Illegal jump from Whistler gondola

A video of an illegal BASE jump from a Whistler-Blackcomb gondola that was posted to YouTube has sparked a police investigation.

Whistler RCMP confirmed Wednesday they are investigating a YouTube video titled “McConkey Reborn,” in which a man and woman appear to pry open the doors of a moving Peak 2 Peak gondola car before the man jumps hundreds of feet to Fitzimmons Creek.

“This is for you, McConkey,” he is heard saying after his parachute deploys.

The video was posted to YouTube on Feb. 11 and was later unlisted from the site.

Police told CTV News the stunt could carry possible charges of mischief over $5,000 and want anyone with information to call them.

Whistler-Blackcomb confirmed the gondola was damaged on Feb. 6.

“We’re pretty disappointed,” said Wayne Wiltse, lift maintenance manager for Whistler-Blackcomb. “We do not like to see the vandalism. There are a number of safety and locking devices on those cabins to prevent the cabin doors from opening…and it’s not something we can condone.”

Wiltse said the costs to replace the damaged cabin door and locking mechanism is in the range of $10,000.

He said RCMP were called after the incident occurred, and they and mountain staff tried to find the BASE jumper.

“It’s fairly remote, there is an intake into a hydroelectric project on Fitzsimmons Creek and there’s an access road to that, and he was able to get out of the area on to the access road, we believe,” Wiltse said.

Officials are now considering installing surveillance cameras in the cabins, he said.

Vancouver-born extreme skiing legend Shane McConkey performed a similar feat when he BASE jumped from the 1,400-foot-high cable car in 2008.

The stunt was officially sanctioned by Whistler-Blackcomb to mark the opening of the Peak 2 Peak gondola, a 4.4-kilometre-long lift that connects the two mountains.

McConkey died performing a stunt in Italy four years ago.


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