Thursday, September 3, 2015

Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole: Taming America's Scariest Ski Slope

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is popular for a range of reasons.  Whether it’s summer or winter, it’s an outdoor playground for skiers, swimmers, joggers, hikers, etc.  However, some slopes and trails are considered more intense.  Corbet’s Couloir, deemed by some as “America’s Scariest Ski Slope,” is on the must-ski list of many.  Do you have what it takes to tackle this slippery and most-scary slope?  If you think so, consider the following tips.

Get in Shape

Much like a beginner surfer should not try and surf a number of Hawaiian waves, you should be an avid and near-expert skier before visiting Corbet’s.  Even so, you better be on top of your game.  If you have rich experience, but are rusty from last season or have not been practicing of late, you need to log in more hours before heading to this run.  You need to be a master at making tight turns, stopping on a dime, and maneuvering between trees and over bumps.

Check the Report

Even the best athletes in the world need to consider a number of elements before engaging in chosen sport.  For example, an expert tightrope walker doesn’t want to stroll across the Grand Canyon on a windy day.  Likewise, you don’t want to head up to Corbet’s Couloir when conditions are poor and icy.  You want to visit when the snow is soft and there’s powder in the Couloir.  Otherwise, save the adventure for another day.

Choose Wisely

Your chosen course matters.  Skiers can either go left, which is initially easier, but demands a sharp right turn after the immediate launch (or else you’ll be met with a rock wall), or go right, which requires a longer jump from the cornice, which is about 30 feet.

Be Sure to Commit

You can’t ski Corbet’s halfway.  You must commit to your line and ski to the best of your ability.  Despite the intense decline, you’ll want to keep your weight forward, over your ski tips and fight the urge to lean back.  Also, keep legs relaxed and nimble, especially as you attempt your landing.  If you don’t land gracefully, you’ll be rolling down the Couloir, and it won’t be a pretty sight.

Steep and Deep Camp

The locals and those hanging around Jackson Hole lodging know of the Steep and Deep camp, which costs upward of $800 dollars, consisting of ski lift tickets, served lunches, and intense coaching by premier, Wyoming skiers.  The locals, not ones to sacrifice drama, post a warning at the beginning of the mountains stating, “give this special mountain the respect it deserves!”

Graduate to Other Slopes

Corbet’s Couloir may be the scariest slope in Wyoming or anywhere, yet America does not have a shortage of hair-raising declines.  Aside from Corbet’s, visit Silverfox in Snowbird, Utah; Two Smokes in Silverton, Colorado; The Palisades in Squaw Valley, California; and, Keyhole in Alpine Meadows, California.

Many brave skiers grace the snow at Corbet’s, but few have what it takes to successfully ski down it.  Do you have the skills to master the mountain?  There’s only one way to be sure.

Tina Sarandon has worked as a travel advisor for a number of years. She enjoys the opportunity to offer her insights to an online audience and has written for various travel-related websites.

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