Shane McConkey Service at Squaw Valley

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on April 7, 2009 1:00 pm

The sun was blazing.  Shane’s daughter, 3-year-old Ayla, performed her beautiful ballet moves.  Close to a thousand folks all there to pay tribute to Shane McConkey.  I sat next to a gentleman from Reno whose two sons had skied with Shane.  His story was my story and everyone else’s story.   Incredible skier, innovator, and above all, a supremely great guy.  Everybody loved Shane McConkey.
The cardstock flyer handed out had two sides.  On one side, a picture of James Shane McConkey, December 30, 1969 – March 26, 2009 with a quote from Leonardo da Vinci.  “When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”  
And on the flip side a quote from famed extreme skier Trevor Petersen.  “There comes a time when one must risk something, or sit forever with one’s dreams.”
The parade of best friends took to the mic in attempt to give meaning to such a tragic event.  What emerged is that the emotions of Shane’s passing could not overwhelm what Shane’s living had meant to all that he touched.  Shane had asked that if he ever died, that people celebrate not just his life, but celebrate their own.
JT Holmes relayed one of Shane’s favorite pranks.  Often on trips, Shane would temporarily steal a friend’s cash reserve out of their wallet, wait for the unsuspecting target to attempt a purchase, observe the moment of panic, and return the money with a laugh.  
After JT witnessed Shane’s tragic accident, he was returning to the States, lugging through the airport two sets of gear, Shane’s and his own.  JT discovered he was missing his entire wad of cash.  After a moment of sheer panic, he thought about it, and sure enough, his money was in Shane’s wallet.  One last prank pulled off by James Shane McConkey.  We will all miss him.
Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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