Friday, March 18, 2011

Corbet's Couloir

I skied Corbet's! Known as "America's scariest ski slope," Corbet's usually involves a 10-30 foot drop onto a very steep slope. This year it didn't--there's a place to side-slip into a channel below the cornice and make a turn into it. No jump this time.

Nonetheless, it's a very scary run. It's rated as a double-black diamond run, which means Expert Only, and in Jackson Hole they really mean it. At, say, Aspen a double-black might not be as hard, but then Jackson has terrain like no other ski area in the world. But to get back to the point, somehow I managed to ski down this monster of a run.

It all started when my sister decided that because there is no jump, she wanted to ski Corbet's this year. I thought this was utter nonsense, because I didn't expect to ski it until I was thirty at least. Still, I agreed to do it after a dump of powder in the morning. When we went down to the couloir I was told that instead of doing it tomorrow we were in fact doing the couloir at that very moment. Isabel went down first and was in and out very quickly. Afterward I think her head grew several sizes, but pride goeth before a fall: when we were all down and skiing to the Expert Chutes she wiped out on a flat section.

I took a lot longer than she did, as she continues to remind me. In my defense my skies are longer and it wasn't terribly surprising that they got caught once or twice. Just before I got into the chute to make a turn, my top ski got caught above the notch made by the turn while the bottom one was below the notch, hanging loose. Every time I tried to unstick the top one it felt like the bottom one was going to pull me down and, because the top would still be stuck, flip me over. The whole time I was struggling there were a bunch of other people standing at the top watching me, and I was making comments that were about has humorous as I could manage in that situation. I don't think anyone laughed, but it made me feel ever so slightly better. Eventually I somehow got through it and shot off around the turn--shaking like an aspen leaf. After the first two turns in Corbet's, though, anyone is home free. So it was a lot of fun in the end.

Then after that we skied another double-black, the first Expert Chute. It was very easy after Corbet's--the same way eating a cookie is a lot easier after chewing on a rock.

Today we also skied The Crags, which is accessed by taking the Sublette lift, traversing on the Cirque for ages, removing your skies, hiking to the top of the Headwall for ten minutes, replacing your skies and traversing for five more minutes, then walking for another five minutes before cutting down onto the actual run. It has snowed a lot lately so there was a lot of powder, but it warmed up today and it felt like cutting through knee-deep cement for a long way.

So even though we only went on three lifts--the tram twice and Sublette once-- this was definitely a full day.

No comments:

Post a Comment