Amazing Race Canada contestant from Collingwood dies hiking on birthday
"Any kind of sports, that's the foundation of where we come from," Kenneth McAlpine, known as a goofball and sports enthusiast, told CTV News in 2017.
Today, his family is in mourning, after learning their son died doing what he loved, living life on the edge.
The Collingwood native, who appeared on the fifth season of The Amazing Race Canada, was tragically killed in an apparent hiking accident in British Columbia.
"He was doing what he loved. He just loved to be outside. He just loved to be in the mountains," says his best friend and one half of the show's Team GIVE'R, Ryan Lachapelle. "He would spend usually a hundred days skiing, which is insane, and yah, he really loved hiking his whole life."
Lachapelle and McAlpine became fast friends 15 years ago at Collingwood Collegiate Institute when they were just 13. They moved to B.C. together about six years ago.
Ryan breaks down in tears, recalling his last interaction with his best friend on Monday morning. "I gave him props like I do every day, and just a big smile," he cries, "and said have fun man - like we do every single day. And I went to work, and he went off hiking."
Mac McAlpine, Kenneth's dad, says he also spoke with his son that morning over the phone. "We said good luck, be safe, have a good birthday, and we love you." It was the last time they would hear his voice.
Ryan says he returned home from work and noticed Kenneth's Jeep wasn't there, "and I knew I had to call 911 to figure out where Kenneth was."
The RCMP and search and rescue crews believe McAlpine lost his footing and fell some 823 feet from a popular mountain peak in B.C.'s Kootenay area.
His body was recovered the next day below the path where authorities say he likely stumbled from the upper peak.
"We wanted him found… and we are grateful," says his dad.
His family and friends are trying to come to grips with their loss, but say Kenneth won't be forgotten.
"He has left a legacy," his dad says of his middle son. "He was fearless. He did as much as he could in the years that he had. He didn't miss a beat. He did lots more than most people do in 50 years."
"I've had the best times of my life with that guy. Anything we did together, we were gonna have fun," Ryan says sobbing.
A visitation and funeral for Kenneth McAlpine will be held in his hometown of Collingwood, though the family has not yet decided on a date.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up in Kenneth's name.