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Pain McShlonkey Classic returns

Required tools for the Pain McShlonkey Classic: Snowblades, saucers, neon one-pieces. Courtesy of Squaw Valley

Sunday, March 27 marks the long-awaited return of the Pain McShlonkey Classic at Squaw Valley, California. First held in 2003, the original event included a switch GS, a saucer small air, and a Chinese downhill. The new Pain McShlonkey Classic has attracted some of the world's top professional riders to compete in a new tribute to the event's founder, Shane McConkey.

This year's event will feature the Extreme Small Mountain Snowlerblade Invitational, where pros like Daron Rahlves, JT Holmes, Jeremy Jones, and Scott and Robb Gaffney will take on Squaw's terrain on K2 Fatty Snow Blades. Later in the day, pros will take on 30 amateurs, selected through an online contest, in an anything-goes Snowlerblade Chinese Downhill. The winner will take home the coveted Golden Saucer Trophy.

"This is really the ultimate skiing throwdown," says Scott Gaffney, who was one of McConkey's closest friends. "It's the epitome of Shane's spirit and love for all things competitive and ridiculous. I am just happy to be a part of it, and I look forward to destroying my fruit-booting competitors. They have no idea what I'm capable of."

An after-party for the event will take place at Squaw's Bar One with all the proceeds from the party's $25 entry fee benefiting Protect Our Winters and the Shane McConkey Foundation. Part of the money raised will go toward local Tahoe schools.

The Pain McShlonkey Classic is being organized by Shane's widow, Sherry McConkey, and a group of close friends with the goal of keeping skiing goofy as a tribute to skiing's ultimate goofball, Shane McConkey. "The best way to keep Shane's legacy alive is to remember to laugh at yourself and live life to the fullest," Sherry says. "Shane always wanted to keep the conservative ski industry more light hearted."

To register for the event, for more information, go to www.shanemcconkey.org.