Posted in: Sports

Shane McConkey dies in ski base jumping accident


Extreme skiier and base jumping pro Shane McConkey has died in a ski-base accident while filming his latest movie in Italy.

McConkey started as a competitive freestyle skier, them moved on to extreme skiing movies. He won several national and international skiing competitions, including the X Games and World Extreme Skiing Championships, but became best known for combining base jumping with skiing.

According to ESPN, McConkey experienced problems in the air after launching off a cliff with the expectation of deploying his parachute canopy and then gliding down to the ground. A witness said a ski failed to come off in the air, causing McConkey to spin out of control, preventing him from deploying his parachute.

McConkey is survived by his wife, Sherry, and their 3½-year-old daughter Ayla.

Here’s an old video showing McConkey in action:

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156 Responses to “Shane McConkey dies in ski base jumping accident”

  1. Hbomb

    Long live Shane! He took skiing to the next level. The guy is a legend! RIP my friend, RIP

  2. News Review

    So sad that we have lost another legendary talent. Our deepest condolences to the family and friends left behind by Mr. McConkey.. We sincerely pray that may his soul rest in peace.. You will surely be missed! Fly High Shane!

  3. seth

    blue skies, we will always remember, one hell of a pioneer!!.. the “Gambler” knows

  4. shanehero

    my heart goes out to family and friends. shane will always be remembered for his ability to push the boundaries of skiing – the greatest sport in the world. RIP you crazy sob.

  5. Stephanie

    my heart foes out to his wife and kids and rest of his family. My step-son is a expeert skiier and went to Porillo Chile to ski with Shane, Dave Davenport and others. It was a ski 'camo' he'll never forget. He is always the one who's better than everyone else and is pushing others to their limits — this week he was finally having his limits pushed and he was in HEAVEN !!!! He wa sSO tired every night & extremely happy. He also made friends with the guys and got to know Shane & Dave over the week they spent together, as well as Shane's wife and kids – Jay sent lots of pics and they looked to be a beuatiful family.

    So sorry to hear about this tragic acident – Shane was a person who lived life to the extreme, unfortunately he died to the extreme. He did die doing what he loved – I just pray he came to terms with it in the short time he had.

  6. Clay

    Wife and Kid left behind…what a tragedy. Not a very responsible father or husband.

  7. Scott Kirwin

    How truly selfish. Now he's dead and left his child without a father.
    If you want to do these stunts and risk your lives – go ahead. Just don't have kids.
    As soon as you have a child your first responsibility becomes your kid. You've got to tone down things because they rely upon you being there for them.

    It's a shame that he died not realizing that, but leaving a daughter without a father – that's the true tragedy.

  8. bill

    clay …only thing that is worth saying to you is you are an …idiot

  9. risk

    Life is an inherent risk and doing these types of activities increases risk but don't fault someone for pushing life's limits without knowing the family dynamic.

  10. Toofunny

    Funny other than the fact that this irresponsible tail wipe left a child behind. These attention whores eventually get it in the end.

  11. John Galt

    Wow. What a complete idiot. Why, if you have a wife and child, would you do something that has such a good chance of killing you. No matter what precautions you take, there is always that EXTREME chance that things will go wrong. May his wife and child be comforted during this difficult time.

  12. vs

    the video ends up with the question “why not?”. Ass…because things may go wrong and someone may end up a bloody mess.

  13. ryan

    you know what man Shane was one of the best people to ever graced us with his presence. I was friends with him and his family and this is not the time or the place to make hateful comments. Shane is missed by our entire community. He was like superman to most around here and we're all reeling from his loss. So keep your opinions to yourself.

  14. jordan

    You mean a good chance of killing you like smoking or drinking and driving… which is done by way more people and puts way more innocents at risk. Try drinking and driving for the amount of time he was pushing the limits and we will see which one is more responsible. You should be more concerned with the people making horrible decisions around you not somebody who has accepted complete personal risk to himself and not to others in a search for what life is supposed to be.

  15. Bill Clinton

    So Natasha Richardson is disgraceful for not wearing a helmet 24/7 cause she had kids & could have fallen anywhere.. John Gault & Toofunny are jealous tools!

  16. Smartguy

    Schmuck. Some people just don't want to grow up. Now his kid will have to grow up without a dad.

  17. mark

    Thats why you don't do stupid crap like this. now he leaves his wife and a child behind all because he jumped off a cliff on purpose.

  18. mark

    why because what he said is true. You're an idiot for disagreeing with him.

  19. mark

    No. but I think your odds ov death increase tenfold when you jump off a freakin cliff.

  20. Robert

    The guy on the film clip says “why not?” I guess he has his answer now. I'm all for people pushing limits. But when you have a wife and kid.

  21. John Galt

    To Jordan and Bill Clinton,

    I have nothing to be jealous of – I am still alive, and my wife is happy that I am. And to compare what happened to Ms. Richardson to this is asinine. She was not taking an unnecessary risk such as jumping off the side of a mountain. I agree, accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, but when you purposefully do something that has a very good chance of killing you, as opposed to falling down in your driveway, then you suffer the consequences. This man, or should I say boy, was a selfish ego junkie that had no regard for his wife or child. If he did, he would choose to do something that was a little more responsible and not so selfish. I hope his ego is full wherever he ended up. : )

  22. JJ

    What a poor comparison – Natasha's accident was purely that – a tragic accident – no one expects to get a concussion from skiing lessons, and if she was advised of a helmet – what a terrible lesson to have been learned. I believe the point others are making – which is definitely not the right time so soon after – um, is there a good time? – anyway, the point, Bill – is that he had a hobby that could have a deadly concequences at any given time….and he always HOPED to make it out alive and push the envelope. So, please – while the folks that are wagging their fingers about the responsible thing to do by family at the wrong time – don't compare two completely different hobbies and accidents. RIP Shane…and give blessed comforts and healing to his family and friends.

  23. tom

    I agree. With a wife and child, that should change the way that one would risk their life.

  24. rixter

    clay is right…he left behind a wife and daughter doing something unbelievably dangerous and risky.

  25. USPA

    Grow up. You think this was just a hobby? Obviously the man loved what he was doing but he was also making a living doing it.

  26. John Galt

    So life is supposed to be about jumping off of cliffs and being selfish? Hmmm…I guess I did not get that memo, and I hope no one else gets it either.

  27. rixter

    life is no inherent risk…do you actually even think that statement makes sense? It's his fault for putting himself in that extremely high risk situation.

  28. rixter

    Making a living or not it was irresponsible. He probably could have made just as much money giving private lessions to high profile skiiers…just in a safer environment. Just too risky IMO to take the chance of leaving a family behind.

  29. John Galt

    Well, as a friend, you should have told him to grow up and stop doing things that would get himself killed.

  30. Greg

    Yes….so we should all quit working because we are far more likely to die driving to work eveyday….what a bunch of crappy fathers you all are….driving to work…putting your life at risk. You guys are idiots. The man was lucky enough to do what he loved for a living, unlike most of us, and his death was no more preventable than that of a father who is killed in an accident going to work.

  31. jordan

    No its not about jumping off cliffs, its about living out your freedom and not being pinned down to societies idea of life… working a boring job so you can retire when your sixty and look back at what could've been. I don't condone his actions regarding his family, same as I didn't condone Dan Osman's actions but don't say that he is a complete idiot because of the stance he took on life. He probably got more out of life in a single day than most people get out of a lifetime. Everyone is living life in fear and its people like himself and others, (once again not regarding his family status) that are opening peoples eyes that we aren't these working robots and that we have the choice to experience the natural, the unimaginable, and yes the extreme.

    There are many many people taking more ridiculous risks everyday with way less or no reward.

  32. Ron in VA

    What does drinking and driving have to do with extreme sports? Yes, if you drink & drive you're an idiot. Apparently Jordan, you're an idiot with a keyboard.

    Yes, if you have a child, you give up the stupid things you did in your life that you did before you took on the most awesome responsibility. 39 is pretty old to be pushing your limits anyway. I'm 41 with a 17 month old baby girl and I have given up personal aircraft's and anything that could shorten my time with the best thing in my world, my daughter. Apparently he didn't care about his family like a responsible father would. Hopefully he had a juicy life insurance policy for her. I got one once my baby entered the world.

  33. michele

    That is not only not very compassionate but also incredibly untrue and very judgmental. What he did was certainly exciting and fun and Shane would feel sorry for you if you could not say the same about your job. But it was his job- one that he had worked on and developed for over 30 of his 39 years on this planet. Can you say the same? He took calculated risks and was the best at what he did. He is not only survived by his parents, beautiful wife and daughter but an entire community of people that loved and respected him and whose lives are less colorful because he is gone. I am sure that he would tell you to find what you are passionate about and do that well. He certainly would never be so self righteous as you in your comment.

  34. jordan

    It has to do with actual risk vs. perceived risk and how people perceive extreme sports to be “stupidly dangerous” and this blog gets all this attention because he died doing some extreme. Why aren't people all over the fathers smoking themselves and their children to death or “drinking and driving” which is becoming more and more prevalent and carries way more actual risk? I applaud you for giving up such things but people accusing him of being an idiot for having a dangerous job, while they hypocritically put themselves and loved ones at risk with things they deem to be socially acceptable.(smoking). I mean drinking and driving is a no brainer but why does it always happen? and I'm talking upwards of 50% of people do it occasionally. I would much rather put my friendship in a guy like Shane than in the majority of the fathers out there committing these stupid acts.

    Once again, not condoning his actions while having a family but compared to most, (maybe not yourself) as far as I'm concerned, he was doin alright.

  35. michele

    In a recent interview, Shane said that this is who is he. He felt sorry for those who sat at a desk pushing paper and then dying of a heart attack. He lived more in one day than most do in a lifetime. I really hope that Sherri doesn't come across these comments.

  36. michele

    That would be like suggesting that Ayrton Senna give driving lessons for the DMV.

  37. Ron in VA

    Oh, I'm sure he was a decent father. Remember, ANYONE can have kids. Crap, look at the crocodile guy! But now look at all the years he is going to miss. There are a lot of bad fathers out there. If this guy was 22 with a daughter, I'd be more sympathetic, but at 39, he has lived a lot more then most to even want to be a day without his little girl. At least Dale Earnhard's kid was an adult and they took every precaution to keep him safe. Still a risk, but toss a parachute on your back and if jump off a cliff without a plan B? F that. Hell, Britney Spears has kids and keeps doing dumb things to where she can't even be with them and she still doesn't stop. Anna Nicole smith was getting anyone she could to get her drugs so she could be wacked out and now she doesn't get to be with her daughter which is actually a better thing. I think her father will raise her without all the drugs around and she will have a good chance at being her best.

  38. D in ATL

    I stand behind Clay, John Galt, and Ron in VA… I put my class 4-5 whitewater canoeing on hold 'til my youngest is 19. After that, I'll jump back into it. When you make the choice to have children (i.e. intercourse results, intended or not), you put yourself in the most advantageous position to give them great experiences and maybe a few material things. The world is not about you as much as you think it is, Jordan, just ask your true friends.
    Anything is an Extreme hobby if any 1 simple factor (like unexpected wind after this fine gentleman base jumped) will kill you or mostly kill you. You can control your situation by NOT doing the hobby, or not drinking and driving, etc.. You cannot control an idiot in a Mack truck or a Ford Focus killing you in a car accident driving to work.

  39. Erich

    Citing NASCAR and celebrity rag fodder says a lot about your world. Don't be so callous as to bash people who are out there living.

  40. Craig

    Clay, applying your logic to other examples it would be like your saying any soldier that has died in combat defending freedom is “not a very responsible father or husband”.

    Your logic is completely bogus.

    Men and women like Shane live and experience life on a level that only a few are fortunate enough to experience. It's a fair guess that you just don't understand it.

    Blue Skies Shane

  41. keith

    I couldn't have said it better!

    Those who are saying he was irrisponsible are to chicken to go out and grab a piece of life, real life! I used to be an extreme skier, never skied with Shane, but skied with some of his friends. Yes we took risks, but always calculated risks. We did/do things because of the risk and the rush you get from doing those things and how it puts you on another level when you complete the risk. If you don't understand what I am talking about then your derrogatory statements are mute. Take a risk sometime and you might get it.

    Everyone has their place in life, his was on the side of a mountian with skis on his feet. He did more for the sport of skiing than most of you will ever do for any one purpose. He knew the risks and he knew his place taking them. He died doing something most of you couldn't even imagine and he did it for reasons you will never know. So sit and critisize from your couch knowing someone else is actually living the life you can only dream of while you condem it from ignorance!

    From one adrenaline junkie to another, RIP my friend, you and your passion will be sorely missed!

  42. Jeff

    I am sorry for his families loss, But I had the same reaction when I read that he had a 3 1/2 year old daughter. Why would he take such a risk with so much to loose for both him and his daughter? If he had it to do over again, I bet he might make a different choice.

  43. brian

    as a 3 1/2 year old toddler, I would rather my father push paper and be around to see my first day at kindergarten then be some cool guy who hucked huge cliffs. Yeah he lived more in one day…

    I'm sorry if Sherri sees these comments..but I'm angry about this. I'm angry that such an awesome person had to be so foolish and short sighted.

  44. rixter

    When did jumping off of cliffs become a calculated risk? I never questioned his passion for his job, nor would I say my comment is self righteous. I was a motocross racer and have been in many accidents including a broken back/bones head and neck injuries, and multiple concussions. I now have a 1 year old daughter and will tell you that even though I was not a professional racer and did not rely on riding for my income, I realized that losing it all doing something that was undoubtedly extremely risky was too much for me to handle. I am passionate about what I do and although I'm a “paper pusher” I am also an educator so my legacy will live on as well.

    My point to in all of this is that his poor daughter will never get to realize her Daddy's “stoke” because he left this world the way he did. My condolences to his entire network of family, friends, and the extreme skiing community.

  45. etchy

    Keith – when someone decides to have children, their purpose in life becomes being the best parent they can be. It's the ultimate challenge and purpose in life. When someone like Shane, as great a person as he appears to have been, cannot see his true purpose in life – they are irresponsible. It's as simple as that. You don't justify leaving behind a child because your purpose in life was to huck cliffs.

    I am a former extreme skier as well who lived for flight. I now have children and I understand what is important. I ski in bounds.

  46. Friend of Shanes

    Skiing in bounds can still result in death. Just look at Natasha Richardson who died on the bunny hill last week. So, by skiing at all, you are still risking death and leaving your family fatherless, by choosing to do it, now should we all condemn you for that?

  47. etchy

    dude, walking down the street can result in death. You missed the point. “Skiing in bounds” is how skiers refer to the fact that they no longer seek to push the limits of the sport and life itself. If you see no distinction between hucking 400 foot cliffs with a chute and skiing on a bunny hill as a beginner, then there really isn't much to discuss here.

  48. tada

    yes, ski-basing is merely a hobby. Ok, so it was his occupation as well. If he didn't get pai for it, he would do it just the same. It was in his blood, there obviously is no stopping people with that kind of passion. A true tragedy that he decided to have kids, knowing he was not responsible enough for parenthood.

  49. Angela

    etchy, it's you that has missed the point. Michele, what you stated is beautiful and very true…I hope I can live half as happy as Shane.

  50. etchy

    I'm glad he was happy. I'm glad he took calculated risks. I'm glad he followed his passion. I want to live a life like Shane's, but I'm willing to sacrifice just a little bit of myself for my daughter.

    I really don't know what to make of this one…this is just my gut reaction as a father, as judgmental as it may be.

  51. Angela

    I agree…it's a tough one.

    But, to be the devils advocate, you can truly live the safest life possible and die in some unusual way just the same. I can't tell you how many stories I read about random unusual deaths every day. People who love their children as much as you love yours, (which by the way, we need more dad's who sacrifice for their children, so I applaud you) die, police officers in the line of duty, judges in the line of duty, our men and women who serve our country, we can all die just the same, being as safe as possible.

    It's a very tough situation. And obviously not a happy one.

  52. Brent

    Agreed that having children is a life changing event and demands responsibility… However, what about my fellow service members and myself who must go into fire to rescue downed pilots or for those who are a part of any facet of the services and risk their life every day on the line… Do we have the right to have children? Are we not responsible? I understand that you might say that he had the choice every day to do this “irresponsible” job, but I’ll have you know that we had a choice too. We chose this. My family understands and supports me, and I can almost certainly guarantee that his did too. I don’t think he would have been married as long as he was without her support. In the end, I totally respect your decision to back off the dangerous stuff, working to make sure that you are safe and healthy for your children is important… whoever said that people who don’t “grab a piece of life” are chicken is just wrong; everyone has a different piece of life. It’s every person’s decision to do what they do. Criticism comes too easy for most people, so I could never say that you are wrong to back off, so good on you. BUT good on Shane too, to accomplish what he has.

    All of this irrelevant conversation aside; my condolences to the family of this brave one.

  53. unknown

    your an idiot! Id like to see you doing what he did and im sure him and his wife talkd about it a gazillion times! Keep your rude comments maybe to yourself, since you seem to be so selfish! Think of his family and how they might feel as i waste my time writing back to “idiot”

  54. LizNneworleans

    I just hope he had his finances in order to take care of his family. I'm a mom of 2 kids-I've not ridden a motorcycle since having kids. My responsibility as a mom is more important the the thrill. On the other hand my husband has a dangerous job. He also has enough life insurance that if something did happen we would be able to live even better than we currently do without me lifting a finger. We all died just a little bit more today–enjoy life but cover your butt–smart.

  55. keith

    Etchy…you are an idiot! By yours and other idiot's on here's rational, after having children we should all just become couch potatoes. What about the 4 cops that got killed this week? Because they have families, should they have quit the force before this happend (let me guess, you were at the march today that was against the dead cops but for the crimminal who did it)? How about firemen, military, pilots, fbi, cia should I keep going? They all have dangerous jobs but they all have a job to do. Shane died doing what he loved which just happend to be his job. On top of everything else who the F….K are you to judge? Oh I forgot, you are someone who is jealous of everyone because you don't have the balls to go out and make a name for yourselves. You cast a shadow over everything that someone does because you are inept at almost everything you do! My advice, GET A LIFE and you might actually enjoy it! Some of us know that Shane enjoyed his.

    Once again Shane RIP, there are some of us who loved what you did for the sport!

    ps…I doubt seriously that you were ever an extreme skiier Etchy. Any real extremest would not be critisizing another, they would be honnorring him! Skiing blue runs does not make you an extremme skier either!

    pss…skiing in or out of bounds has nothing to do with it. I have been just as radical in some places in bounds as much as out. Ever heard of a place called Jackson Hole? 150 ft cliffs inbounds! moron!

  56. Kate

    You, Keith are a self-centered moron. Etchy is right. He is not the idiot; you are! Only a person consumed with SELF, who doesn't care about others and children left behind to mourn would respond as you have. The truth is that Shane had a CHOICE about his career and took HIGHLY unnecessary risks with his life, knowing full-well he could leave his daughter father-less. This is is not judgement; it is fact. You cannot compare extreme high-risk skiing with being a police-officer or any other profession with the possible exception of drag-racing or some other exceptionally dangerous sport. Shane made a choice and now his daugher has NO father. It's as simple as that. You are the one who should GET A LIFE.

  57. Pee-wee

    Shane McConkey was a pionneer.From flying off cliffs and doing back flips,volant skis, fat skis,skiing line never thought possible before,reverse camber skis.And of course,base jumping.
    He has tremendous respect from anyone and everyone who knows and love skiing.
    You win the sick bird award for life.Peace man.PwJET.

  58. bill

    Back to Clay and his distasteful comment that got most of this started…I think it is unanimous. You are still an idiot. Michele could not have said it better…Keith ..pretty good too. Ok the reason I used the word idiot is simple because to call some an irresponsible father and person to someone that has done so much for the ski industry is just, well myopic. I bet you do not even ski, or for that matter do anything that could be enlivening. For those of you living in your cocoon…enjoy the cave you are in. I feel bad for the ones you pull in with you. For the rest that “live” and teach their children to do the same I hope to see you on the slopes, top of Baldy, or in the Mangy Moose.

  59. Kate

    Oh Keith, by the way: You cannot compare SKIING OFF CLIFFS with being a fireman, military pilot or any other noble profession. The fact is that these other professions are for PROTECTING OTHER PEOPLE”S LIVES. Hello?!!! Extreme skiing is nothing more than for personal enjoyment, while taking great unncessary risks with one's own life. It is a hobby, a sport. It is NOT a noble profession with any sort of ALTRUISTIC motive. If you want to go take EXTREME RISKS with your life doing some kind of adrenaline-pumping hobby like this, you should NOT have a family or children that may have to deal with your death.

  60. bill

    kate ..i am surprised you could step away from baking cookies to post such ignorant stuff….. don't you belive it is better to have a father that teaches someone to live than not to live and live a “sheltered life? Oh please don't write back and give me some fatherless sh**, save that for someone else

  61. Pee-wee

    Shane was living HIS dream.How about you?
    13 years ago,a friend of mine died in an avalanche.
    Today,His son is skiing all over the world,because he loves it,but also because the tremendous inpiration he was able to get from all the people that knew and respected his dad.
    Kye is living HIS dream today.How about you?

  62. Lisa

    Dido that “unknown”! Let the guy RIP……blows my mind the way you all go on & on about “was he a good dad, should he teach little kids how to ski @ Squaw or sit behind a desk & push papers”?. Just let it go! He has family & friends that are hurting out there. How many kids grow up in this world w/o parents???? I helped raise two nephews from different families, along w/my own three sons. Did I complain about how they could have been better parents? Yes, one of them did die riding a motorcycle up a mt. road (just cruising), by brother & best friend for life. He had a 7-yr. old son & a wife that left them for drugs, years before. But he died just cruising & doing something he loved. Wow, you are all so critical. Life goes on & it was Shane's “time” & yes, doing something he loved & making GREAT $$$ for his family. His choice/his family's choice to do it. His daughter will be fine. Let his family mourn their loss w/o all your judgments on him. Look for the good in people, or go back to being a couch potato & keep your thoughts to yourself.

  63. Ian

    People like Shane are not reckless thrill seekers that the desk-driving vultures here like to portray them as. Ski video footage is meticulously planned, with the risks accounted for and calculated. Having said that there is always the chance of something going wrong, just as there is when you get into a car, or walk across the street. The guys and girls in these videos inspired me to follow my own dreams, and I now make a living out of skiing (though not at the level of Shane, or even close). Others will take inspiration from those that dare to push the envelope, and perhaps follow their own dreams. There was a time when people respected the heroes that pushed the boundaries of what we know is possible – Hillary, Scott etc. Now everybody likes to sit and judge. Is it a coincedence that the biggest health problem facing the western world, and America in particular, is obesity?

  64. Brent Hillier

    You're obviously not in love with skiing like some of us. I understand that most don't understand the need to experience risk but for those of us who do we recongnize Shane as a legend who will be missed.

  65. John Smithers

    I was an extreme skier for 10 years but immediately gave it up when my wife gave birth to our first child. Unfortunately Shane was living in a false sense of reality.

  66. Friend of Shanes

    The real tragedy is that someone like you gets to spout this type of self-righteous garbage in a place that should be reserved for respecting a great human being.

  67. diablo

    right on lisa – same could be said for francisco rivera, the best rodeo clown that ever lived. he was the best at what he did, he loved what he did and he died doing the thing he loved most. yes, he left behind an adoring wife, 8 beautiful kids, 12 grandkids, an ex-wife that never stopped loving him.
    it was tragic, but he lived life on the edge and took his job seriously. sure some might say he was hooked on the adrenaline, the rush of getting right in the face of danger. heck, he made no money to speak of, which made it all the more exciting. rock on shane mcConkey. rock on.

  68. Friend of Shanes

    So the risks that you choose to take (skiing in bounds), are ok then, I see. I guess you are the one to determine exactly where the line of “acceptable risk” for a father is?

    Consider this: to some fat paper pusher who has never ever skied, then what you do today on skis (even in bounds) would still be seen as “reckless and dangerous” and inappropriate for any responsible parent. What do you say to them? “Oh I'm ok because I take calculated risks only up to a certain level, but other people who take different calculated risks are the irresponsible ones.” If you were to be injured or killed while skiing (even in bounds), do you think it appropriate for non-skiers to claim how terrible of a parent you were by participating in a known risky activity?

    Any parent who thinks that parenthood should be about nothing more than protecting themselves from any harm, will likely only be raising some pretty spineless children.

  69. Friend of Shanes

    Kate, please do the world a favor and never say anything ever again.

  70. spatch daddy

    I bet most of you that are criticizing his parenting probably have kids and you probably hop in your little tin can death trap of a car and get on the freeway a couple times a day , probably with your precious kids in the car! Now that is dangerous and irresponsible parenting!! Lets get real here! At least he was good at what he was doing. Most of you cant even pay attention when driving on the freeway! Let him rest in peace!!!! He was the man!!

  71. spatch daddy

    Dear Kate,
    Shanes bravery has brought me and many other people immense joy in our lives. We get to live vicariously through his actions ! He is a superstar! He brings smiles to many peoples faces and his movies will continue to do so for many decades to come. He doesnt save lives but he saves souls he lets people know that there is more to life than dying in a nursing home pumped up on overpriced meds!! He is the man!!

  72. etchy

    I see you are as upset as me, judging by your insane rage-filled analysis of my comments. Keith, it's not one or the other – it's not ski-BASEing or couch potato. It's about balance, priorities, and understanding things that are bigger than yourself. I understand people have dangerous jobs, you provided a good list. However, to say that your chances of dying as a pilot are as great as ski-BASEing with a double back flip, with the whole thing riding on perfect equipment release…is just being dishonest. I have HUGE respect for Shane's ability, balls, personality and general approach to life. I'm just struggling with the fact he could not scale back when the little critter came into his life.

    Keith, you seem pretty confident that I advocate giving up on life because of kids. Too bad. Ok, so I started wearing a helmet when the little chick was born, stopped hucking monster cliffs (baby ones by Shane's standards), but I still bomb huge Silverton lines whenever possible. Often times my company thinks I'm working, when I'm actually heading to the Basin for 3 hours of Pali. So fyi, I live my life pretty well. Not as well as Shane did, but pretty well. I just try to be as smart as I can, keeping life's big pictures in mind.

    Maybe I won't die doing what I love, but at least I have a chance to see my daughter get married.

    ps…yeah, my Goats ride well on the blues, you nailed it.

    pss…”in bounds” is a figure of speech that flew right over your head.

  73. Friend of Shanes

    Etchy, why don't you just stop being the worlds biggest prick?

    We are all oh so proud of you for “bombing Silverton lines whenever possible”. And also, just so impressed by your skipping work to go skiing.

    How incredibly arrogant for you to claim something like that in the same forum where you are busy disrespecting one of the greatest skiers of all time.

    I hope your daughter grows up with more of a spine and sense of respect than what you seem to have.

  74. etchy

    I hear what your saying and it's a good point. However, let's be honest, skiing is not a high risk sport. High risk for injury yes, high risk for death – no. Driving a car is more dangerous than skiing. But skiing is only an example, and I see what your saying. What I'm saying is that the line of “acceptable risk” is drawn with simple common sense. Come on people, we're talking about ski-BASEing with flips. What you and I think is risky behavior may differ, but I think just about everyone would agree that ski-BASEing is a death defying (or not) sport.

    The “any parent who thinks” statement is just silly, that's not what anyone here is saying.

    I'm all about teaching my kids to go balls out with whatever they do (please be skiing!). Hell, they can be just like Shane, as long as they don't have kids themselves.

  75. etchy

    Yeah I know I've disrespected him and it's not cool. I'm just pissed he's gone. I look at my 3 year old daughter and the whole thing just pisses me off.

  76. BigBadSeattleLad

    Agreed. This is time and place for condolences not sanctimonious commentary by poorly bred cretins.

  77. BigBadSeattleLad

    self-righteous wank… you gave it up because you were getting pudgy, flacid, jelly-spined, and short on cajones (you may have sold your wife on the 'responsible hubby' bit but we know the truth).

  78. Deep

    Shane will be missed. It's demeaning and also disrespectful to the family to say he was not a responsible parent.

  79. BigBadSeattleLad

    itchy you self-righteous wank… you gave up the sport because you became pudgy, flacid, jelly-spined, and short on cajones (you may have sold your wife on the 'responsible hubby' bit but we know the truth).

  80. Deep

    Etchy – Please tell this to Shane's wife and kid if you ever meet them. Tell them he was not a responsible father.

    Show some respect man.

  81. mcwine

    it is a tragedy…but its what he did for a living and u r a complete idiot…who are u to preach responsibilty

  82. keith

    Ian, very well put!

    Kate, your best bet would be just to keep your judgements to yourself about a man who died doing something he loved for reasons which you obviously will never understand! I will not repspond to any more of your negativity.

  83. grims

    Oh, get over yourselves. Loving what you are doing, experiencing risk… whatever. Both should take a backseat to family responsibilities. Yes, it was a job, but yes, it was REALLY dangerous. It's not “demeaning” to say he was not a responsible parent. It's TRUE. He clearly valued his job more than his family, which is irresponsible parenting. Now another kid gets to grow up without a father for no good reason.

  84. grims

    A PIONEER?!? You people are unbelievably foolish! He jumped off of a perfectly good cliff and spiraled to his death, and you're praising this moron!

  85. Someone

    A soldier dying in combat often times has no choice but is at least attempting to protect freedom FOR his child as so many in WWII did for their children who became our parents and grandparents. It wasn't any less sad for those families, but at least, in the long term, there was a POINT to the death of a brave person.
    Let's see, in five years . . . . in one year . . . what will be the sense in this loss? What will his daughter have to cling to? That complete strangers watched her father defy death a number of times and wished him “rock on” when he finally died doing a STUNT? All those who support this type of risk have blood on their hands I'm afraid.

  86. keith

    Etchy…You nailed it! It's about BALANCE, and that's what it was for him, balance. His life, his choices!

    How is comparing to those jobs dishonest? How many guys have died doing what he did? He 's the first I know of. There is a plane crash, what, just about every day. By the way, I'm a pilot and have 3 yr old daughter, should I quit because there is a risk?

    I say that you take the same risks he did by “hucking” and “bombing”. I had a very good friend of mine die on a green run about 15 yrs ago, he was on his way to his ski patrol job, caught an edge and hit a 3 inch round tree, snapped his neck and killed him instantly, should he not have taken that job because of the risk? I had another friend die last year at the Basin, if you are a regular there then you probably knew him. He has a 3 yr old, should he have stopped skiing because of her? No, it's one thing he truly loved to do.

    Etchy, I'd say you are living your life pretty well taking your calculated risks and enjoying them. So who are you to judge someone that did the exact same thing?

    I'm done with this1

    Shane RIP! You are the man and a legend! You have inspired many and will continue to with the risks you took. Thank you for the dedication to a sport that I love!

  87. roundhouse

    this is one of the dumbest things I've read in a long time.

  88. Jens

    What a terrible comment, how can you judge such as person when you just sit at home and watch these videos.

  89. Collin

    If you knew Shane, he was very responsible and extremely safe when he jumped. He would take every precaution. He loved his family more than anything. His wife knew of the dangers and risks he took with his job and she supported every one of his adventures. How you could judge a person you have never met is incomprehensible.

  90. ann

    obviously you have no wife or kids or they just come in second…family first

  91. Matt

    …And firefighters, police officers, fisherman, etc. should stop doing their job when they get a family, right?

  92. Daniel

    It's interesting that the same people who judge him for doing something dangerous probably get in there car every morning to drive to work….Do you know how many people die each year in auto accidents…You are a bad parent for driving

  93. marmo

    grims, you know nothing of our mountain culture. shane was and is a hero. did you ever meet the man? i suppose not. he was a friend and inspiration to all that knew him. just curious, what is your passion in life? renting movies and going on cruises? go to hell dude.

  94. marmo

    you do not get it. at all. you are a lost soul, no…you have no soul. you would not know a noble profession if you fell on it. what is your passion? you are a moron. and no, you cannot “compare SKIING OFF CLIFFS with being a fireman, military pilot or any other noble profession” because shanes life held more value than any of those overpaid underworked drone sheep. GO TO HELL BABY!

  95. chris

    He didn't base jump nearly as much once he had a kid. Any friend of Shane could tell you that, but he loved base jumping. and he once said that he loved it so much it WAS worth dying for. at least he went doing want he loved to do.

  96. Aaron

    Its a double edge sports doing any extreme sports like this. Its very easy to wave your finger and call people like this irresponsible or reckless. But remember this. Shane lived life to the fullest and was able to touch the lives of so many people with what he did. He actions on and off the mountain have inspired many to reach beyond their fears and apprehensions, people like me who watched his videos and realized what you are able to do when you push the limits. If you have never been on the egde there is no way you can relate to someone like Shane. “If you constantly live in fear of the unknown your never able to really live” – Unknown
    RIP buddy.

  97. momo

    Agreed… Let guy rest. Plenty of crappy parents out their to pick on. Or just mind your own business and focus on your own happiness.

  98. Marjerine

    Daniel, you're not thinking straight at all. You get into a car to go to work, but you don't _have_ to don skiis, a parachute and jump off a cliff to make a living. Now the wife and especially the kid don't have a dad. so sad.

  99. photon

    I'm glad he left a kid behind to continue the ahem…Holy Pioneering some day. It's trendsetting: Kyle Petersen followed his late father's footsteps and is now one of the youngest extremists. I think national treasures such as this should breed more to assure supply in the future. They shouldn't have to worry about family, relatives or friends. They should just keep doing what they are exceptional at — self-destruction.

  100. Trenz

    Garbage. It's a simply matter of risk and ratios. Driving on the freeway isn't a probably way to die. Jumping off a cliff skiing with a parachute is. If you have kids, you know you don't do risky things for sports sake even if you are a “pioneer” or an “inspiration”. Screw that. Live to raise your kids. There is risk in many things, but you don't put yourself in high risk situations when you have the responisbility of a child. He is gone for her forever now. And, no this is nothing like being a cop, fireman, fisherman or soldier.. those are jobs based on necessity and certain individuals take on those risks. Those same individuals jumping off cliffs with skiis on the weekend increase their odds of an early death dramatically. Doing risky things for sport is stupid. If you die and lose children, you aren't a hero.

  101. keith

    Bill…do we know each other? I have spent many hours in the Mangy Moose and lived on top of Baldy (actually real close to the trail head). So here's to you, SHANE, and all fellow members living outside the cocoon! Be carefull on Baldy I think bigfoot lives up there, I could have sworn I saw him roamming around one night. I'm watching “Off the Grid” as I write this in the middle of a dump, a good ole southern rainstorm!

  102. grims

    My main passion is my family, who I put first in all of my decisions. Your “hero” did not share those values, and now he's left his family in shambles, and his daughter to grow up without a father. And you're right, I don't know anything about your mountain culture, other than you people seem to completely misunderstand physics. Base jumping is insane. Period.

  103. keith

    another extremely ignorant post by someone with absolutely no respect for someone else's passion. Get off your fat ass and experience something other than wishing you had the balls to step outside the box!

  104. grims

    Wow. That was easily the stupidest comment ever made. Firemen, military personnel, and the like SAVE LIVES every day! What lives did Shane save? None. In fact, he's ruined his daughter's life. You, my friend are officially the world's biggest moron.

  105. skiguy

    To live life and not go out on a limb and return to the main trunk is not to live. Sometimes the limb is going to break and you land on the next one. Sometimes the limb breaks and you fall all the way to the ground. The important thing is to climb the tree in the first place. RIP Shane your the Best and always will be.

  106. TM

    Grims you have no idea who this man was. You should educate your self. One of the worlds most talented athletes, an extreme expert. This is a truly tragic event, but to say he was a anything but a super human, wonderful son, father and husband tells me you have no idea what you are talking about. You shouldnt judge strangers so harshly.

    Superman is dead,

    Rest in peace Shane, you will be missed.

  107. grims

    Look, you idiots, he jumped off a cliff and left his daughter without a father. A totally unnecessary act that leaves his family in shambles. If he was single and childless, I wouldn't have thought twice about it. But thinking about that poor little girl makes my heart break. And to think that it could have been avoided with some common sense just makes me angry. Self righteous? Quite the opposite.

  108. grims

    I do know who he was. And I respect his talent. I just don't respect his choices when it comes to his family. That is what makes him a moron.

  109. Anthony

    how dare you call yourself a skier….skiing isn't just a sport it's a way of life and asking someone to give up the most important thing to them….i bet shane would be deeply upset by the way you are regarding his death. he would want people to go out there and keep charging not scolding people for pushing it to the limits.

  110. M.T

    Why should any one judge what kind of father he his when they don't even know him, and I can guarantee you that those that did know him, loved him. What happened is a tragedy and I call it a tragedy because he did take every safety precaution he could. It wasn't just some reckless stunt. Show some respect for an inspiring man and don't judge him. Shane inspired thousands and will continue to inspire. Rest in Peace

  111. Ryan

    This is not about a job, or making money, or taking unnecessary risk; this is about doing what you love to do. If you can't do that what is the purpose of your life? Shane did what he loved.
    Beyond this point his wife knew the risks as well, and both of them agreed that they wanted a child regardless. Does anyone hear his wife calling him irresponsible? Let us not judge either of them, and leave them in peace.

  112. D. Smith

    I am a firefighter and risk my life daily. I have an eight month old child and I think about him and my wife every day I go to work. My work is, how I make a living, how I support my family, and part of who I am. I love my job and hope that my job never takes away what Shane's did from him. Those of you who are judgingsShane have NO RIGHT!

  113. ALEX

    i hOpe you die next year of some terminal illnes because thats what you deserve for bashing shane > you have lived you life in fear of death and what it might do to the ones you have left behind but you forget that death can come from around the corner and snach you > live your life to the fulest because you never know how much time you have left >>>I RATHER REGRET SOMETHING I DID DO THAN REGRETTING SOMETHING I NEVER DID>> RIP SHANE HERO AND WHEN YOU SEE GRIMS IN HELL FROM HEAVEN SAY HELLO FROM E!!!

  114. ALEX

    everybody famely firsst fucck that you are all ants in a petry dish living the same lives the goverment whants you to live mediocre and without dreams you are all so sad >

  115. ALEX


  116. chomp

    I have been part of the mountain culture and skiing for 27 of my 33 years of life, so much so that I write here anonymously (ok, call me a pussy, whatever). It pains me to go against my crowd, but grims' basic point is right. No, Shane was not a moron or any of that, but he lacked perspective and it's tragic. He inspired me in so many ways – not just with skiing, but how to live life. However, inability to change it up once Ayla was born was terribly uninspiring. I think this was just a mistake on his part, as all of us fathers make mistakes. He was a wonderful father and person, but forgot where he was.

    It feels terrible even talking about this right now, because as so many here are saying – it's time to honer not dis Shane. But when so many people are blindly ignoring the obvious fact that skiing, “living life to the extreme”, “not being a fat-ass desk wart”, “dying doing what you love” do not trump the ultimate priority in life – the innocent child who is depending on you.

    Maybe some day more of you “skiers” will join me by taking day when the snow sucks, sitting back and thinking about life's purpose beyond adrenaline.

  117. chomp

    too harsh man. Shane didn't save lives in the way firefighters do per se, but it's undeniable that he inspired countless lives. You don't have to be a skier to be inspired by people who live their passion (the $$ and fame was just a side benefit for Shane).

    I agree with you that Shane made bad decisions, but he didn't ruin his daughter's life. She can still have a wonderful life with her mother and the Squaw community. Shane did, however, leave her with a terribly unfair situation in life.

  118. orangeMan

    There are many fathers in this world who are awesome people in just about aspect of their life (Shane), but family is comes in second. Most people on this forum don't seem to see anything wrong with ski-BASEing with a young girl waiting for you at home. He lived life to the fullest (in their opinion) so it's all ok. I see something wrong with that, but it's just my opinion. By talking about this, I don't think it's disrespectful to Shane at all. I don't fault him at all, I don't think he wanted anything but the best for his family. I'm not a perfect father either. I think it's helpful to everyone to discuss these things. Should this be discussed around Shane's family now? Hell no. I'm confident his family is not hanging out on this loser site.

  119. riz

    well i guess all those NFL players with expecting mothers will have to get safer jobs. don't forget NASCAR drivers or Navy SEALS or fighter pilots or cops or robbers or those guys who cut down really big trees……

  120. orangeMan

    keith, how old are you? You have the perspective of an 18 year old. Last I checked, nobody here is disrespecting anyone's passion. We're just debating what's really important in life. (I'll grant you that it should not be here on this forum).

  121. MW

    I agree with D.Smith, There are so many risky jobs out there. Firefighters, cops, military personnel, fishermen, miners etc. the list goes on. Disrespecting someone who has just been killed is heartless. Everyone out there should give him and his family a little respect. How would you like it if you passed away and people were bashing you on the net??? RIP Shane.

  122. butch

    if you equate the risk of playing in the NFL, driving a race car, or serving as a Navy SEAL to ski-BASEing…well you are pretty damned naive.

  123. ARGE

    I am sure he never intended to die this way. He was a man who had a passion for skiing and chose to live his life this way. lets take a look at you life so we all can judge the choices you have maid…..

  124. brian

    bill you are so damn naive. “to call some an irresponsible father and person to someone that has done so much for the ski industry is just, well myopic” How the hell does pioneering the ski industry give you a pass on fatherhood responsibility? It doesn't. There are few things in life that justify leaving your children, and ski-BASEing because it's your “passion” is not one of them.

    Oh did I say you were naive? Well that may be because of your belief that those who aren't blinded by the shining star that was Shane, are living in a cocoon. I live my life, I've even lived most of my life as a full-time skier, but I understand life beyond self gratification. It is you, bill, that appears to be in the cocoon.

  125. Phineas

    He was taking care of his family responsibilities doing what he was best at. So by your account anyone who has a risky job should not have children or if something happens to them they are deemed irresponsible… Too bad everyone was meant to sit behind a desk..

  126. kris

    clay your a jack off he is a true icon of the sport and took it to no place anyone of us in the sport would dream… thanks shane!!!! clay your a waste of sperm

  127. Juan

    People! death is inevitable. We will all die sooner or later.
    I prefer his death than to die of boredom watching TV eating chips.
    His kid and wife will be fine, times cures everything.
    Let the guy rest in peace!

  128. Ryan

    I can't believe people can actually disrespect someone like that.
    I am, by no means a skier, in fact I hardly know how. The fact of the matter is he lived his life. Unlike many people commenting on this, probably on thier lunches bored from thier day job, Shane lived his life. Yeah he did leave a son and a wife, but he left them doing what he loves to do. That's not irresponsible, that's amazing. That's teaching his family, his friends, his fans to really live your life, no holds-bar. I feel bad for the people who just don't understand that. You were an amazing person Shane, always remembered.

  129. RT

    Grims…don't get in your car, you could die. Don't walk on the street, you could get hit by a car. Don't swim, you could drown. Don't use power tools, you could cut yourself and bleed to death. I hope you don't smoke, you could get cancer and die. The point is, life is full of dangers. We all accept certain risks to live life. Death happens to everyone. He was an inspiration to people all over the world. I am truly saddened by his death and am in awe of his strength to life his life to the fullest and not be discouraged by people like you who seem to be afraid to experience all that life has to offer.

  130. A skier

    Sure you were John. You only wish you were and certainly never had any of Shanes skill or talent. You are living in a false reality thinking you were any good.. You sucked otherwise wouldn't be making negative comments. Are airplane pilots irresponsible too. You guys talking down on Shane are very sad people and I feel bad for you.

  131. rat

    Hope you get hit by a car crossing the street. The same risk

  132. Swan

    If a fire fighter would have died in a burning building would you call him irresponsible because his job was dangerous?

  133. James - UK

    Ok…. this is a crock of shit.
    The man never went out there with the intention of dying. I take risks every day on my way to work dodging idiots who cant drive. Statistically apart from working on an oil rig people who work on Building Sites are in the most dangerous places to work. i visit building sites as part of my job every day. Does that make me irresponsible…. Crossing the road is dangerous – being a pilot “could” get you killed – Do airline pilots jack it in when they are gonna have kids? Does fighter pilots stop….. should all the guys fighting our corner in afghanistan and Iraq who have kids pack up and come home….. fighting in those places is more dangerous than skiing / base jumping….. Should we all just stop what we do because its dangerous…. forget that….
    The man was a pro… the reason i don't go throwing myself of the Eiger with a chute on is because I dont know what im doing…. This guy was a pro who clearly did everything possible to stay safe – with a wife and kid in tow I imagine he never thought … im off to go die today.
    We can say that all parents who drink / smoke / do drugs are all irresponsible parents… Call the social services… Jesus….

    In a time so sad when Skiing has lost one of its legends… why does this have to become a slanging match of him being irresponsible…. Even if he was which I don't believe he was…. even if…. don't you smart asses who like to point this out think that his family and he himself have paid the ultimate price. If you're looking for an I told you so then well done….

    I'd say a fatherless child a wife without a husband and a father who has lost both – well as a family they have paid the ultimate price… so if you feel that to get your “I told you so” in on here is what you need to deal with this tragedy then why not write to his wife and tell her Shane was an ass hole because that is pretty much what your getting at.

    You know what is irresponsible… all the bums out there with no job on welfare who just cant be bothered to get up and get out to earn a crust… all the neglected kids who's fathers waste their lives down in pubs and bars doing jack shit. Shane made a living doing what he loved and I imagine it was also a factor in what made him interesting to his wife and to all his friends… Part of his charm.

    RIP SHANE MCCONKEY 1969 – 2009

  134. RideSpats

    I will spare us all the cliche of life's sole guarantee…Those of you with the audacity to suggest you know anything about the quality of SM as a person serve only to demonstrate your personal disdain for lacking the courage to live an actualized life – like a McConkey or Coombs did. These types are beacons, inspirations, and noteworthy. What are you? Tomorrow (and the next 40 years thereafter), jump into your minivan (especially you, John Smithers”) and continue “living” while you peruse sites like this looking for someone who is actually celebrating life and for others to validate your cowardice as prudence. Oh, and when you are 80 years old, terminal and slowly drowning as your lungs fill and you slowly slip into obscurity, we would all love to hear your opinion then.

  135. RideSpats

    grims – It is my sincere hope, although seemingly impossible when judging from above comments, that those discussing your feeble demise in some state run home for invalids do not have similar things to say about the wanton way you wasted your existence.

    Further, when speaking of providing for a family; Shane's profession will provide a lifetime of security for Ayla and a father to idolize. Your kid closes the door every time you drop him off and mutters “dick” under his breath, while having nothing but college loans (assuming he is more intelligent than his father) and more obscurity in his future.

    You should consider becoming noteworthy rather than showcasing your shocking penis envy and complete lack of humanity on this type of a forum. Go buy a sports car, get some hair plugs and hope that your own children don't urinate on your headstone…

  136. 215

    about 60,000 americans die every year in car accidents. last year we lose 30 skydivers (us) and 15 base jumpers (worldwide)


    “it is never a tragedy to die doing what you love”

  137. Jj Shaughnessy

    Sounds like he was a great and inspiring skiier, but this is the kind of thing you should get out of your system before you have kids. He may have had an agreement with his wife, but if so, his kids were too young to sign on. No matter how well off I was financially, I would hate to grow up hearing what a great man my father was, yet realizing that I never got to meet him myself because he put his own needs ahead of my own. Maybe this was the only way McConkey could live. But if so, he shouldn't have had kids. But he's not alone, there are zillions of selfish parents out there who have done far worse.

  138. Carter Emmett

    love you Shane. We'll never forget you or the rad life you led while here. Thanks.

  139. Carter Emmett

    love you Shane. We'll never forget you or the rad life you led while here. Thanks.

  140. Anonymous

    Actually, you brought up a very valid point. You don't have to carelessly die to irresponibly not be there for your kids. It's by far more common to be very much alive and totally an absentee parent.

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