According to lore, in 1960 a ski patroller at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort looked up at the giant cornice and narrow chute of the run that would later bear his name and said, “Someday somebody is going to ski that.”
But could Barry Corbet foretell Colby Stevenson making the plunge while performing a twisting backflip?
Twenty of the world’s best big mountain skiers and snowboarders found creative ways to enter Corbet’s Couloir on Tuesday while competing in the prestigious Kings and Queens of Corbet’s contest. Stevenson of Park City counted among those dropping off cliffs at the Wyoming resort, as did Piper Kunst and Madison Blackley, both of Salt Lake City, and Blake Wilson of Sandy.
Kunst, a skier, and Blackley, a snowboarder, were trying to bring the queen’s crown back to Utah for the third straight year. They are the Corbet’s queens from 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Unlike most contests, no separate division exists for skiers and snowboarders. In addition to the initial drop, the athletes can fly off mid-mountain kickers and over one of three jumps in front of the crowd as they choose their own path down the steep slope.
This year, for the first time, the winners were not revealed on the contest day. Instead, they will be unveiled during the online recap show that is scheduled to air Tuesday on the Red Bull TV website and app and on the Jackson Hole resort YouTube channel.
Until then, clips of each athlete’s run can be found at redbull.com. Fans can vote for their favorites until 5 p.m. Wednesday. The top vote-getters will receive a People’s Choice award.
Athletes from a variety of backgrounds compete in the event, which has grown in prestige since its inception in 2018. Stevenson, for example, missed last year’s Kings and Queens event because he was in China winning the Olympic silver medal in big air skiing. Kunst, on the other hand, moved from Colorado to attend the University of Utah and later Westminster College. The 22-year-old was basically an undiscovered talent before winning last year’s event.