Rachael Burks asked me to help her with the Pain McShlonkey while we were in Alaska and I was all in! If you haven’t heard of Shane McConkey, you don’t live in our world, the big mountain ski world. He was the most influential big mountain skier ever. Also, he was hilarous and never forgot that skiing was supposed to be fun. The Pain McShlonkey, or PMS, is held annually at Squaw Valley around the time of his death 4 years ago. It features a Chinese Downhill and an Extreme Small Mountain Competition – all competititers are on snow blades, snowlerblades, fruit boots, whatever you call them. It is an ode to Shane’s iconic character, Saucer Boy.
I decided to take it to another fruity level and mount my snow blades with telemark bindings. I was warned I should practice before the big event – actually, at least 2 people said to me “you’re going to die.” It wasn’t as hard as I thought, and I hope to get an entry of my own next year. Here is a video of my practice session.
The day of the event, we were nervous since our run required a lot of coordination. I mean, Rachael had a title to defend. We chose to reenact the Shane scene from Matchstick Productions’ Seven Sunny Days, which was a play on James Bond.
We had a chase, a rumble, and fireworks, but the audience didn’t quite get it, so we ended up in second to a deserving Lindsey Vonn, who came back from a knee injury to compete, complete with Tiger Woods in tow. It was a super fun event and I hope to be a full on competitor next year, and I also hope we made Shane proud.
Here is the video my friend Greg captured with his iPhone as well as some photos from the day of fun and here is a write up on the event from Powder Magazine.