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Westward Season 4 / Episode 4

Being Sherry McConkey

Being married to Shane McConkey was a crazy road; middle of the night, illegal, base jumps, spontaneous trips all over the world, trying to keep pace with skiing’s most notorious, larger-than-life personality. Shane was defined by his passions, but it was his tragic death that helped Sherry find hers.

A South African native, Sherry couldn’t even consider leaving Tahoe after that. The mountain community around Squaw Valley has become her forever home.

A ripping snowboarder, yoga instructor, and mom to her daughter, Ayla, Sherry channeled her grief into something good: She founded the Shane McConkey Foundation, which raises money through hilarious events like the Pain McShlonkey Classic—where costumed snowbladers carrying saucers tackle steeps and jumps—to benefit local schools and other Tahoe charities.


Now a figurehead in the Tahoe community, Sherry carries the spirit and humor of her late husband along with her, reminding everyone to not take themselves too seriously and that skiing and life in the mountains is, after all, supposed to be fun.

Westward Series: Season 6

What is it about Vermont? There are places with bigger mountains that get more snow and less subzero temps. But there is no place with a more committed core of skiers. Raining? No problem. Bulletproof? They invented bulletproof. Negative 20 and 30mph wind? Better be ready at 6am so you can get first chair at Stowe.