big snow years I have seen the "drop" just a few feet.

Another Corbet story. About 15 years an instructor from CA dropped in to bulletplate conditions. I heard he was advised by others not to do it and it was before the ski patrol closed it. He hit the right spot but flew forward into the air out of control and crashed very hard into the wall. Did you know that a persons bone can breakthru a ski boot. Yup, compound fracture thru the ski boot. Ouch!

Bob, did Andy jump in or not...?
post #56 of 231
I've only been to Jackson once, about 15 years back. It was not a good snow year and the conditions smelled a lot like fertilizer. Corbets was closed. Our last 3-days it was snowing like crazy and we had a blast. Headed for Corbets around 11AM on our last day there... a couple of sled dogs were working on opening it up. They said it would be a while yet so we skied away and I have never been back. Truthfully, I was relieved that I didn't have to do it then, but looking back it would have been better then than now. I guess I still have to make that leap of faith.
post #57 of 231
I realized that the run I was talking about was "West Cirque", not the Cirque. Also, I did find the entrance to "The Couloir" far more intimidating than CE.

Judging by those pics of corbets the only way I would do it is through really bad peer pressure. I like the sounds of "the drop was 8 feet into waist deep powder" though. Give me a day like that and I wouldn't be worried! Those pics make the drop look like 20 feet at least!
post #58 of 231
Thanks Bob! Can't wait for your next Corbet story, I'm dying over here.
post #59 of 231
Thread Starter 

Post 2 of my 2 Corbet's stories.

Here's the one that's my own all-time favorite.

Sometime in the mid-80's, Jackson Hole hosted the annual meeting for some organization called the Eastern Ski Writers Association (or something like that). Roughly 50-75 writers and their significant others showed up for this wine-and-dine schmoozefest sponsored by our ski resort.

One morning as I was walking out of the Ski School office, the marketing director for the ski area pulled me aside and asked if I would do them a favor. The marketeers liked to assign a ski corp employee to each of these writers as they were skiing to try to make sure they got as good an impression as possible. The employee who had been skiing with this one writer had called in sick and there was no one else in the marketing or host department to go out with the writer and his wife. This was the last ski day of the meeting and the ski corp didn't want this writer to have to ski by himself.

Now it wasn't my job to babysit visiting dignitaries. My job was to guide paying clients to wherever the best skiing might be on a given day. Agreeing to do this meant I was doing a freebie and also potentially meant that I was foregoing being able to take a paid client for the day. Nevertheless, being the good corporate citizen that I am, I "volunteered" to take them out.

We met up and I asked them what kind of skiers they were and where they would like to go. The husband did all the talking and said that he was a good skier and his wife was "okay". They were probably in their mid-30's and were from somewhere in New York. This was a sunny day and they wanted to ski the tram.

So we ride up the tram and skied down Rendezvous Bowl. The conditions were leftover cut-up powder and crud. I could see after a few turns that the husband was strong, athletic, good balance, and aggressive, but actually not very good at using his skis. Like many males, he was using strength, power and fearlessness to compensate for a lack of technique. The wife, on the other hand, was very good on her skis - centered, in control, moving down the hill, picking out her lines, just a good, solid skier.

Well, we did a run down the Hobacks to show them that part of the mountain, and then a run down Laramie Bowl and a lower face. The next time up the tram, I took them over to look into Corbet's and then we skied around to Tensleep and skied down the Cirque.

As we were riding up the tram the next time, the wife and I were standing together and the husband was a little ways away. The wife asked me if I thought she could ski Corbet's. The couloir was in very nice condition that day and I said yes, I felt she was plenty good to ski Corbet's given the conditions. She thought about it for a minute or two and then declared she would like to try it.

When we unloaded at the top and got our skis on, I told the husband that we were going to look at Corbet's again. He wanted to know why and she said she might try to ski it. He said he thought that was a bad idea, but off we went.

My usual routine for Corbet's first-timers always was that I would go in first to kind of show them the way. Then if they decided not to go, we would just ski back together down in Tensleep Bowl.

So, we got to the top and she looked at it again and decided it was a go. Husband started getting more vocal about what a dumb thing this is. She gets more adamant about wanting to do it and I should go ahead and drop in and she would follow.

So, before going in, I told her not to feel like she had to once I was in there. I also told the husband that he could just ski around like we had on the last run and join us down below.

In I went and stopped a couple of turns down. At that point, I could hear him really going on her about how stupid this was, she was going to get really hurt, it was criminal for me to even suggest it, etc. After a couple of minutes of that, she just said "No, I'm going to do it".

And she did.

She skied it as beautifully as anyone I've ever seen do Corbet's. She hopped up, did a little 90-degree pivot to line her skis up with the landing while she was dropping, touched down very lightly, stayed right over her skis, rode the trough perectly, made the big left turn, made another turn down to me and stopped right beside me. She was just beaming. She was thrilled that she had done it and done it so perfectly.

We skied on down to Tensleep and in a couple of minutes the husband skied up. No "congratulations, honey!", or "Wow, that was awesome!" or anything. He didn't say a word.

We skied down the Cirque and on down to the bottom of the mountain. When we got to the bottom, he took his skis off and marched immediately into the Ski School office. (We guides technically worked for the ski school, although we didn't do ski instruction.)

A couple of minutes later, out comes the husband with my boss, Ski School Director Pepi Stiegler.

Pepi: "Bob, this gentleman is very upset. He says you took his wife into Corbet's."

Bob: "Yes, Pepi, I did."

Pepi: "How are the conditions?"

Bob: "Very good."

Pepi to the wife: "Mrs. _____, did you feel that Bob pressured you into skiing into Corbet's?"

Wife: "No, no. It was all my idea."

Pepi: "And did you feel in danger at any time?"

Wife: "Well, I was scared at the top but after Bob went in I felt like I could do it."

Pepi: "Mrs. _______, were you hurt in any way?"

Wife: "No."

Pepi: "Did you fall?"

Wife: "No. I did great."

Pepi: "And did you enjoy skiing Corbet's Couloir?"

Wife: "It's the most fun I've ever had on skis!"

Pepi to husband: "Sir, I do not understand what your complaint is here."

End of story.
post #60 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
Pepi to husband: "Sir, I do not understand what your complaint is here."
I LOVE it!!
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