Kings and Queens of Corbet’s 2022 - What to Look Out For in Snowboarding
Check out this breakdown of Jackson Hole's legendary freeride ski and snowboard event—Kings and Queens of Corbet's—with Snowboard Expert Bri Dornisch!
Prepare to send, freeride-lovers everywhere. The time of year is finally upon us. The roster is up. The Rocky Mountains are coated in pow. Enter the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s!
One of the gnarliest events in the winter sports world returns for its fifth year running with a weather window of February 12th-18th, 2022. The event takes place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, over the course of one day. So, with eyes to the skis, when the athletes hear “go,” it’s game time.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Corbet’s Couloir—named for Barry Corbet, extreme skier and mountaineer who first spotted the line—sits high on the list of most famous and most formidable chutes in the country, as well as the world.
The Kings and Queens of Corbet’s event is a chance for the best freeriders in the game to prove their grit and show off their biggest tricks. There are no restrictions in the couloir, and nobody shows up with the intent of playing it safe. This means that every year, the athletes get braver, the tricks get nastier, and the stoke grows even higher.
Who to Look Out For
The 2022 comp brings both fearless returners and new faces. Out of the 21 athletes invited to participate in this year's event, 11 are snowboarders! For a more ski-specific run-down of this event, check out this guide!
On the Women’s Side…
Madison Blackley, hailing from Park City, is the reigning women’s champion and returns this year with a decade of street-riding creativity at her back and the Queen’s crown upon her head.
Audrey Hebert is also back for more. Hebert, freeride snowboarding heavyweight out of Banff, took second last year after a wicked front flip performance.
The final returner for the ladies on the snowboard side is Marissa Krawczak. Spending most of her time backcountry splitboarding, she's strapping her snowboard back on for her third appearance at this event! This is a stout lineup. Expect some absolutely mind-bending tricks from these chicks!
On the Men’s Side…
The hailing King Karl Fostvedt returns, holding the title from both 2018 and 2021. Appropriately known as “crazy Karl,” this backcountry skier out of Sun Valley, Idaho is known for pushing himself, and the sport, to an entirely new level every time he shows up. Keep an eye on crazy Karl’s line; it won’t disappoint.
Other notable returning athletes on the men’s side include Hans Mindnich, Parkin Costain (skier), and Jake Hopfinger (skier). Mindnich took second place in 2020 and 2021. His line went viral last year after following up a backside 360 with an epic rockwall rideout.
Costain, a backcountry skier out of Big Sky, Montana, and a regular in Teton Gravity Research films, took the crown in 2020 and is back to reclaim his throne. Hopfinger was the first athlete to ever land a double backflip in the daunting couloir. 2022 is his third appearance at Kings and Queens, and he will undoubtedly bring the heat.
There are always a few Jackson, Wyoming locals that show up to represent their home mountain. This year, out of Jackson, we will see snowboarder Cam Fitzpatrick, as well as skiers Corey Jackson, and Tim Durtschi.
Coming all the way from Japan—the only international competitor this year— is Yuki Kadano. It may be snowboarder Kadano's first year in the couloir, but he is no stranger to taking wins on the big stage. His list of accolades includes taking first in the 2015 and 2020 Burton Open Slopestyle and appearing in the 2014 Olympics Slopestyle finals.
Other first-timers looking to take home the title include Grant Giller, Ryan Wachendorfer, Chase Blackwell, Cooper Branham, and Nial Romanek. Giller is a Colorado native who started his career competing in slopestyle but now spends most of his time on a splitboard in the backcountry. Wachendorfer and Blackwell, also out of Colorado have both been competing on the halfpipe circuit for years. Branham, though originally from Washington, found his love for freeriding when he moved to Colorado to attend school at CU Boulder. And last but not least, Romanek, who will be traveling from Truckee, California where he now lives after growing up riding the street and urban scene in Minnesota. With all these different backgrounds we can absolutely expect a great show this year in the Tetons!
How to Watch
The event will be livestreamed on Red Bull TV. Be on the lookout for that “all forces go” weather window—you won’t want to miss a moment of the action.
New this year is the People’s Choice Award. After the event, the crowd will have the opportunity to cast their vote! Voting ends February 18 at 5 pm MST, so keep those eyes peeled throughout the day for the craziest, wildest, most unbelievable trick, and send a vote for your fave skier or rider! These 21 fearless athletes deserve praise for taking on one of the most challenging and high stake runs in the United States.
Just one question remains: will the King and Queen of Corbet’s defend their crowns or will they be usurped by one of the many brave freeriders of 2022? Tune in to find out.
I’ll be back once the competition wraps to cover the most exciting moments, and in the meantime, be sure to reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated to get you the freeride setup of your dreams!