From the very beginning, Squaw Valley has been a measuring stick for the elite in the winter sports community. A place where you show your mettle, your “cojones”, what you are made of it — a true proving ground. With all of that come big personalities, monumental ego’s, and an aire of confidence that strikes fear and awe in the watching crowds. It wasn’t until a small group of local accomplished skiers that they turned the Squaw Valley community on its head. Shane McConkey and the Gafney brothers, all natural pranksters and showboaters at heart, decided that the sport had gotten to serious. From flatulence in the gondola to calling out other professional skiers with the famed “Pro Call Out”, this group of friends (all elite pro skiers) changed the culture of the mountain. We all know to be fearful of the “Chimney” on the Palisades or “Schmidiots”. We all know that you have to maintain a certain level of mental instability to “send it” off of Adrenaline Rock. These guys shook things up and said enough with all of the seriousness — “let’s have some fun”. So next time you see someone cooking some eggs and bacon in the KT lift line, or you see someone exclaming “I am the best skier on the mountain” (regardless of their actual talent), or even some good old fashioned “pole whacking”, take an opportunity to grin and enjoy the great culture that a few good men created. It is a gentle reminder not to take ourselves to seriously all the time and to get out there and have some good old fashioned fun.
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