It’s truly difficult to come up with words to describe the feeling I had when I learned of Shane McConkey’s passing yesterday in a Ski-BASE jumping accident in the Italian Dolomites. Though in my mind, this accident may have been inevitable, it’s always sad to see the life of  such a vibrant personality cut short.  I don’t even know where to start, but I’ll share my fondest memory of Shane with you.

Shane McConkey 1969 - 2009 Courtesy - Graeme Murray/Red Bull Photofiles

It was at the 2000 Canadian Freeskiing Competition at Whistler-Blackcomb. Everyone in the ski scene had descended upon Blackcomb for the freeskiing and big air competition. The morning of the big air comp was met with a good 8-inches of freshies, so we were all lapping the runs surrounding the park as the hits were prepped for the comp.

Up the lift, I had noticed Shane McConkey a few chairlifts back. Then, when we all skied down towards the terrain park, I caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye. Upon stopping with a crowd of contestants, I caught everyone’s attention and said, “I saw Shane McConkey skiing down this way.”

The funny thing was just as I said “I saw…”, the man himself came skidding into our posse and he heard my star-struck announcement. I’ll never forget him smiling that huge smile and then looking around and saying, “No way, Shane McConkey! Where!?!?”.  We all laughed and then skied off.

Now skiers everywhere and close friends and family of Shane are reeling from the loss of the freeskiing legend, ski-BASE jumping pioneer, Saucerboy and all-around good guy.  May Shane’s wife and daughter feel the support they so desperately need at this time and may we all live our lives to the fullest in his memory. May he rest in peace.

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Photo Credit: Graeme Murray/Red Bull Photofiles

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. I echo these sentiments exactly. Shane will be very missed, and I hope his family is able to find some comfort in the coming days, months, and years without him.

  2. Pingback: K2 to Sell Shane McConkey Limited-edition Skis, Donate Proceeds -

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