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Drop Corbets Couloir or Ski the Swiss Wall


blog-number4-drop-corbets-couloir-or-ski-the-swiss-wallThe 'ultimate' bucket list for snow addicts...No.4

 This week's bucket list entries are a step away from the more extreme orientated options of previous weeks.  Where in recent weeks we've talked about the experiences to have and places to be, we felt it was time to move to include something we could all boast about at home or work. Today we're going to concern ourselves with what can be a far great personal accomplishment, skiing or riding Corbet's Couloir or The Swiss Wall.

We at Snow Rehab feel that completing either of these presents an exhilirating challenge for any accomplished skier or boarder.

lachavanetteLe Pas de Chavanette, or colloquially known in English as "The Swiss Wall" is a particularly steep and difficult piste placed between the French resort of Avoriaz and the Swiss resorts of Les Crosets and Les Champéry.  A sign placed at the top stating 'Experts Only' is an ominous indication of what's to come that's only furthered when you begin your initial descent and realise that you're blind to the slope dropping away in front of you.

If the warning sign wasn't enough to convince you of the challenge ahead then the classification of the piste as not red, not a black, but an orange run in the Swiss/French difficulty classification on the piste map should assure you that the experience had will be well worth writing home about.

Made of mainly bumps and often very icy, the 1km run, despite its width will make sure your legs are killing by the time you make it down (just in time for some early aprés?). Although perhaps not as difficult in its gradient or lack of space, the icy bumps will make sure that you remember it long after you jump on your next lift. 

Now, if the thought of The Swiss Wall feels like a trifle too straight forward then our next suggestion may be right up your street.  Corbet's Couloir has a worldwide reputation as a run that every 'hardcore' must do once in a lifetime.  Placed in Jackson's Hole, Wyoming USA, it has been described by USA Today as "America's scariest ski slope".

Like your local pool's high diving board, more people come to look than actually leap. In anything but high snow conditions the only method of entry is a 10ft drop entry into the top of the chute and with the navigation around a rock to come, or a larger 20+ ft drop that mitigates the rock question.  Alternatively, in high snow conditions an awkward side stepping procedure can be carried out- though be aware that boasting in a local tavern will have you quickly brought back to earth should this be your choice of approach...

Alternatively, if having your drinks bought for you all that night, and quite possibly the rest of the week seems like an attractive proposition- then why not enter by lawn dart?

For many of us, skiing is a one week a year holiday to be enjoyed on reds, blues and the odd black and so the thoughts of pushing moguls all day, cliff jumping and rocking mining simply don't seem like a "good time".  However, for those of you who might like the odd challenge, then why not hit up one these runs should you ever be in the area?  Most resorts have runs of similar difficulty (though perhaps not Orange or Triple Black Diamond difficulty!) and those off the beaten trail are often not even categorised at all!

Whatever's up your street, runs such as these should be on a serious skier's bucket list.  After all it's a list of things we'd love to do without being a definitive collection of the things we 'will' do before our time is up.  Either way, we hope that such a challenge of Snow Rehab's bucket list might make it onto yours!

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