This was a heavy day. I spotted this line â€” which I since named Shaneâ€™s Thumb â€” in 2008 while filming in Haines, AK with TGR. The conditions werenâ€™t right and I was unable to ski the line that season. I returned home to Tahoe and showed McConkey photos of what I had found. In his usual comical manor he laughed and told me I screwed up because he was headed to Haines the next week, with the new intention of trying to find and poach that line from me. Lucky for me, he couldnâ€™t find it.
My time in Alaska this season came with a lot of bad weather and many days stuck in a hotel room. One dreary morning, on our fourth down day in a row, Jeremy Jones knocked on my door with a distressed look on his face. Before he opened his mouth I knew what had happened. He told me of Shaneâ€™s accident. The next two days brought more weather and I spent them cooped up in my hotel room dealing with the loss of a good friend and hero. It was a dark and emotional couple of days for me.
â€œI KNEW SHANE WOULD BE PISSED IF I PASSED IT UP.â€
The clouds finally lifted and we were able to get into the mountains. The crew asked if I wanted to make the special trip to the ski BASE zone. With Shaneâ€™s death, I wasnâ€™t sure if this was the right timing. I considered holding off. But then I realized I should head right there; I knew Shane would be pissed if I passed it up.
With McConkey on everyoneâ€™s mind, we headed for the zone. Everything was set up perfectly: blue skies, stable snow and no wind. Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Ian McIntosh and Seth Morrison helped me pack my parachute on the glacier and kept the stoke high. I dropped in and everything went to plan. When my parachute opened I gave out the loudest yell I think Iâ€™ve ever yelled. I was so pumped and felt so good. It was more of a release than anything. Shane was always the fi rst one I would call or tell when I hit a bitchinâ€™ line. This time I knew he was watching. I miss you buddy. â€” Erik Roner