When mountain guide Barry Cobert first laid eyes on a harrowing section of mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the 1960s, he proclaimed, “Someday, someone will ski that.” However, he never imagined that someday, someone would mountain bike it.
Now known as Corbet’s Couloir, it’s been named “America’s scariest ski slope.” The entrance to the run is 10 feet wide and leads to a narrow 40-degree slope surrounded by rocks on three sides. In order to get into the couloir, a skier or snowboarder must drop off a 10 to 20-foot cornice, depending on snow level, and point it straight to avoid colliding with a rock face.
It sounds scary enough on skis, but now consider the fact that professional mountain bikers Cam McCaul and Casey Brown descended Cobert’s Couloir on two rubber tires, with brakes that are ineffective on snow.
“Today will be one that will be remembered forever, and it will go into Jackson Hole history, and it will probably be a long time before another bike launches into Corbet’s Couloir,” McCaul said.
Here’s the video from Teton Gravity Research:
The clip makes the stunt seem effortless, but as you’ll see from the behind-the-scenes footage, there was a lot of strategic planning that went into it, and some hard face-first crashing.
“It was late in the spring, so we were worried about the tires sinking in. That’s why we had salt as the backup,” one crew member said. “We’d slip a lane [with the bike], salt it, slip another lane and not salt it, and those guys would really test the snow and see what was working best.”
McCaul was the first to saddle up from the top, but Brown went bigger and hit speeds she thought were near impossible.
Here’s how it went down:
Way to go, Cam and Casey. Now, we’ll insert the “don’t try this at home” disclaimer.