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!
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...
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.
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...
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.
Good Stuff on Corbets,
Really good stuff on Corbet's.
...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.