bə-lō'nē mō'gəls(n.pl.) 1. A group of drinkers with a shredding problem. 2. The combination of snow, booze, and metal.


Light Reading (Steep and Deep)

Just because it's from 2007, there's no reason this article can't get you psyched about what the Hole has to offer. How many people do you know that pay for the privilege of jumping two stories into a pitched couloir so gnarly that it was considered unrideable in the 60s. Even better, some of us may attempt it on snowboards - not exactly ideal, or graceful.

I'm not there yet and I love everything about Jackson. I must say, their signage is by far the best:

"Our mountain is like nothing you have skied before! It is huge. You could become lost. You could make a mistake and suffer personal injury or death. Give this special mountain the respect it demands!"

Check out this Forbes' article by Christopher Steiner titled: "Corbet's Couloir: America's Scariest Ski Slope."

I've highlighted a few choice passages, but click here to read the full thing.

No ski resort in North America has a chute so legendary as Corbet's Couloir in Wyoming—a crucible where skiers go to prove their mettle (or more often, to retreat in fear). The run is named for Barry Corbet, a mountaineer who in 1960 spotted a narrow crease of snow shaped like an upside-down funnel, high up on the mountain now known as Jackson Hole. Said he: "Someday someone will ski that."

You enter the chute's narrow, flinty mouth in free fall, dropping two stories onto a 55-degree slope. Fail to execute a hard right turn immediately, and you smash into a face of Precambrian rock. Survive, and you then smear speed by executing two nervy turns, exiting down a 45-degree slope as the chute fans out.

The first turn is the problem: Skiers have gained so much speed so quickly that some panic and try to stop; this tactic is unwise at 40mph on so steep a slope. I barely survived, landing in the couloir in a cloud of snow and detritus and almost losing control. But with a twist of my body and some luck, I held on and emerged to plant a reasonably assertive tandem of turns, then skied out the chute. As Steep & Deep's coaches say, "Don't stop—stand up and ski!"

Camp coaches aren't shy about shoving skiers far outside their comfort zones. "That's why you're here, right?" says Richard Lee, head coach, to a roomful of campers the night before skiing starts. His question elicits nervous smiles.

Danger isn't just accepted here, it's embraced. In 1999 Jackson opened up its treacherous, unpatrolled back country to anyone who wants to risk it.

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