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Kings and Queens of Corbet’s went off today in full send mode with skiers and snowboarders gathering atop the famed Corbet’s Couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to chuck themselves off the lip of the famous chute. Let me say this up front: I count myself lucky to have been able to stand on that lip and watch those athletes launch for the past two years. You almost feel guilty standing there in your cozy puffy, that’s underneath your cozy shell with your hand warmers stuffed comfortably in your mittens as you armchair quarterback each run with the rest of the geeky media throng. Meanwhile athletes from all over the world who’ve gathered on top of the mountain are doing the real work, launching themselves for the love of send and sponsorship. It’s a fantastic show.

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A couple of things stood out. While the snow was deeper and softer than it’s ever been for the four years Jackson has hosted the event, the light did not want to cooperate. Low hanging clouds filtered through all day as the athletes tried to spot landings coming out of all sorts of tricks. It wasn’t easy. Then there was the intermittent wind blowing snow everywhere. But this was the best day in the seven-day weather window so officials had to make the call. And a bunch of shredders stepped to the mic.

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My two favorite runs of the day were probably Hans Mindnich’s mind-bending three to wall grind as he saw a line plenty of athletes have looked at but none have stepped to. And he stomped it, completing the three before sliding the rest of the way down the granite wall on lookers left in the famous couloir. The other was Parkin Costain’s: the 21-year-old Montana native, and last year’s champ, is so precise. His double backflip was pretty much flawless and there was a flat seven in the man-made hits below as well.

Elias Elhardt threw a gorgeous method, seemingly the most simple of tricks that when thrown stylishly, is an easy favorite. And Elhardt’s was sick. Watching Yuki Kadono was another highlight as he showed off insane body control, avoiding the dreaded over-rotation when he stomped a seemingly simple switch 180, halting his mid-air spin when it looked like he had no choice but to keep rotating. Veronica Paulsen was back again, chucking another beauty of a backflip into the maw but like so many competitors on this day, she was unable to stick the landing. Watching Quebec’s Audrey Hebert go for a front flip was also a highlight.

Completing a clean run with no falls proved the ultimate challenge today, especially as the landing got bombed out, becoming stiffer with each run. All in all, another insane show from Jackson Hole.

Be sure and tune in to the full broadcast of the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s Monday February 22 on Red Bull TV and at JacksonHole.com when full results will become available.

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