by Andru McCracken

A local man died during a snowmobile hill climb competition at Sun Peaks Resort last Saturday. Initial news reports only identified him as a 28-year-old Alberta man, but the news of Everett Craig’s death spread quickly on social media.

The rest of the weekend’s hillcross snowmobile races were cancelled following his death.

“Ski patrol was on the scene immediately to provide medical assistance,” Sun Peaks spokesman Aidan Kelly said on the resort’s website. He said air ambulance took the man to hospital but he unfortunately passed away. “Our hearts go out to the family, friends, event organizers, and all those involved. This is a tragic incident, and we will do everything we can to assist during this difficult time.”

Everett grew up in Valemount and his friends there held a massive bonfire Sunday night.

By Monday hundreds of Everett’s friends had posted their condolences on social media, often recounting his adventures and outgoing personality.

“When the news said a 28-year-old Alberta man had passed away, I never thought it would be someone I knew. Everett you were a shining light full of life with a zest for adventure. Can’t remember too many occasions where I didn’t see you smiling,” read one of hundreds of tributes.

“You will be missed by soooo many people who had the pleasure to spend time with you, laugh with you, enjoy the mountains with you and most of all just know you,” read another.

“The first time I met you, you were wearing a tiger suit and handing out skittles to whomever would take any. I knew from that moment that we would have to be friends,” read another comment.

The flag on Valemount’s Fire Hall flew at half-mast. Fire Chief Rick Lalonde said Everett volunteered with the local department for 10 years.

“He was a moving force,” said Lalonde.

Lalonde said that Everett’s experience as a foreman with the railroad informed his approach to training.

“He had some idea about how things have to be if you are trying to guide people to provide education. There’s a lot of good memories,” said Lalonde.

All of us at the Goat offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him.