Marian Stanton

Not for the Faint of Heart: Skiing Corbet’s Couloir in Jackson Hole

If you’re a professional skier, one of the toughest things for you is finding a slope that challenges you. Well, look no further than the Corbet’s Couloir at Jackson Hole.

It’s More Than Just Steep

Yes, it’s a steep drop, but getting in to the Couloir can be challenging in and of itself. If you’re not comfortable with “drop ins,” then you’re not going to like this. You literally have to scoot down an uneven terrain or jump into the slope to get going.

And, once you’re in, the ride is either heaven or hell. For those who don’t stick the initial landing, it’s an instant wipeout, and some people experience catastrophic failure. As you can see from the video, the second he lands, he loses his balance and smashes into the side of the mountain. Unfortunately, he never recovers.

Take a tip from almost everyone who goes to Jackson Hole. Watch first. Doing this on a non-powder day is suicide.

If the day isn’t right, or something just feels off, call it a day, and take a breather in one of these Jackson Hole luxury hotels. Stretch. Do dry runs. Take a steam or get in the hot tub. Try the next day. Never rush it.

Meet Your Maker

Once you do decide to take the plunge, you have more to overcome than the initial jump in. The ride takes you through what’s called “meet your maker.” If the jump-in didn’t hurt you, this might. You’ll find yourself faced with an unreal jump that you’ll either stick or fail. And, if you fail, you might not make it – seriously.

A lot of people have tried, few have been successful. But, those that have amazing stories to tell. Now, just because it’s dangerous doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt it. Again, if you’re a pro-level skier, you can probably handle the snow. Even this dog jumped in.

Most people find the two runs to be manageable as long as there’s powder, so the jumps and turns aren’t that bad, but there are huge verticals, rocky terrain, and a few hazards to be on the lookout for. And, if someone is going ahead of you, of course take all of the usual precautions.

This one is already tough enough – no need to make it harder on yourself.

The Crowd Factor

When you decide to take the plunge, it’s not just you and the snow. The slope is in full sight of the tram, so depending on the mood of the day, you’ll get the onslaught of heckling common here or encouraging cheers as you attempt one of the bravest (or dumbest) drops on the mountain.

Even the pros get butterflies on this thing. So, if you’re up for a challenge, this is near-impossible to top. Do this, and you’ve conquered the world and can put a notch in your belt that few other skiers ever will.

Marian Stanton is a travel and outdoor photographer. She loves writing about her experiences on the internet. You can find her articles mostly on vacation and travel websites.