They say ‘luck favors the prepared’, but no amount of preparation can cue up enough luck to help riders in the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s.
Now in its third year, the quintessential Jackson Hole event has transformed into what may be one of the rowdiest events in snowboarding. Why? It’s all based on the raw nature of the course, and the authentic, progressive format that gives the riders the keys to peer-influenced judging.
Even those who have never ridden Jackson Hole have likely heard tales or seen carnage from Corbet’s Couloir. It’s one of the most famed inbound lines in North America. Named for Barry Corbet, a ski mountaineer who spotted the line back in the 1960’s and questioned if it were even skiable. Now, it plays host as the arena for riders to duke it out in attempts of earning the coveted title of King and Queen of Corbet’s.
This year, 24 invited riders (skiers and snowboarders) were given two runs to throw down their heaviest tricks in the couloir in front of a hearty, sprawling crowd and RedBullTV’s big budget livestream. Conditions were brisk and windy, with weather and snow wafting through the course throughout the day. Brief moments of sunshine were more than welcomed.
The drop order was chosen prior to the contest with the 24 riders selecting their fate by chance through a bingo ball. Hana Beaman, the reigning women’s snowboard queen, got ball number two, earning her the second drop spot. While the final drop spot of 24, went to Jackson local, Mikey Marohn.
From the first runs, it was clear that everyone was suited up to send it, and spectators and competitors alike were puckered every time someone dropped.
The blind takeoff, coupled with the massive granite walls that flank the couloir, along with rock drops and a tightly manicured bottom jump, made it one of the gnarliest courses in any snowboard contest. Adding to degree of difficulty was the free-form nature of the event. Riders could chose their own line, making the options endless. Some riders chose to billygoat over the rocks and into the steep runout, while many decided to sack up and send’er as they hucked themselves into the blind oblivion.
Many standout moments transpired: Hans Mindich’s mind-melting cab five off the top which he miraculously held unto, Hana Beaman’s massive boost off the top into a backflip off the next booter, Madison Blackley’s smooth front three off the bottom jump, Rob Kingwell’s consistent poise and style, Mikey Marohn’s huge double back off the top, to Cam Fitzpatrick’s buttery entrance and his laid out backflip — and so much many more!
Now comes the next hard part. Figuring out who the hell should be crowned King and Queen. Fortunately that’s all up to the riders, who will settle into a peer review/watch party on Friday, February 14th at the Continuum Hotel where they vote on who wins the coveted crowns.
The event will wrap with the official afterparty and crowning at the Pink Garter Theatre in downtown Jackson on Saturday, February 15th. DJ Londo will open, followed by music from SoDown for the notoriously rowdy afterparty. The bounty of prize money totaling over $36,000 with be dispersed to the winners, and drinks are sure to be flowing, with music pumping. Will we see you there?
We caught up with a slew of riders for their highlights and favorite moments from Kings and Queens of Corbet’s 2020. Check them out below and stay tuned for to our social channels for more content dropping soon.
If I had to pick one moment besides the event in as a whole, I would have to say it would be riding away from my first cab 5 hit off the top. I went a smidge deeper than I thought I was going to, and for a split second I thought it was all over and then somehow kept standing,— which seemed to be the name of the game yesterday. My heart was pounding and definitely inspired me to kind of just go rogue and try to butter back seven for the second run. All-in-all, it was one of the most fun events I’ve ever been a part of!
Words can’t explain the magnitude of this beast and the crazy things that I saw from the top of that couloir. Huge props to every single person, especially all the ladies out there throwing down. Grateful to survive this and can’t wait to see who will get crowned this year’s #kingsandqueensofcorbets. I decided to opt for the goat path rather than sending off the top and to be the only female to spin the lower big jump. Months of anxiety are gone and I couldn’t be happier with my run.
I’m not sure if there is one standout moment from this contest, because we all just kinda sent it and hoped for the best. I think the snowboarding crew was really cool because of how different all of our backgrounds are. You got guys like Ryland [Bell] who ride big mountain AK stuff and you have the legend, Rob Kingwell, who won the US Open for halfpipe way back in the day and keeps on going, to Hans [Mindnich] who is a video part destroyer with parts in big videos over the years…. So it’s really a cool, unique set of riders on an insane course.
The highlight for me yesterday was seeing Veronica [Paulson] land her backflip— Three years in the making and she stomped it unquestionably! Also, Mikey Marohn’s double backflip send into Corbet‘s was insane, so radical! I did not expect that. Also, I was so proud of Zoë [Vernon] and Marissa [Krawczak] for sending it off the top, and for Madison spinning the bottom jump, that was possibly scarier than the top! Haha
I didn’t have the best runs, but so stoked to get the feet over the head into this beast. I’m completely speechless on the level that all the competitors brought to the table. Huge shout out to Jackson Hole, Red Bull, @jhparkandpow and everyone else who made this happen!
My favorite standout moment was Mikey Marohn double back flipping after arriving late and casual to the event. He’s was so chill and is such a boss.
Felt so good to get some airtime! I wasn’t expecting to be here or to get at much hang time, but this contest was so fun. Didn’t stomp it this time, but I’m super stoked to realize the possibilities when I ride couloirs in the future. Huge thanks to all that made this an incredible event!
Super stoked to get to be a part of the #KingsandQueensofCorbets — Thanks Jackson Hole and Jess McMillan for having me out. My mind was blown at the level of riding.
Favorite moment was probably seeing Veronica Paulson stomp a huge and perfect backflip from the top of Corbets. Way to send Veronica!! Ladies are raising the bar.
So much love for snowboarding and so much love for all of you!