Originally Posted by GregGaspar
On "this one" seems to me that guy was the most deliberate on his entry. Two differernt eyes see two different things.
So what I am seeing is....about a 10-15 foot vertical drop to about a 60 degree slope heading down to about 50 degrees in say---300 feet?
Disclaimer - I've never done Corbets, so this is secondhand info. But I've talked to several people who have skied it. And I've seen video taken from a different vantage point where you can see the whole wall. I've peeked in. And I've obsessed about it a fair amount. I may do it someday. I may not.
If you watch the end of "this one" video you see that he did not make the second turn. Just after he becomes visible again at the bottom he either hits the wall or falls trying not to, loses at least one ski, and starts sliding.
The tricky part is not the drop itself (not that that is easy) but the mandatory turns. From the usual entry point, you enter facing the big rock column (near where the camera man is), so you have to turn on the way down the face. This means that at the bottom you are going towards the wall on the side of the couloir, so you have to turn. To complicate matters, you are going fast and all the skiers turning on the wall have pushed up a ridge of snow, so you are in a trough.
As Jer noted, the floor of the couloir is "only" 40 degrees or thereabouts. In fact, that is why the trough forms. Its steep enough that fallen skiers slide, but not steep enough to be difficult if you are still on your feet.
Fortunately that's a pretty safe slide. The rest of the Couloir is straight and fairly wide, and it ends in a reasonably wide flat area. There is one big rock in the mouth, but in good snow years I think it is covered. If you are ok by the time you start to slide, I'd guess you are probably ok.
The most common failure modes appear to be 1. making the second turn to avoid the wall too abruptly and falling there, or 2. crumpling at the point of maximum compression in the trough. This is based on watching a relatively small number of falls on video, so YMMV. I suspect that actually hitting the wall is fairly rare.
Someone (I think Bob) posted a photo with dotted lines illustrating these points awhile ago.
My two favorite Corbet's quotes:
"After the first three seconds, it's really pretty ordinary."
"Skiing Corbet's isn't hard. It's the hike back up to get your gear that's hard."
It is possible to enter further to the skiers right, go in straight, and bypass all the complications, but thats a much bigger drop. For big air specialist, it might actually be easier than the standard entrance.