Shane McConkey

Last updated
Shane McConkey
Shane McConkey(BASE Race08).jpg
Shane McConkey at 2007 BASE Race
Romsdalen, Norway
Personal information
Nickname(s)"Saucer Boy"; "Cliff Huckstable"
NationalityFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Born(1969-12-30)December 30, 1969
Vancouver, British Columbia
DiedMarch 26, 2009(2009-03-26) (aged 39)
Dolomite Mountains, Italy
Sport Big Mountain, Ski-BASE, Wingsuit flying

Shane McConkey (December 30, 1969 – March 26, 2009) was a professional skier and BASE jumper. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia [1] and eventually based himself in Squaw Valley, California, but due to an itinerant childhood he never identified with a single place and chose Boulder, Colorado, as the place he came from. It was from here that he started his professional skiing career after initially attending the University of Colorado Boulder before dropping out to pursue his dreams. [2]

BASE jumping activity where participants jump from fixed objects and use a parachute to break their fall

BASE jumping, also sometimes written as B.A.S.E. jumping, is parachuting or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure or cliff. "BASE" is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: building, antenna, span, and earth (cliff). Due to the lower altitudes of the jumps, BASE jumping is significantly more dangerous than skydiving from a plane. In the U.S., BASE jumping is currently regarded by many as a fringe extreme sport or stunt.

Vancouver City in British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America behind New York City, Guadalajara, San Francisco, and Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. 48.9% have neither English nor French as their first language. Roughly 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage.

British Columbia Province of Canada

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.034 million as of 2019, it is Canada's third-most populous province.



He won numerous awards and competitions. McConkey started as a competitive ski racer, but moved on to be featured in a long line of extreme skiing movies. McConkey was known for combining BASE jumping with skiing, as seen in such feats as skiing into a BASE jump off the Eiger. McConkey went to Burke Mountain Academy. He was also known for his contributions to ski design, notably being the father of reverse sidecut and reverse camber skis (aka: skis with rocker); first mounting bindings onto water skis for use in Alaska, then with the Volant Spatula and, more recently, the K2 Pontoon ski design. McConkey's high-speed chairlift and ski area at Park City Mountain Resort are named after his father, Jim McConkey, who was an early proponent of extreme skiing in the U.S. [3] [4] On April 2, 2011 Shane McConkey was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of fame along with other Tahoe skiers, Daron Rahlves and Glen Plake.

Extreme skiing

Extreme skiing is performed on long, steep slopes in mountainous terrain. The French coined the term 'Le Ski Extreme' in the 1970s. The first practitioners include Swiss skier Sylvain Saudan, who invented the "windshield wiper" turn in the mid-1960s, and in 1967 made the first descents of slopes in the Swiss, French and Italian Alps that were previously considered impossible. Saudan's 'first descent' in America was at Mt. Hood March 3, 1971. Early American practitioners include Bill Briggs, who descended Grand Teton on June 16, 1971. The Frenchmen Patrick Vallençant, Jean-Marc Boivin and Anselme Baud and the Italians Stefano De Benedetti and Toni Valeruz were among those who further developed the art and brought notoriety to the sport in the 1970s and 1980s.

Eiger Mountain in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland

The Eiger is a 3,967-metre (13,015 ft) mountain of the Bernese Alps, overlooking Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland, just north of the main watershed and border with Valais. It is the easternmost peak of a ridge crest that extends across the Mönch to the Jungfrau at 4,158 m (13,642 ft), constituting one of the most emblematic sights of the Swiss Alps. While the northern side of the mountain rises more than 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above the two valleys of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, the southern side faces the large glaciers of the Jungfrau-Aletsch area, the most glaciated region in the Alps. The most notable feature of the Eiger is its 1,800-metre-high (5,900 ft) north face of rock and ice, named Eiger-Nordwand, Eigerwand or just Nordwand, which is the biggest north face in the Alps. This huge face towers over the resort of Kleine Scheidegg at its base, on the homonymous pass connecting the two valleys.

K2 Sports company

K2 Sports, LLC is an American company founded in 1962 by brothers Bill and Don Kirschner on Vashon Island, near Seattle, Washington in the United States. K2 is known for pioneering fiberglass ski technology, which made skis significantly lighter and more lively than their wood and metal contemporaries. Famous users of K2 skis include Seth Morrison, pro champion Spider Sabich, World Cup and Olympic champion Phil Mahre, and his twin brother Steve Mahre, World Champion and Olympic silver medalist and Laurent Donato, great Belgo-Italian amateur skier.


On March 26, 2009, Shane McConkey died while executing a ski-BASE jump on the Sass Pordoi, a mountain in the Sella group, in the Italian Dolomites. One of his skis failed to release, sending him into a spin. After he corrected the problem, it was too late to deploy his parachute. [5]

Sella group mountain range in the Dolomites

The Sella group is a plateau-shaped massif in the Dolomites mountains of northern Italy. The Sella lies north of the Marmolada and to the east of the Langkofel. The highest peak is Piz Boè at 3,151 m (10,338 ft) above sea level.

Dolomites Mountain range in the Alps

The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley. The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.

Career accomplishments

2005: Nominated for Laureus World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year, ranked #1 in Powder Magazine's Reader Poll and won Powder Magazine’s Full Throttle Award.

2004: Ranked #2 again in Powder Magazine’s Reader Poll, won Powder Magazine’s Full Throttle award, won Powder Magazine’s Best Helmet Cam award, went ski BASE jumping all over Europe, double front flip off the Eiger and got married in Thailand.

Thailand Constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th-largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. It is a unitary state. Although nominally the country is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup, in 2014, established a de facto military dictatorship under a junta.

2003: Ranked #2 in Powder Magazine’s Reader Poll, completed his first of over 700 BASE jumps. [6]

2002: Ranked #1 in Powder Magazine’s Reader Poll and invented a revolutionary powder ski: The Volant Spatula with reverse camber and reverse sidecut.

2001: ESPN Action Sport Awards Skier of the Year, Red Bull Ultra Cross’s Big Air Comp - 1st and ranked #1 in Skiing Magazine’s Top 25 skiers in North America.

Competition results








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  1. "Vancouver-born extreme skier McConkey killed in Italy". The Vancouver Sun . March 27, 2009. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  2. Gifford, Bill (July 2009). "Shane McConkey's Last Run". Men's Journal . Archived from the original on 2015-02-02.
  3. [ dead link ]
  4. Eric (March 27, 2009). "The powder day of the year?!". Park City Mountain Resort. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  5. Mutrie, Tim (March 27, 2009). "Statement from JT Holmes". ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  6. Casimiro, Steve (March 26, 2009). "Skier Shane McConkey Killed BASE-Jumping in Italy". the adventure life. Steve Casimiro. Archived from the original on November 8, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2012. (Steve Casimiro is the West Coast Editor of National Geographic Adventure .)