Shane McConkey, 1969-2009.
Legendary big mountain skier, BASE jumper, saucer boy and general sickbird, Shane McConkey died today in a ski BASE jumping accident in the Italian Dolomites. Details are hard to find, but word is that there were complications with one of his skis coming off during free fall. Shane reportedly did a double front flip over a large cliff with the intention of ditching both skis before flying through the air in a wing suit. When one of his skis didn’t come off, it forced him upside down and then into a bad spin. It is unknown whether he was able to deploy his chute or not. Shane was on location filming with Matchstick Productions and Red Bull at the time, and apparently working on a double-BASE jump project near the Val Scura Couloir, in which he ski-BASE jumps off one cliff, flies down to another patch of snow, cuts away from the chute, lands, and then ski-BASE jumps again.
Shane’s ski-BASE line on the Val Scura.
Previously, Shane (with JT Holmes) succeeded in ski-BASE jumping off a cliff next to the Val Scura Couloir, a line the I have always dreamed of skiing. After skiing the first few hundred feet, Shane traversed skiers right on a ledge before successfully BASE jumping to the ground. “Today was a good day.”, Shane commented about the line. Unfortunately, in the world Shane lives in, even the smallest mistakes or problems can be fatal. Though we’ve never met Shane, I have admired your talents and bold style from afar. RIP Shane…may you find the eternal flight.