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Jackson Hole, Wyoming is one of the most extreme ski resorts in the United States. It also happens to be my husband’s favorite. For this reason, we’ve skied in Jackson Hole numerous times. The mountain’s terrain is rugged, with sharp drop offs on the side of runs and even traverses. There are dangerous shoots, couloirs, and steep black diamond runs that will make you second guess your decision to attempt them. Perhaps no ski run at Jackson Hole is more extreme than Corbet’s Couloir. And yet, my ski-fanatic husband tells me every year that this will be the year he conquers this run.
Each November, as ski season approaches, my husband says the same exact thing.
“This is the year I’m going to ski Corbet’s Couloir.”
For those of you who aren’t into extreme snow sports and don’t have a desire to die in an incredibly stupid way, you probably don’t realize how insane that statement is… So let me just pause right here and show you the ski run known as Corbet’s Couloir.
Corbet’s Couloir in summer
You see, my friends, Corbet’s is a cliff. Granted, it is usually covered in about 8 feet of snow when people ski down it, but the fact remains, Corbet’s Couloir is, indeed, a cliff. In order to go down this run, you have to
ski jump off the steep, rocky edge into a narrow funnel-like opening surrounded by even more steep, rocky cliffs. Corbet’s Couloir has actually been coined “America’s scariest ski slope“. Why would anyone want to ski that? Your guess is as good as mine. Yet every year there are countless people much braver than me who plunge into this terrifying Double Black Diamond X ski run. Surprisingly, most of them make it to the bottom relatively unscathed. They are not only braver than me, they are also much better skiers than me.
Skiing Corbet’s Couloir
You have to be an expert skier or certifiably insane to actually go down Corbet’s Couloir. I’m fairly certain my husband is not the latter. He is however, a really great skier. He has been skiing since he was a young child and can handle almost any run with ease. But even expert skiers cower a little when they coast up to the edge of Corbet’s Couloir and glance down. It’s pretty intimidating, especially once you’ve seen it without snow. (You can never unsee that.)
That’s probably why my husband has yet to ski Corbet’s Couloir. He’s seen it when it wasn’t covered in snow. He’s seen the sharp, jagged, unforgiving rocks that lie just below winter’s seemingly inviting, fluffy powder. He knows the mangled mess that could become of his body with just one wrong turn.
So year after year, Damon pledges to ski Corbet’s Couloir, and year after year he skis up to the top, peers over the edge of the cliff, calculates his turns, and carefully plans his decent down the extreme ski run. Then he wistfully turns around and skis away, telling himself that he’ll do it next year… Next year will be the year he skis Corbet’s.
The day my husband will go down Corbet’s Couloir
One day, my husband will actually go down Corbet’s Couloir. Because, you see, I’ve also made a pledge to him. I’ve pledged that when he dies, I will take his ashes and toss them over the edge of the cliff so he can brag to all of his friends in heaven that he went down “America’s Scariest Ski Slope.” God willing, I have another 65 years to travel with my husband, and at least another 55 years of listening to him say that this year will be the year he skis Corbet’s.
Looking for more information on Jackson Hole, Wyoming? Read this post about winter in Jackson, Wyoming.
So what do you think? Have you skied Corbet’s Couloir? Would you ski it? And if so, on a scale from one to straight jacket, how crazy would you say you are? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!