Family, friends and the snowboard community are mourning the sudden loss of Anthony Crute, age 36. He was a dedicated husband, the ecstatic father of an eight-month old girl, and the founder of Pro Ride Snowboard Camps.
According to the coroner's office Crute passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 8:44 a.m. in St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver while waiting for emergency dialysis. The coroner could not say whether the circumstances that led to his death were related to a crash on Jan. 4, when Crute fractured a vertebrae while performing in the Fire and Ice show. He walked away from that incident, and had been up the mountain snowboarding about six times with orders not to jump for at least four weeks. An autopsy was performed on Wednesday.
A memorial is being planned for Dusty's on Wednesday Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. for his friends and family. There will be a slideshow at the memorial and friends are asking anyone with photo's of Crute to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crispin Lipscomb, one of Crute's closest friends, was in a state of disbelief of Wednesday.
"He was the healthiest, fittest guy in our crew," he said. "He would come to the gym to keep someone company, not even because he needed it.
"I spoke to him on Sunday evening, and he was happy because he was able to snowboard, but with no jumping for four weeks. He wanted to get back to coaching."
Crute and his wife Karen first came to Whistler 11 years ago from Australia, and founded Pro Ride Snowboard Camps nine years ago. They became Canadian citizens last year.
"He loved snowboarding so much and he was willing to share that with hundreds and hundreds of strangers each year," said Lipscomb, who coached for Crute. "He was a strong guy, ready to help people in a methodical way with their problems and take on new projects. He would renovate the houses they run, loves a good challenge, and could do anything meticulously and very well.
"Pro Ride was amazing. The company had its best year last year, and was on par again to meet those numbers this year. He always had 30 things on the go, but sledding was his biggest pastime, and dirt biking in the summer, and he always found ways to get out a couple of times a week."
Crute was especially dedicated to his daughter Bailey, and Lipscomb says he always took the same approach to coaching as he did to fatherhood.
"He was the best father to Bailey, and always took her to give Karen time," said Lipscomb. "Right now we're all very sad for Bailey but also grateful she's here because she's part of Anthony. We all hope to step up in a greater capacity as uncle, and better uncles than we expected to be."
Beau Craig, another of Crute's close friends and the best man at his wedding, also said his friend would be sorely missed.
He was very, very outgoing - he would never be in a room and you wouldn't know about it," said Craig. "He was very generous with everyone, and a guy you could count on for anything, whether you med him five minutes ago or 10 years ago. He had a beautiful wife and daughter, and he will be sorely missed."
With the recent rash of deaths in Whistler, Lipscomb urged people to be safe this winter and especially to stay out of the backcountry while the avalanche danger is high.
"I think we've all had more bad news than we can take this winter," he said.