Corbet's Couloir at Jackson Hole — Photo courtesy of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Peer over the precipice of Corbet's Couloir at Jackson Hole, and you'll either be terrified or. . . .well, more terrified.
Corbet's Couloir - named for ski guide James Corbet, founder of the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides - is a narrow chute that starts with a 20-foot vertical drop. And landing on a steep, 55-degree slope. Did we mention the part about the narrow chute? Assuming you're upright on your skis after the two story drop and steep landing, it's a cake walk (for expert skiers) from there, with the run fanning out to about a 45-degree journey down the face of the mountain.
Stunning view of Corbet's Couloir — Photo courtesy of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Upon seeing the upside-down, funnel-shaped shoot, Corbet famously remarked in 1960, "Someday, someone will ski that." The first someone to do so was a ski patroller named Lonnie Bell, who made the run in 1967. Jackson Hole offers a four day intense ski school called Steep & Deep for those who are willing to be pushed to their skiing limits, and their advice to those bold enough to make the jump is don't stop - just keep skiing. That's tough advice to take, as experts say that you're going approximately 40-mph out of the chute, once your skis hit snow.
Jackson is one of those ski areas that is all about challenging skills and limits. With an elevation drop of 4,139 feet and warning signs at the summit that read like a warning from your mother, there's phenomenal back country and black diamond skiing, and even the green runs are challenging for those who ski, but not regularly.
Tackle Corbet's Couloir and you definitely earn yourself serious bragging rights . . . and an apres-ski cocktail.