Is Kings and Queens of Corbet’s the Best Competition in Skiing?

Is Kings and Queens of Corbet’s the Best Competition in Skiing?

Twenty four of the best skiers and snowboarders on the planet. Arguably North America’s greatest ski resort. The single most talked about inbounds run in the United States. All of this equates to the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s, one of the most progressive contests happening in skiing today.

Consistent winter storms have been hammering the Tetons in 2019, but the sky went briefly blue today, allowing for the competition to go down without a hitch. To kick things off, the 24 invited skiers and riders, along with media members, pro photographers, cinematographers, ski patrol and Jackson Hole staff, boarded Jackson’s famous red tram at 8:15 a.m. and were whisked high into the sky, up to 10,450 feet, where they congregated in Corbet’s Cabin for waffles, coffee and a bit of pre-competition relaxation.

When the clock struck 10:30 a.m., it was go time. Athletes were granted two runs each in a winner-takes-all format and left absolutely nothing on the table. Jackson Hole’s dedicated park and pipe crew did a masterful job shaping the couloir’s entrance into a certified diving board, which the athletes took full advantage of. Double backflips were attempted, switch 540s were stomped and a lone sit-skier, High Fives Foundation athlete Trevor Kennison, dropped off the edge of the iconic couloir between runs one and two, sending the crowd at the bottom of Tensleep Bowl into an absolute frenzy.

In the gut of the couloir were three separate jumps, allowing the athletes to choose their own adventure following their entrance into their Kings and Queens of Corbet’s run. The most exciting hit was situated against a rock wall on the skier’s left of the couloir—while multiple people chose this line, 19-year-old Montana shredder Parkin Costain utilized the hit for a double backflip attempt on both of his runs, drawing gasps and applause from his peers and spectators at the bottom.

There were plenty of riders who made it all the way from top to bottom without incident; and there were many more instances of huge yard sales, tomahawks and the like. Luckily, everyone made it out of the contest unscathed.

While the fantastic athletic feats stole the show, the most inspiring aspect of the contest was the camaraderie and community spirit shared by the riders. Competitors—skiers, snowboarders, men, women, friends, strangers—came together to help shape the takeoffs, share conditions reports on the landings, encourage each other to let ‘er buck and cheer one another on, whether a run was stomped or not.

Tincup Whiskey was gracious enough to help sponsor the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s, as well as FREESKIER’s party on Saturday night at the Pink Garter Theatre. Their trusty Tucker Snocat was on-hand to witness the insanity of the competition today.

The competition will be peer-judged, meaning the skiers and snowboarders that put it all on the line today will be the ones deciding the winner this Saturday. The King and Queen will be crowned at FREESKIER’s Kings and Queens of Corbet’s party at the Pink Garter Theatre, which will feature hip-hop royalty act The Pharcyde. Who will take home the crown? Reigning champs Karl Fostvedt and Caite Zeliff certainly have a great shot at repeating. The local (and global) legend Travis Rice put down a pretty heavy first run, too. Sander Hadley, Blain Gallivan, Veronica Paulsen, Mikey Marohn and many others received also eruptions of applause from the crowd. One thing is for certain: The riders have their work cut out for them picking a winner, that’s for damn sure.

 

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