Pain McShlonkey returns to Squaw Valley this weekend |

Pain McShlonkey returns to Squaw Valley this weekend

The ninth annual Pain McShlonkey Classic returns to Squaw Valley this weekend.
Courtesy of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

The ninth annual Pain McShlonkey Classic returns to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows this weekend, bringing skiers clad in outrageous attire to the slopes at Squaw Valley’s KT-22 to benefit the Shane McConkey Foundation.

The event pays homage to Shane McConkey, whose jaw-dropping style on the mountain was featured in 26 ski movies during his career. McConkey died in 2009, while executing a ski-BASE jump in Italy. He was 39.

This year’s Pain McShlonkey Classic will begin Friday afternoon with an après party at Squaw’s Plaza Bar from 4 to 7 p.m.

The following day, the classic will get underway with the annual Hot Dog Downhill, as some of the top winter athletes gear up in flamboyant outfits to race down KT-22 on snowblades in an effort to win the coveted Pain McShlonkey Golden Saucer trophy. Athletes competing in this year’s race include JT Holmes, Bryce Bennett, Michelle Parker, Elyse Saugstad, Jamie Burge, Nate Holland and more.

“There’s no rules,” said Sherry McConkey, director/founder of the Shane McConkey Foundation. “You can do anything, so it’s pretty funny how these guys figure out a way down. You never know who is going to win. It’s not necessarily about talent, it’s about how to get down … you’ve got to be creative.”

Spectators wishing to view the event need to be at KT-22 by 9 a.m.

At noon, the annual Pain McShlonkey Costume Contest will be held at the sundeck of Squaw’s KT Base Bar. The contest is open to everyone with prizes awarded for best dressed. There will also be a raffle from 2 to 2:30 p.m., which will include dining certificates, ski gear, lodging packages, GoPros and more.

From there, the event will shift to the Olympic Valley Lodge for the annual Shane McConkey Legacy Gala, which will run from 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The theme of this year’s party is James Bond. There will also be live music and a silent auction. Tickets for the gala are $150.

This year’s gala will also mark the last one the foundation intends on hosting for the foreseeable future.

“I want to break away from the gala a little bit. There’s so much going on in Tahoe that we just want to keep it classy and real,” said Sherry McConkey, who added the foundation will likely add an after part for children, following upcoming Pain McShlonkey Classics.

“The EcoChallenge is the thing that we really want to focus on,” said Sherry McConkey on the foundation’s plans moving forward. “It’s been fantastic watching what these kids have come up with and are doing in our community and in other communities nationwide.”

The Shane McConkey EcoChallenge asks children to identify and help resolve an ecological issue within their school or community. The challenge provides funding for the winning teams, according to the foundation’s website, who create innovative projects that protect the environment and fight climate change.

The first annual McConkey Cup will take place on Monday, March 25, as the International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association, which was founded by Shane McConkey, stops at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for a Freeride World Qualifier.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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