Former ‘Amazing Race Canada’ contestant dies after fall on B.C. mountain

Kenneth McAlpine, a former contestant on The Amazing Race Canada, was found dead a day after going missing on Mount Gimli, B.C. The Amazing Race Canada/Facebook

A hiker found dead on a mountain in B.C.’s Kootenay region Tuesday has been identified as a former contestant on The Amazing Race Canada.

Kenneth McAlpine died on his 28th birthday, his family confirmed Wednesday, after suffering what RCMP described as a “substantial fall” while hiking alone on Mount Gimli on Monday.

Police and search-and-rescue teams began looking for McAlpine after he failed to return to his home in Rossland, B.C., by 7 p.m. as planned, prompting his friends to file a missing person report.

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McAlpine’s father Malcolm told Global News his son was a passionate young man who lived life to the fullest.

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“He packed a lot in, that’s for sure,” he said on the phone from Collingwood, Ont., where McAlpine’s family is based.

“He embraced life, he was brave and he was a pretty cool guy,” he said.

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Malcolm said his son was an experienced outdoorsman as well as an accomplished cook. He had been working at Gabriella’s Restaurant in Rossland when he died.

The restaurant’s owner and head chef Gabriella Pelli Lapointe said in a statement to Global News that she was “deeply saddened” by McAlpine’s death after “an accident in the mountains he loved.”

“Kenneth was one of the most awesome people that we have had the opportunity to work with and know,” Lapointe said.

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In 2017, McAlpine and his friend Ryan Lachapelle formed Team GIVE’R for the fifth season of The Amazing Race Canada and finished in second place.

Malcolm says the pair went on speaking tours following their near-win to tell students “it’s OK to be second and not everyone can be No. 1.”

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The show posted a tribute to McAlpine on its Facebook page, writing his “infectious personality left a lasting impression not only on us but with viewers across the country.”

RCMP and South Columbia Search and Rescue have not identified the hiker they recovered from Mount Gimli.

Multiple search-and-rescue teams assisted in the operation, which began Monday evening and continued Tuesday morning.

A search-and-rescue helicopter was called in to recover the body after it was found 260 metres down the front face of the mountain, officials confirmed.

The BC Coroners Service is now investigating, but police say they don’t suspect the hiker’s death to be criminal in nature.

“The investigation is ongoing and police are speaking to other hikers who were in the area at the time,” Cpl. Brett Turner with Castlegar RCMP said in a statement Tuesday.

While he’s heartbroken about the loss of his son, Malcolm McAlpine said he’s proud of the legacy he left behind.

“Someone told me, ‘He was the kind of guy you’d want your daughter to marry,'” he said. “Everyone loved him. He made his mark.”

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— With files from Simon Little