July 5, 2018 4:50 pm
Updated: July 5, 2018 11:55 pm

Vancouver vlogger killed at Shannon Falls inspired living life on the edge

Search-and-rescue crews have recovered the bodies of three people who died when they fell into pools at Shannon Falls near Squamish. Ted Chernecki has more on the tricky and dangerous recovery mission.

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Condolences and tributes continue to pour in online for three popular Vancouver vloggers found dead after they went missing at Shannon Falls on Tuesday.

The trio has been identified as Ryker Gamble, Alexey Lyakh and Megan Scraper.

Their bodies were found in one of the lower pools, according to RCMP, who said they had slipped and fell about 30 metres.

A young woman was trying to swim near the top of the 335-metre waterfall before she slipped and fell on Tuesday afternoon.

Her boyfriend and another friend went in after her.

WATCH: Shannon Falls tragedy highlights potential dangers of social media stardom

“He’s a hero and in so many ways inspiring in just his day-to-day life and the fact that he went out as a hero just is a testament to who he was as a person and his life and how he put other people above himself,” Kirsten Lang, who says she is a university friend of Gamble’s, told Global News.

Lang said she attended the University of Victoria with Gamble who graduated in 2011, adding he was studying theatre, and was her neighbour and good friend.

LISTEN: Travel vloggers identified as people who died near Squamish’s Shannon Falls



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“He really had a way of making you feel like you were worth it and that you were special… I moved there not knowing many people and he quickly became one of my great friends and I’ve kind of just watched his journey since and he’s really just made a great impact on a lot of people,” Lang said.

Lang was quick to describe Gamble’s spontaneous, adventurous and fun personality, adding he was a genuinely caring and kind person.

Envious of his ability to turn travel into an entrepreneurial venture, Lang, who said she’s a teacher, reached out to Gamble a few months ago asking how she could get involved. That was the last time she spoke to him, she said.

“It’s horrible, it’s devastating how he passed away… I don’t like thinking about it but… to know that he passed away doing what he loved gives me some comfort as his friend and I’m sure his family too,” Lang said.

Gamble was a volunteer coach at Eastside Boxing Club in Vancouver, according to a post expressing condolences on the non-profit’s Facebook page.

A GoFundMe page has been set up, according to the description on the fundraising page, money is being raised to support the girlfriend of Gamble.

One of Gamble’s last posts on Instagram highlights his desire to plan for outdoor adventures this summer.

Gamble and Lyakh shared their travels on the YouTube channel High on Life.

Early last year, Gamble, Lyakh and fellow High on Life contributor Justis Price Brown were banned from U.S. federal lands for five years after they pleaded guilty to walking on a sensitive hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

An investigation in 2016 into the group’s travels revealed violations of park rules at Yellowstone, Zion, Death Valley and Mesa Verde national parks and Utah’s Corona Arch and Bonneville Salt Flats.

The defendants also used drones in closed areas, rode bikes in a wilderness area and took commercial photographs without a permit, according to authorities.

READ MORE: 3 victims who went missing at Shannon Falls identified after bodies found in pool of water

Trails around Shannon Falls near Squamish are expected to reopen Thursday after being closed since Tuesday when the trio was swept into one of the pools, about halfway up the falls.

“Taking a risk is something that so many people are afraid to do, even on like a tiny level,” Lang said.

With no trails leading to the pools surrounded by slick granite rocks, retrieving the victims was extremely dangerous, officials said.

~ With files from Amy Judd, Simon Little, Ted Chernecki, the Canadian Press and the Associated Press 

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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