Jackson Hole announced on Jan. 24 that it would cancel its famous big send competition on Corbet’s Couloir due to insufficient snow conditions.
Since the start of the new year, Jackson Hole has been hammered with badly needed snow. Over 80 inches fell in the last 2 weeks, making everyone hopeful that the Kings & Queens of Corbet’s Couloir competition would continue as scheduled from Feb. 3 to 10, 2024.
But earlier this week, Jackson Hole Ski Patrol, mountain operations, and current and former athletes visited the couloir to assess the snowpack. And they came back with some disappointing news.
“Corbet’s Couloir requires specific weather factors to fill in properly and create a competition-worthy environment that supports landing mind-blowing tricks and carrying high speed through it,” Jackson Hole Mountain Resort wrote in the Instagram post announcing the cancellation. “Unfortunately, this last storm didn’t deliver what we needed.”
While competitors agreed that the snowpack wasn’t adequate for the elite competition, they did note that it’s likely adequate for expert-level skiers to ski outside of the competition. So far this year, the couloir has remained closed to everyone — but the resort noted it is working hard to change that soon.
Kings & Queens Cancelled
The Kings & Queens of Corbet’s Couloir is a highly anticipated big send ski competition held on the most iconic couloir of Jackson Hole. In 1960, when Barry Corbet first laid eyes on the narrow, rocky chute, the ski patroller prophesized, “Someday somebody is going to ski that.”
It wasn’t Barry. But eventually, someone did. And today, people don’t just ski it. Today, athletes from around the world convene at Corbet’s Couloir to huck, boost, send, and stomp the biggest, most insane tricks they can.
This time last year, Jackson Hole was experiencing record-breaking levels of snow accumulation. By the end of January, it had a total snowfall of 350 inches and an average base of 23 inches. When they held the competition, the couloir was more filled in than ever. Athletes were throwing tricks never seen in the competition before. Jake Hopfinger landed the first-ever double back flip into Corbet’s.
This year, Jackson Hole has only received 157 inches of total snowfall and has an average base of just 7 inches.
So, it looks like Colby Stevenson and Claire McPhearson will get to hold onto their crowns from 2023’s competition for another year. There won’t be a new King and Queen of Corbet’s crowned until 2025.