The fourth annual Kings & Queens of Corbet’s took over Jackson Hole this week with single-day finals popping off on Thursday, February 18th. The event has transformed into Jackson Hole’s premier big mountain huckfest for snowboarders and skiers alike. This year’s invite-only event lived up to the hype with insane riding from the stacked field of twenty-six competitors.
Despite bitterly cold temperatures, blustery wind and low visibility throughout the day, the rider's rose to the occasion. The action was next level and Corbet’s Couloir was the scene of consequential sends, massive stomps and a few harrowing bails.
Several new heavy-hitters tested out their abilities in couloir including halfpipe phenom, Yuki Kadono, filmstar Elias Elhardt, and Canadian powerhouse, Audrey Hebert. They joined the ranks of contest veterans including; Cam Fitzpatrick, Hana Beaman, Mikey Marohn, Hans Mindnich and more. All of whom have previously earned their chops by hucking into Corbet’s.
This marked Yuki’s first time in Jackson Hole, and first time riding in a big mountain contest. He was hyped to say the least. Despite a few first-timer jitters, Yuki went massive on both of his drops and looked smooth and stylish throughout.
However, it was Hans Mindnich who stole the show with his mind-melting run. He sent a ginormous backside 360 into a rock ride out on the rider's left wall of Corbet's.
He even surprised himself after the trick, commenting "Things get wild in there!" And then later joked that he was getting 'beta' to climb it in the summer. He took second place for his efforts as the only snowboarder to get on the podium.
Over on the women's side, Madison Blackley was fired up and has her sights set on the crown. This was marked her second year of competing in the couloir, and she didn’t hold back.
Her tactic was to keep things smooth and solid, which her peers awarded her for. She earned the title of Queen of Corbet's and a nice $10,000 paycheck for her win. Audrey Herbert and Zoe Vernon rounded out the podium, making it a clean sweep for the snowboarders.
The winners were announced on Saturday evening at a small, distanced dinner party at the top of the Bridger Gondola. A moment of silence was dedicated to Mike McKelvey, who was heavy on everyone’s minds following his tragic passing on Thursday.
Madison even dedicated her coveted crown and win to Mike. In the emotional moment, she thanked him for being a positive force in her life as a backcountry mentor and friend. Mike was one the first people Madison met from the Jackson snowboard community, and his influence and stoke for life will not soon be forgotten.
This year there wasn’t a livestream, but don’t fret, you’ll be able to watch all the action in its entirety right here on JHSnowboarder.com on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 at 1:00 pm MST.