Mountaineer. Born in Handforth, near Manchester (England), Corbett was the son of a surveyor and sanitary engineer. He was educated at Hulme and Manchester Grammar Schools, before joining St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1895, where he read mathematics. He was one of the founders of The Rucksack Club in Manchester in 1902, dedicated to the exploration of mountains and caves in Britain and elsewhere. Corbett became a member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club in 1923 and, in 1930, became the fourth person, and first Englishman, to climb all of the Munros (mountains over 3000 feet / 914m). He went on to become the second person to climb all the Munro Tops, and then proceeded to climb all the mountains over 2500 feet / 762m. These peaks, formally defined as distinct Scottish mountains between 2500 feet and 3000 feet, which have a re-ascent of 500 feet (152.4m) on all sides, are now named Corbetts in his honour, and those who climb them are Corbetteers.
Corbett worked as a district valuer in Bristol, which is where he died.