Written by Jeff Burke- Jackson Hole Ski Patrol. Check out Jeff’s latest writeup, Sizing up Corbet’s for Kings and Queens, here.
We’re less than a week away from the second annual Kings and Queens of Corbet’s, Jackson Hole’s unique freeride competition set atop North America’s most revered proving ground. Last year top riders and skiers alike flocked to the stronghold of Jackson’s crown jewel, vying for a piece of history. The bold clashed with creativity as two-dozen guys and gals hurled, curled and launched themselves into the deep white abyss, scoring sky miles along the way. Big drops, floating twists, and double backflips were just some of the stomach-churning feats put to the test. Some exploded upon impact, others eeked out a landing, and some put P-Tex to powder by what us mere mortals would call the grace of God. But it was a show.
https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-4-of-25_1-580x387.jpg" alt="Shock and aww at the top. " width="580" height="387" srcset="https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-4-of-25_1-580x387.jpg 580w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-4-of-25_1-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-4-of-25_1-1000x667.jpg 1000w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-4-of-25_1-140x93.jpg 140w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-4-of-25_1.jpg 1350w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" />
“It feels like a contest that should’ve taken place twenty years ago,” says last year’s King Karl Fostvedt, “It’s more like an old-school hot dog-style comp and less like a FIS regulated type of thing. It’s just more wild wild west.”
Unlike traditional comps, Kings and Queens is a peer-judged event, which means the athletes are judging one another—style, guts, performance—not some panel that may or may not have the same intimacy with the event itself. “It creates this cool atmosphere of pushing the sport in different ways than traditional judging,” says Caite Zeliff, last year’s Queen.
https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/untitled-188-of-209-580x387.jpg" alt="" width="580" height="387" srcset="https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/untitled-188-of-209-580x387.jpg 580w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/untitled-188-of-209-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/untitled-188-of-209-1000x667.jpg 1000w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/untitled-188-of-209-140x93.jpg 140w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" />
The event planners want this year to be no less a spectacle. Kings and Queens has the luxury of allocating a big weather window into the mix, so that Corbet’s has ideal conditions for the competition. This is very alluring to the athletes, who normally suck it up in less than savory conditions for much of the competition circuit. “To have ideal conditions so you can have your best performance is really attractive,” says Zeliff. Jackson just received over three feet of snow in three days this past week, with more on the way before this year’s showdown.
https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-24-of-25-1-580x387.jpg" alt="The crowd at the bottom enjoying the show. " width="580" height="387" srcset="https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-24-of-25-1-580x387.jpg 580w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-24-of-25-1-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-24-of-25-1-1000x667.jpg 1000w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-24-of-25-1-140x93.jpg 140w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-24-of-25-1.jpg 1350w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" />
In spite of the plethora of snow, it’s still a no-nonsense venue. And it’s all about making a big entrance. “Everyone is hitting the same feature in a way,” says Zeliff, “and you have to be able to think outside the box. Instead of having an entire peak or face to ski with multiple approaches, you have one entry point it, and therefore it makes everyone look to be more creative. That’s a big challenge.”
Another challenge is the freedom that comes with this kind of event. “There are no rules, so it’s up the athletes to interpret the mountain the best way they can,” says long-time pro rider Rob Kingwill. “No one knew what to expect last year, and they blew the doors off what everyone thought was possible.”
https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-1-of-25_1-580x387.jpg" alt="The competitors scoping their lines before the contest starts. " width="580" height="387" srcset="https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-1-of-25_1-580x387.jpg 580w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-1-of-25_1-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-1-of-25_1-1000x667.jpg 1000w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-1-of-25_1-140x93.jpg 140w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-1-of-25_1.jpg 1350w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" />
This year the expectations are reaching a fever pitch, but it’s not the nervy energy that casts a specter over the competition and the competitors, but rather a fear of missing out on, say, some pivotal rock concert. “It’s not necessarily about the contest,” says Hana Beaman, the only female snowboarder from last year (she still took 3rd, no big deal), “but it’s such a rad thing to be involved in.” Beaman also lauds the boutique nature of the event that occupies the other side of the spectrum than the X games. “It’s got this local, grassroots feel,” she says. “And not too many people, not too many crazy things going on. It just focuses on riding. That’s the center.”
For more information on the weather window for the competition and athlete bios, click here. The competition dates are February 10-16, and when the time is right, we’ll be sure to let you know via social media and www.jacksonhole.com. Stay tuned for more information and follow along @jacksonhole on Instagram or Facebook.
https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-19-of-25_1-580x387.jpg" alt="Captivating views of the venue. " width="580" height="387" srcset="https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-19-of-25_1-580x387.jpg 580w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-19-of-25_1-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-19-of-25_1-1000x667.jpg 1000w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-19-of-25_1-140x93.jpg 140w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-19-of-25_1.jpg 1350w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" />
When the day of the competition arrives, be sure to join us in Tensleep Bowl for the spectator viewing area. We’ll have the best view of the event, music to keep you movin’, and announcers who are sure to keep you entertained. Remember that there will be no viewing from the top of Corbet’s Couloir. Access to Tensleep Bowl is from either the Aerial Tram or the Sublette Chairlift and there is no beginner or intermediate terrain below the competition venue. See you on the hill!
https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-20-of-25_1-580x387.jpg" alt="All eyes on Corbet's while history was being made." width="580" height="387" srcset="https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-20-of-25_1-580x387.jpg 580w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-20-of-25_1-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-20-of-25_1-1000x667.jpg 1000w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-20-of-25_1-140x93.jpg 140w, https://www.jacksonhole.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Kings_Queens_Corbets_JHMR-20-of-25_1.jpg 1350w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" />
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