Olympic Valley men ski off 38th floor | SierraSun.com

Olympic Valley men ski off 38th floor

Courtesy of Jason Abraham/Elevated Image PhotosJT Holmes of Olympic Valley soars off the roof of the Silver Legacy in Reno on behalf of Adopt A Wish Foundation. Holmes and Shane McConkey were two of four skiers to perform aerial tricks before parachuting to a safe landing.

Casinos are accustomed to a considerable amount of action, but rarely like the event held on a recent Saturday at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno.

Olympic Valley residents Shane McConkey and J.T. Holmes, two of the world’s best-known BASE jumpers (for building, antenna, span, earth), were among four adventurers to leap from Reno’s tallest building twice to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Adding to the degree of difficulty, the local men were wearing skis.

“It was a unique thing because it was the first time anyone ever skied off a building,” said Holmes. “It’s cool to get a first in BASE jumping because so much has already been done.”

The jumpers skied off a 25-foot ramp made of snow and plunged 350 feet from the 38-story building. The athletes performed aerial tricks before pulling the cord on their parachutes and landing.

“It’s extremely rare to get permission to jump off a building, especially to build a ramp on the roof and ski off,” said McConkey. “It’s basically unheard of.”

The BASE jumps were part of BoboFest OhSeven ” an annual movie premiere event benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern Nevada.

The function, which also included a screening of Warren Miller’s “Playground” ski film, a wine, cheese and chocolate tasting and a performance by Sol Jibe, raised $30,000 for the charity, according to foundation Executive Director Sarah Galetti.

“Make-A-Wish is very important to Shane and J.T.,” Galetti said. “It’s really neat because the jumpers have participated in the wish program before.”

In 2001, McConkey and Holmes fulfilled the wish of East Coast native Adam Baillargeon by spending a few days skiing the slopes of Squaw with him. After beating cancer, Baillargeon has since moved to Squaw Valley for a job and remains in close contact with the professional skiers, Holmes said.

“That was a special experience for Shane and I,” said Holmes. “The foundation is very real and the benefits and results are very tangible.”

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