Gravitational Pull | SierraSun.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Gravitational Pull

Photos and words by Court LeveA parachute, skis and a 400-drop. What would Shane McConkey do? “Shane, what are you going to do?” I asked. “A triple,” he answered.

I think I responded, “OK” out loud, as I precariously anchored myself onto a small outcropping above the launch pad for a good camera angle. A triple backflip during a BASE jump. I can’t even think of doing a single backflip on a trampoline and he’s going to do a triple, on skis, off a 400-foot drop with variable winds. I found myself looking back at Shane waiting for him to tell me he’s kidding. The next thing I heard from Shane’s mouth was “dropping in 10…” He sounded like a quarterback calling in a play.

Seconds later he hucked the jump …”God, I hope I don’t miss it,” kept running through my mind as my finger stayed on the shutter.Now, my camera shoots eight frames a second. About 27 frames later it was over. You do the math.Shane, J.T. Holmes and three other “FNGs” (skier speak for novices) were there to BASE jump. They told me a triple back flip had never been done before during a 400-foot drop.

Before McKonkey’s jump, the previous hour was spent packing snow down with skis and shovels by Shane, J.T. Holmes and three other jumpers. Except for J.T. and Shane the three others had never bagged this jump before. In fact, there was one guy who had only B.A.S.E. jumped once before. Despite having more than 100 skydiving jumps under their belts, there was an air of nervous anticipation that hung over all the new guys. The situation reminded me of not wanting to be the first kid off the BMX jump. You really want to go but you also really would like to see someone else go first. I can only guess that this was one of many thoughts running through the new guys’ heads.


 

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User