Pain McShlonkey, “Greatest Contest Known to Man,” To Hit Squaw Valley

By: mtnadvisor



“It’s the only time when it feels like Shane is still here.” —Squaw Valley lifer Amie Engerbretson on the Pain McShlonkey Classic


I dropped-in to GS Bowl at Squaw Valley and believed I could win. In front of me were Tahoe mainstays Daron Rahlves, Greg Lindsey, and a handful of other experienced vets. Behind me was a sea of miscreants. Right when the idea of victory sank in, it hit me. Or should I say, they hit me. Five or so in-the-bag snowlerblading lunatics forming a chaotic orgy of a penguin slide in the hopes of winning this Chinese Downhill and hoisting the Pain McShlonkey Golden Saucer above their foolish head took out my legs. And like that, my moment in the sun was over as I tumbled down the 1960 Winter Olympic Giant Slalom course in my American flag onesie.


3rd Annual Pain McShlonkey Classic | Of. Course. I. Can. from Squaw Valley on Vimeo.

The teaser for the 2013 Pain McShlonkey Classic is a brilliant spoof on All.I.Can’s award-winning urban segment


The Greatest Competition Known to Man or Woman, the Pain McShlonkey Classic, returns to Squaw Valley U.S.A. on March 29 and 30 for its third year. At the heart of the event is a charitable community coming together to support the Shane McConkey Foundation. The non-profit’s mission is to recognize those that inspire positive change in the world and lives of others. But the soul of the P.M.S. is much more than charity. As Squaw Valley lifer Amie Engerbretson recently said on a KT-22 chairlift ride, “It’s the only time when it feels like Shane is still here.”


The Pain McShlonkey kicks off with the annual Shane McConkey Gala, an exquisite-themed, private event. A silent auction offers such exclusive prizes as a ski and lunch date with professional skier and B.A.S.E. jumper J.T. Holmes (which I sadly didn’t win last year) and timeless photographs of Shane, including the iconic Keoki Flagg shot on Eagle’s Nest (now known as McConkey’s) that ran on the Volume 38, September cover of POWDER. The event raises money for the Shane McConkey Foundation.


Sherry McConkey Shane McConkey Gala

Sherry McConkey addresses the crowd at the Shane McConkey Gala. Photo: Courtesy of


On the following day, contestants both amateur and professional gather at the base of KT in the lodge to collect their K2 snowlerblades and sign their life away via waiver. It’s common to see a few bottles of Jack Daniels, ridiculous costumes, and no one taking anything seriously. Then it’s a ride up KT for the Chinese Downhill. Past winners of the carnage include Cody Townsend and last year’s winner, Rahlves, who is out this year with a hip injury sustained at another other crazy Tahoe event, the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour.


Following the Chinese Downhill, spectators should head to the outcroppings of Squaw’s Enchanted Forrest, accessible via the KT-22 and

Daron Rahlves Pain McShlonkey

Daron Rahlves has won Super G World Championships and the Hahnenkamm. He knows how to arc a ski, and concept that doesn’t necessarily translate to snowblades. Photo: Courtesy of

Headwall Express lifts, for the Extreme Small Mountain Comp, a mockery of big mountain competition radness. Last year, Dr. Robb Gaffney lit off fireworks mid-run and another competitor repelled into the course furthering the idea that anything can happen at the P.M.S.


After the competition is the crowd-favorite costume party hosted on the KT Base Bar Sundeck. This contest is open to anyone and prizes will be awarded to the best dressed. A raffle will also be giving away prizes ranging from dining gift certificates, lodging packages, and prize packages including GoPros, and more. It’s a great place to grab a beer and watch the awards show for the day’s competition. Last year, I received a last place in the Extreme Small Mountain, an honor I’m quite proud of.


The event concludes with an ’80s-themed party that rocks the socks off of everyone in attendance. Tickets and more info are available at the Shane McConkey Foundation website.




If you’re going, be aware that trash talking is one of the pillars of the Pain McShlonkey along with partying and not taking anything too seriously. The Chinese Downhill can be seen from the bottom of KT-22 at the base of Squaw. Look for the Red Bull arches. Below is a schedule of events for Saturday, March 29.


9:00 AM- 9:30 AM

Chinese Downhill – Watch some of the world’s greatest winter athletes dress up in ridiculous outfits and compete for the coveted Pain McShlonkey Golden Saucer trophy in the ultimate snowblade showdown. Athletes line up atop the legendary KT-22 chairlift for an all-out snowblade blitz as the pros take on 30 amateurs in an anything-goes battle to the finish on Squaw Valley’s GS Bowl, named for the original 1960 Olympic Giant Slalom course. Pros are invited to compete while amateur contestants are selected by submitting their most embarrassing moment in an online contest.


Chinese Downhill Pain McShlonkey

Let the mayhem begin: The start of the Snowblade Chinese Downhill. Photo: Courtesy of


10:30 AM-12:30 PM

Extreme Small Mountain Invitational – This hilarious snowblade invitational is a crowd favorite! Spectators gather below the outcroppings of Squaw’s Enchanted Forest to cheer on winter sports legends as they flip, flop and finagle for approval from a cast of celebrity judges.


2:00 PM-3:00 PM

Costume Contest – The other crowd favorite is the PMS Costume Contest held on Squaw’s KT Base Bar Sun Deck. This contest is open to everyone with great prizes awarded for best dressed.

Huge Raffle Giveaway – And don’t forget to grab a ticket for the HUGE raffle. Win loads of gear, dining certificates, lodging packages, GoPros and so much more.


3:00 PM-4:00 PM

Awards Ceremony – Who will take home bragging rights to the fastest snowblader on the planet?


7:30 PM-1:00 AM

The World’s Greatest After Party – This year The Shane McConkey Foundation is taking the grand finale After Party to a whole new level! Prizes will also be awarded for best 80’s outfit. Guests must be 21 or older to attend with valid ID required.



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