A Flying Leap

On Saturday, my friend Randy and I skied the Big Couloir at Big Sky:

Big Couloir

The couloir is that dogleg on the right side of the photograph – pretty much the only skiable line down from the top 🙂

Big Sky is supposedly known for its extreme terrain, but this particular slope just wasn’t that extreme at all – even though Wikipedia says

Big Sky Resort in Montana has a run called “Big Couloir” at 50 degree pitch for over 1,000 feet of vertical is one of the most intense in-bounds trails in America”(sic).

So “one of the most intense in-bound trails” was easy for me. We skied it twice, in fact, in a row. However, the next level – Corbet’s Couloir – is impossible for me.

(Full disclosure – Randy and I came in from the side, just below the top – the top was a bit too rocky. I suspect that, were there more snow, I’d try coming in from the top, which would be more difficult. But it still wouldn’t be Corbet’s).

The title of this post does not refer to coming off a cornice into a couloir – it refers to one of the theories about how dinosaurs learned how to fly and become birds; the idea that they ran and jumped while flapping their wings (or some such). It’s basically an attempt to describe just how these critters went from walking around to flying; a big evolutionary change that just doesn’t seem to be incremental.

I have the same sort of problem with Corbet’s – there’s nothing in between for me to learn on. There’s things like Big Couloir, which are easy, and then there’s Corbet’s, which is impossible. And there’s no graduated change for me – there’s nothing more difficult than Big, but less difficult than Corbet’s, for me to make the transition.

So I’m FEEL LIKE I’m ready to give up on skiing now*, and move to the Big Island. Might as well, if I can’t ski Corbet’s. I reckon I’m stuck because I want to get *better*, and for me “get better” doesn’t mean “look smoother while skiing” or “be more efficient” or any such non-measurables; it means being able to do something that I couldn’t do before.

I suppose that I could work on bumps, of course – one can never ski the bumps too well.

*I gave up on skiing in 2005, and moved to the desert, and was miserable for many years, until we got a place in the mountains so that I could start skiing again. So I probably won’t be moving to the Big Island, especially since Ethel won’t go (She says that she will, but she won’t). I might just keep trying to find some way to graduate from the other stuff to Corbet’s – maybe start off with a jump from the top into Big, then a bigger jump, etc etc.

  1. Chris - W0EP said:

    If you get enough snow at the house you can jump off the roof a few times as a warm-up.

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