Loss of a Legend

Shane McConkey Passes in Ski BASE accident

Words: Derek Taylor

I knew something was wrong before I even answered the phone. Yesterday, March 26, I was listening to a message Scott Gaffney had just left on my cell telling me he had bad news when my office phone started to ring.

"Do you want it bluntly," Gaffney said.

"Yeah, just give it to me," I answered.

"Shane died."

"Italy?" I asked.

"Yeah, ski BASE."

It was a short conversation. We didn't get into detail beyond that, and I won't here. I told him I was sorry, in a manner completely inadequate to someone who had just lost his best friend. He said he'd give me time to digest it. And we hung up.

For the last 24 hours, we at Powder have done just that. We didn't rush to report this, partly out of respect, and partly, I admit, out of disbelief. Shane McConkey, a luminary to the ski and sky-diving worlds, the inspiration behind every goofy pass picture I've taken and every fake fall I've executed in a parking lot, the man responsible for every skier and snowboarder riding powder on reverse-camber boards, larger than life and seemingly invincible. Shane McConkey has passed away.

For those interested in the how and why, there's a good account here: http://espn.go.com/action/freeskiing/blog?post=4018726.
We are more interested in the Who, and over the next few days, we will be paying tribute to Shane and the influence he has had on our lives. We've also started a tribute page in our community, and encourage you all to tell your own stories and upload your own photos and video of Shane. You can find that here: http://www.powdermag-community.com/profile/RememberingShaneMcConkey.

Also, K2 has a tribute page located here http://k2skis.com/shane-mcconkey-tribute/.

In gratitude, we thank you for the impact—through your skiing and comical energy—you've had on our lives.

We love you, Shane, and will miss you everyday.