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A new documentary about the late Shane McConkey is due out in 2013, but the trailer will be dropping later this year. We talked to McConkey's good friend skier, BASE jumper, and Squaw Valley local JT Holmes -- who just this weekend did his first ski-BASE jump since McConkey's death three years ago -- about the movie, ski conditions in Tahoe, and his latest airborne sport.
What do you think about the Shane McConkey documentary that Red Bull is currently producing?
I think it's great. I did interviews for it. It's obviously a fascinating story. I am looking forward to seeing some of the footage they were able to dig up. I imagine they could make a great movie from just the cutting room floor images. I think it has the potential to be a great documentary.
What have you been up to so far this year?
I've been focusing 100 percent on skiing. I've been the optimist. I'm convinced that skiing in the Sierra ... that the snow totals are catching up to other places. Skiing has been fun. It's not super productive, rad footage skiing, but I've been enjoying skiing at home. It's not as bad as everyone thinks.
Do you have ski competitions lined up this season?
I'm going to compete in the North American Freesking Championships at Kirkwood in April. And the Cushing Crossing [in the spring] and Pain McShlonkey Classic [in March] at Squaw Valley.
Tell me about speedflying.
Speedflying has nothing to do with BASE jumping. It's an evolution of paragliding combined with big mountain skiing. It allows you to catch big air and go really fast and have a lot of fun even when the ski conditions are not great. It allows you to link several close-out runs in one run. It's closer to skiing in that way. I like it better than BASE jumping, but it's so new to me. Now I'm ready to embrace it.
What are your goals this year?
My athletic goals are specific to speedflying. The more I get to know speedflying and learn its potential, it's really an incredible tool for the big mountain arena, from making ski cuts to linking lines in the safest line possible. The next really fun thing to do in combining air sports and land sports is going to evolve into speedflying, like how at one point skiing off cliffs with a wingsuit was the big objective. My goal is to get good at speedriding [when the skis are touching the ground, the next step after mastering speedflying] so I can ski really good north-facing powder on the edge of a close-out line, just like me and Shane used to do.