Gaffney’s Numerical Assessment of Radness


Lilah Slaughter, Copy Editor

With the first snow of the year on November fourth, the ski community is getting anxious to hit the slopes with a slew of ways to improve their winter experience. Among them is the game of G.N.A.R., or Gaffney’s Numerical Assessment of Radness.

Rob Gaffney and Shane McConkey outlined the game in the veritable ski bible Squallywood, published before the death of McConkey on March 26, 2009 in a BASE jumping accident. The game of G.N.A.R. is now used to keep alive his ways of poking fun at the pompous stereotype of Squaw Valley skiers.

“Gaining points doing reckless stuff sums it up,” said Sr. Nico Schiavone.

Squallywood is similar to a climbing guide, but instead maps out every line at Squaw Valley and has a score assigned to it for three different snow depths. More importantly, there are extra credit points to be earned in countless different ways.

“To me [the extra credit points] are really about the spirit of Squaw and Shane taking  the piss out of extreme skiing,” said Ingrid Backstrom in an interview for the movie G.N.A.R.

The general perception of Squaw Valley skiers is that they have inflated egos and are always intending to put on a show, hence, Squallywood. However, this wasn’t entirely true until Shane McConkey decided to capitalize on that idea with G.N.A.R. Many of the extra credit points are simply acts that demand attention from onlookers.

“Well there was definitely one time when I was on snow blades and wearing women’s lingerie and I crashed and tomahawked down lift line on Catharsis. Things were a little exposed. I think people saw more than they wanted to, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down,” said CSU student and DHS alum Nate Curmano.

He earned points from the snowblade endeavor as well as scandalous dress, but lost many due to the tomahawk. The point system of G.N.A.R. was spawned from McConkey’s competitive nature.

“If you hung out with Shane it was always a competition. […] It was always a competition and he wanted to take that to skiing but keep it lighthearted and funny,” said Grant Kaye, Shane’s Fuzzy Friend, in an interview for the G.N.A.R. film.

After the movie documenting a two week game of G.N.A.R. was filmed in 2010, the game took off. Ashley Carruth, a personal friend of Rob Gaffney told her then student, now sophomore, Will Berger about the film. He later watched it with his friends, which led to games of G.N.A.R. adapted to his own playing field.

“I’ve done a couple butt naked backflips, one got me photo of the day on Newschoolers. Calling people out is always fun, whether it’s saying ‘I can’t believe you’re a pro I’m so much better than you’ to Michele Parker, or claiming ‘I’m the best skier on the mountain’ before a big hit. Also, skiing lines while talking to your mom is fun, especially when you get a backflip in,” said Berger.

The skiers of DHS are racking up some valuable insight along with their G.N.A.R. stories. It is a game for the winter with lasting whispers of life lessons.

“A lot of things in life get taken too seriously. And while we shouldn’t always go around farting in public, a little less serious allows you to get a lot more out of an experience,” said Sr. Bryce Gordon.