Our vert vs THEIR vert
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KevR
January 23, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Ok -- just for fun. Dug up this old article on the top 10 most famous steeps around the world...

http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/skiing/features/extreme_classics.htm

They are subjectively picked as follows:
1) Ruby Bowl, Whistler
2) Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole
3) Hangman's Hallow, Mammoth
4) The Palisades, Squaw Valley
5) Le Grands Montets, Chamonix
6) Trefide Couloir, La Grave, France
7) Highland Bowl, Aspen
8) Big Couloir, Big Sky
9) El Marte, Las Leñas, Argentina
10) Valluga, St. Anton, Austria

For what's its worth I have a friend who has done all the US listed runs (!) And last year at age 50 he did Corbet's for the second time.

I myself, well, I stood near the edge of the thing... that's about all I could muster!

:-)

(Anonymous)
January 23, 2004
I have only been to #'s 1 and 4 myself.
Roger Z
January 23, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Of course, there's "most famous," then there is "actual." I've a feeling there are steeper lines out there, they're just not sexy...
KevR
January 23, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Yeah Jackson is famous for its unmarked inbound terrain and out of bound terrain. A ski patroller told my friend about another unofficial trail near Corbet's -- a double cliff jump... He was like, "well, I don't think we've ever had anyone seriously injured at Corbet's, heck people fall into it all the time... You can even take a class and we'll have ya down it in a week."
BUT I was there, I looked over into it -- not a chance for me. I'd have to be quite a bit better and stupid, or maybe I should say STUPIDER! :-)

I was just able to go down the black diamonds -- steep and ungroomed with trees, rocks and and so forth scattered about. I struggled with that. I was dang happy to have done that!

Then from the lift the double-black diamonds looked quite beyond me. Most seemed to end in some form of cliff jump or hop. In several cases it seemed obvious that you could easily get "stuck" with no obvious way out -- the locals called this "cliffed out..."

I kept looking at these things and it seemed like slip would almost certainly result in injury...

BUT maybe I was just bamboozeled by all the terrain. I'd like to go back again and have another look...

Chad
January 23, 2004
Member since 12/12/2000 🔗
270 posts
i havent skied any of these runs, but i have been to jackson and bigsky several times each. corbetts really didnt look that tough when i was there (it was closed). but big couloir at big sky looked like suicide to me. i seriously couldnt even believe it was a "run". probably four times as long as corbetts, plus a big elbow turn halfway down to make a fall that much more deadly.
Chad
January 23, 2004
Member since 12/12/2000 🔗
270 posts
WAIT! i take it back. i have skied hangmans hollow at mammoth. we rode the summit gondola at least a dozen times that day, running hangmans over and over.
Roger Z
January 23, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
KevR two good double blacks for testing yourself at JH are Alta Chutes and the Tower 3 Chute. Neither have mandatory air. Bird in the Hand, however, does if you go down the right spots-- only about three feet and I tried that and loved it.
NCskier
January 23, 2004
Member since 12/12/2003 🔗
30 posts
Aren't the Alta chutes about 50 degrees and the steepest at JH. I think the unofficial run near Corbet's what KevR was talking about was S&S couliour.
Roger Z
January 23, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Are they that steep? Those might be The Expert Chutes you're thinking of-- they looked pretty grim. Alta comes toward one of the chairs and wasn't bad.
canaanman
January 23, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
358 posts
Mandatory air, is a bit daunting at times. When I was out on Mt. Hood, there was an awesome untracked in-bounds bowl that hadn't been touched all morning. Why? Because there was a 10-15 foot cornice drop into it. It was all soft and powdery snow down there, so I said what the heck, and threw myself off of it without a care in the world. And everything turned out alright.

The key thing when taking 'required' airs is to not think negatively. After all, you're gonna land it and be drinking a pint come closing. There's no considering hospitalization, pain, etc. Dont' even let that slip into your train of thought. Just focus in, and go for it. Chances are, 99% you'll come out alright. What doesn't kill one, only makes one stronger.

KevR
January 23, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
S&S is right next Corbet's and supposedly you have to get permission to ski it from the ski patrol hut at the top. I'm not quite sure how they police it or prevent anyone from skiing up to it and just doing it...

Corbet's, at this point, i think has more cachet perhaps than out and out craziness. I think at one time it was at the cutting edge, so to speak.

For example, the ski patrol guys said he'd done it the first time at age 7.

What we heard is its easiest right at the first in the AM. The snow tends to settle into it and build up, and this makes it substantially easier ... once it's all been tracked out, the cornice that can form means you have to jump straight down that and then land and zig-zag your way down avoiding some big rocks and stuff, before it opens up. In theory NOT THAT HARD! ( and that's my rather simplistic understanding of the whole affair. ) :-)

In the case of my friend, at age 25 he jumped into it, but at age 50, he actually climbed over the cornice and went from there. It did not help that there were howling 50+ mph winds and no visibility which is why he climbed in, although in all honesty I don't think he would have jumped it either with good visibility because he's been there numerous times, and not done it again until last year.

The double-cliff jump run was described as behind the tram opposite to corbets (sortof) ... at least that's the way I recall it and no name was given... if you go, ask and see if anyone has any idea what i am refering to and it's real (unmarked) run...???

anyway, I was just happy to go down the hobacks and some of the blacks sprinkled around the place, that was a step up for me!

I would enjoy trying some double-backs if I didn't have to jump ... maybe a few feet at most. I have a dodgy knee, ripped ligament (not ACL) from another sport, so I'm more than tepid to load it up too much!

Yes, a CHICKEN by any other name!! ;-)

Thanks for the heads up on those double-blacks, I would really like to go back sometime soon and ski the place again, it was easily my favorite of the out west resorts I've been to, but I'd go back to any of them. They all have great stuff to ski and I'm one for the mountains and views regardless...

powderpig
January 23, 2004
Member since 12/5/2003 🔗
63 posts
Last year I was riding the chair in Blue Sky Basin at Vail when I watched some guy huck a back flip off the cornice at Lovers Leap. Granted there was a nice foot or so of fluff but a twelve foot backflip was impressive to myself and most who were watching from the lift.

Personally I have only done small cornices at Kirkwood, Squaw and Vail but some day Ill get my shot at a few on that list.

(Anonymous)
January 23, 2004
http://freespace.virgin.net/jonathan.land/corbet%20info.htm

Good Stuff on Corbets,

canaanman
January 23, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
358 posts
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/corbets/

Really good stuff on Corbet's.

Roger Z
January 23, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Canaanman I'd agree that some mandatory air is okay, but I just don't do it enough to get the confidence up yet for anything big. That 15 foot drop would have been tempting for all that pow. The biggest man-air I've done onto a non-flat landing surface was a three foot cornice into Don's Descent at Big Mountain and a similar three or four feet into "The Good, Bad, and Ugly" at Grand Targhee. Not sure those piddly little leaps even qualify but I did have to take a breath before doing it...

...the two steepest runs I've been on are Bighorn at Big Mountain Montana (incidentally a GREAT ski hill, my favorite out west-- I like the snow in Utah but I still have a soft spot for Big Mtn) and some double black at Lake Louise who's name slips me right now. The first pitch you come to you can't even see the pitch, so I skied to my left until I could see the trail (barely). I came down that and went back to the pitch you couldn't see-- there was a big rock sticking out of the snow and one skier after another was scraping over it, so I'm glad I didn't go down it.

Lake Louise has some pretty gnarly terrain though. On *average*, I'd say their terrain is steeper than Jackson Hole's. Jackson Hole has some legendary pitches and OB skiing that are certainly steeper than anything that LL can offer, but the double diamonds-- as well as some of the single diamonds-- at LL all made me think twice (except for one). That wasn't the case at JH. I've heard Fernie is even steeper than Lake Louise but haven't been there yet.

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