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‘McConkey’ Film Premiere – One Life, Live It.

On Monday 1st October 2013, Leicester Square saw the UK premier of ‘McConkey’, the brilliant biopic of the late great Shane McConkey. We were delighted to send along our Pure Powder competition winner James who won 2 tickets to the premiere on the day, courtesy of All Conditions Media. Here’s their summary of the night, the film and the highlights of this great new ski film.

Starting off at the Red Bull Studios near London Bridge with beer and pizza — itself a slight tribute to Shane as he was the first to say he’d paid his way in the ski world by being a ‘food logistics technician specialising in pizza” — the night was buzzing with skiers and ski media types. There was a certain excitement to see this film which is more of a documentary about Shane’s life rather than an out-and-out ski or base jumping film. Shane’s wife Sherry was over to help promote the film (having played a major part in its production allowing the guys at Matchstick to go through hundreds of hours of footage of Shane’s adolescence), as well as skier Murray Wais who also features in the finished edit.

When the beers were gone and only cheese-crusted boxes remained we moved on to the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square where the popcorn was handed out and the cinema packed to the rafters in anticipation of the main event. But there was an aura of sadness mixed into the atmosphere too. After all, the film can only have one ending: we all knew Shane died in March 2009 when a ski-wingsuit-basejump went wrong.

The film itself is a roller coaster ride of emotions. From the start you can see that Shane was a fun guy to be around, quiet but bursting with energy and fresh ideas. It is obvious too that his innovative style, and the cheeky non-conformist attitude was there from the very beginning. The film has the capacity to both make you laugh and show you a side to Shane that from public appearance you would never have guessed, including his fear of being stuck in an office job and not being able to ski, base jump or fly.

The many interviews are interspersed with some great old footage, including Shane skiing the graduate course naked at his ski race academy which becomes something of a theme throughout the film. There are practical jokes thrown in, bungee jumps, amazing cliff diving scenes (some of which are breathtaking to behold with one in particular foreshadowing his base jumping skills as he plummets 100 feet).

As he grows up on screen the sense of tragedy grows also; the film is extremely well made giving us the laughs we crave before sections of awe-inspiring feats but then shows the darker side of these dangerous sports. There are moments of sublime jumps from towering cliffs into the abyss mixed with footage of terrifying near misses and crashes. Then in the midst of all this you notice the beautiful love story developing between Shane and Sherry later introducing his gorgeous daughter Ayla who of course steals the show.  It’s this love story that creates the biggest sense of tragedy but also the sense of a life well-lived filled with happiness, making it impossible not to smile when seeing Sherry and Shane and Ayla together.

Throughout the film it is Shane’s friends who shape the way the viewer sees him. Anecdotes about him and his irreverent humour, his fears and loves, his joie de vivre. There are some big names in there too, Tony Hawk, Jeremy Jones, J.T Holmes and Sal Masekela each telling their stories of friendship alongside some incredible footage. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a skier or base jumper, this film is about an inspirational man who did not lose sight of his goals, even though he knew of the danger that lay ahead. Ultimately the film shows us that life is short and to be doing something one loves is what matters, extreme or not. This is a great film, it is a story of life, humour, excitement and love.

On Shane’s death, Men’s Journal writer Bill Gifford wrote perhaps the definitive obituary and comment on his life, his death, and of the questions such daring pursuits inevitably bring up. It is very fitting then that ‘McConkey’ answers such questions in a considered, thoughtful way. The film’s tagline “One Life, Live It” is perfectly appropriate.

There were definitely a few tears on the way out of the cinema but overall you can’t help but feel Shane’s optimism and love for life. It was infectious. Go see the film, it’s the undisputed ski film of the year.

McConkey is available to download via iTunes from the 8th of October 2013. All proceeds from the film – a collaboration between Matchstick Productions and Red Bull Media House, both Shane’s longterm associates – will go to the Shane McConkey Foundation.

Posted by: Suzy Small

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Heli Skiing in Canada: 4 reasons why it’s special

If you’ve ever wondered why 95% of the world’s heli skiing operators are based in Canada check out our 4 reasons why heli skiing in Canada is a must for everyone’s bucket lists. ONE// TERRAIN They say size doesn’t matter, but in the case of heli skiing, Canada’s sheer scale makes it the perfect place […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s third largest ski and is an unspoiled paradise where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love.  The varied terrain spreads over the 3,282 acres (1,328 hectares) and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there:  Silver Star is extremely […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location:  Having added two new Alpine zones to their ski area in the 2014/2015 season, Sun Peaks has become the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler.  It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there:  Easily accessible, Sun Peaks is about a 50-minute […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

How is snow formed?

As skiers we are obsessed with those tiny little flakes falling from the sky – constantly on the lookout for the next powder dump and eagerly awaiting those cold mornings when you wake up to find a white blanket covering everything and the perfect powder skiing conditions! But a question we often ask ourselves is […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Do I have to break the bank to go heli skiing in Canada?

Floating through knee-deep powder with only your buddies to keep you company.  A helicopter waiting at the bottom of each run.  Being whisked up to the top of another glorious powder filled peak.  That’s what dreams are made of – but the key question is do you have to break the bank to make making […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

Pure Powder have put together their top five heli ski lodges in the world.   ONE// Deplar Farm, Iceland This first-class, modern lodge, located on Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, is a remote retreat ideal for thrill seeking heli skiers who enjoy the finer things in life.  As well as epic heli ski lines down to the […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Big White

Location: The third largest ski resort in British Columbia, Big White, is sandwiched between the Okanagan Valley and the Monashee Mountain range.  It has a fantastic reputation for its first-rate powder as it receives an average annual snowfall of 750cm. Getting there:  West Jet and Air Canada run daily flights to Kelowna Airport via Calgary […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

The Ultimate Ski Bucket List – Telegraph October 2016

Canadian Mountain Holidays named one of The Telegraph’s Ultimate Ski Bucket List: ‘The tension of waiting for the weather to break, the expectation as the helicopter rotors begin to spin, the eagle’s eye view of pristine wilderness peaks as you’re flown 
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Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Iceland – An Adventure of a Lifetime

The Telegraph have named heli skiing in Iceland one of their 50 adventures of a lifetime. ‘Ski from the mountain peaks down to the sea or fly-fish for salmon in glacial rivers accessed only by helicopters. You’ll be staying at Deplar Farm, the ultimate wilderness retreat located in a remote valley in north-west Iceland, surrounded […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder Sponsoring London Screening of ‘Ruin and Rose’

Come and join us on Friday 11th November at The Ham Yard Hotel, Central London for an exclusive viewing of MSP Films newest movie “Ruin and Rose”. We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring “Ruin and Rose” alongside Surefoot London for the second year in a row.  This new 4K HD definition film features jaw-dropping action […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Ski Blogs

Back in November 2010 we blogged about the ‘best ski blogs in the business’ and now, after some extensive research and deliberation we bring you our newest, hottest top 10 list… These blogs are set to bring you the latest news, fashionable destinations and first-rate tips and advice.  They are 100% guaranteed to whet your […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s CMH Heli Skiing UK Tour – October 2016

CMH Heli Skiing Presentations:  For over 35 years,  Pure Powder have been the exclusive UK representatives of CMH Heli Skiing in Canada – the largest heli ski operator in the world.   Each year Pure Powder team up with one of the CMH heli ski mountain guides and set about spreading the love for powder skiing on a […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Summer Adventures in Western Canada

When you think of Western Canada you think of winter.  You think of the cold and the rain and the snow.  What you may not realise is that a summer in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta is like no other, there are so many activities to choose from, and it is breathtakingly beautiful! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Chile – 5 Things You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re missing the snow this summer, fear not – there is plenty of the deep powder skiing to be had in the Southern Hemisphere.  And arguably the best place to ski in summer is the central Chilean Andes; famed for it’s consistent (and big) storms and endless terrain this is explorative heli skiing at […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder feature in ‘In the Snow’

Heli skiing can seem like an impossible dream to many of us. You’ve seen the glossy magazine pictures, perhaps watched a video, but could you really do it yourself?  Most are happy on the piste, but never really see the “wow” factor of off-piste (which seems more like hard work!), and may never have the […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH feature twice in April 2015 ski magazine Fall Line.  “Heli-skiing: the ultimate trip of a lifetime.  Fresh lines all day, zero uphill effort, floating through bottomless pow, blah blah blah: sound alright.  Which is why my ski-mad husband and I used the excuse of ‘winter honeymoon’ to book this extravagant and […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine: A Day in the Life of Doug Dykeman

‘Nobody knows the vast, shreddable terrain of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) – which marks 50 years in heli-skiing last winter – better than Alpine’s chief pilot, whose precision landings have delivered trillions of vertical feet of thigh-deep fun’ To get your hands on the gripping article which takes you into ‘a day in the life of… […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing in the FT Weekend Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing were featured in the 16-page ski special ‘Pink Snow’ article which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of heli skiing.  We took Tom Robbins with us to Canada in order to uncover what all the hype about skiing with a helicopter is. “It is dark when we turn alongside the Columbia […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank