Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) has announced that snowboarder Hans Mindnich, skier Piper Kunst, and skier and Jackson Hole native Corey Jackson claimed the top prizes at the fifth annual Kings & Queens of Corbet’s ski and snowboard freeride invitational. The contest pitted a roster of 23 skiers and snowboarders against the resort’s famous Corbet’s Couloir in the most challenging weather conditions in the event’s history. A full replay of the contest is available to watch on-demand exclusively through Red Bull TV.
The event’s nearly two dozen riders voted Mindnich as the King of Corbet’s as the event’s top male performer, and Kunst was named the Queen of Corbet’s as the top female performer. Mindnich hails from Stowe, Vermont, and was competing in his fourth Kings & Queens contest after runner-up finishes each of the past two years. Kunst is a Colorado native and was competing for the first time at the event, one of nine newcomers to the field this year.
Jackson claimed the event’s first-ever People’s Choice award as tens of thousands of viewers watched the event live on Red Bull TV and voted through an interactive page on their desktop or mobile devices.
This year’s Kings & Queens of Corbet’s took place on Thursday, Feb. 17 under a mix of clouds and sun, but weather conditions during the 72 hours leading up to the event made for challenging conditions for riders plunging into Corbet’s Couloir. Jackson Hole received several inches of snow throughout the week amid windy conditions, and the combination of new snowfall on top of existing hardpack conditions presented conditions not seen in past Kings & Queens events.
The adversity united the 23 riders on the course, and there was a strong sense of camaraderie among a mixed group consisting of hardened Corbet’s veterans and past champions, as well as the newcomers looking to make their mark on the mountain.
“Jackson Hole Mountain Resort loves to push the limits and achieve the impossible, and this year’s Kings & Queens contest was a great celebration of the JHMR culture. We’ll remember not just the winners who claimed the top prizes, but also how the entire group of riders responded to the conditions and rallied around one another in support,” said Jess McMillan, senior events and partnership manager at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. “The well-being of the riders is always our top concern and we thank all the people who helped make the course as safe as possible. The event continues to bring out the best in riders, and the combination of newcomers and veterans this year shows that the event can be a great launching pad for an athlete’s career, but it’s also worth coming back to compete year after year.”
Presenting sponsors for the Kings & Queens of Corbet's included Sweet Protection, GoPro, Yeti, Smartwool, Nature Valley, Mammut and GORE-TEX.