Here and Now: Behind the scenes at Kings & Queens of Corbet’s

WORDS & PHOTOS • SAM TAGGART


Attending the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s competition in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a unique experience, one that should be witnessed with your own two eyes. Sure, the video replays strewn across the internet are in high-definition, but there’s something totally awe-inspiring about watching the huckfest in-person. Beyond the jaw-dropping action of the event, Kings and Queens also serves as a community building experience—one founded on a mutual respect for “sending it,” as well as Jackson Hole and the legendary skier who have paved the way in this respect.

Throughout the weeklong event, from the welcome party to the Awards Ceremony, athletes, spectators and media folk, like myself, had the chance to mix and mingle alongside one another on the hill, over drinks at happy hour and at the Pink Garter Theatre for the competition’s afterparty. Taking my camera with me to capture every instance—including those candid, in-between moments—I wanted to photograph the Kings and Queens experience beyond the competition. Here’s a behind the scenes peek at the rowdiest event in skiing, from competition day and beyond.


Kai Jones (left) and Tim Durtschi (right) keepin’ the stoke high before the competition.
Sander Hadley gives us his best “Blue Steel.”
Jackson Hole’s trusty aerial tram, “Big Red.”
Arc’teryx athletes Stinius Skjotskift (left) and Sam Kuch (right) before boarding the tram.
Former Queen of Corbet’s, Caite Zeliff, stands pensive on the tram dock.
Early tram at Jackson Hole—crammed with stokers.
Parkin Costain hangin’ on the tram.
Italian competitor Arianna Tricomi gives a shout of excitement following her first run.
Tools, not jewels.
A look at the spectator section, shot from the Media Corral.
Karl Fostvedt, post-drop.
Event mastermind, Jess McMillan, cracks a grin during the competition.
Parkin Costain, center, showing off GoPro footage of his first run with a group of groms.
Live stream commentator and longtime Jackson local, Jeff Moran.
Just a snippet of the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s crowd.
Caite Zeliff (left) and Forrest Jillson, both Jackson locals, chat strategy at the top of Corbet’s.
Media buzz at the Corbet’s Couloir entrance.
Tim Durtschi takes a “billy goat” approach on his second run into Corbet’s.
Sam Kuch (right) peers into the abyss.
Athlete judging was open to the public this year, inviting spectators to witness replays alongside the athletes.
Karl Fostvedt enjoys a couple custom brews from Roadhouse Brewing Company.
Kings and Queens of Corbet’s athletes deciding the winners.
Caite Zeliff (left) and Forrest Jillson hard at work, judging each run on a 10-point scale.
Veronica Paulsen (left) and Parkin Costain on the judges’ couch.
The Kings and Queens of Corbet’s crowns on display at the Pink Garter Theatre prior to the Awards Ceremony.
Veronica Paulsen (right) with her biggest fan.
“Party favors” at the Awards Ceremony.
From left: Arianna Tricomi, Veronica Paulsen and Caite Zeliff feelin’ good on the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s podium.
Sam Kuch, who placed third in the Men’s division, gets his wallet out.
Sam Kuch (left) and Parkin Costain (right) reveling in the glory of a Kings and Queens podium.

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