Screen shot from GoFundMe page
Two McRoberts graduates—Alexey Lyakh and Ryker Gamble—were among the three victims of a fatal accident at Shannon Falls, south of Squamish, on July 3.
The pair, along with West Van’s Megan Scraper, were swimming in one of the pools at the top of Shannon Falls, when they fell into a different pool 30 metres below, according to Squamish RCMP. Their bodies were later recovered.
Lyakh was featured in The Richmond Review’s 30-under-30 edition in 2015 for the wild and exotic adventures that he, Gamble and Parker Heuser shared on social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and which brought them fame. Together, they amassed more than 500,000 subscribers on their High on Life YouTube channel and nearly five million views of their video “3 Years of Travel in 3 Minutes” which was posted three years ago.
In a 2015 interview, Lyakh said he, Gamble and Heuser made a video for every possible assignment while they were classmates at McRoberts.
The trio caught the travel bug in 2012, when they originally planned to buy one-way tickets to Australia after working for a year and saving $10,000 each.
But instead of an experience that would have been much like they’d experienced in Canada, they attended a friend’s wedding in India, where they were met with culture shock from what they encountered: a rich culture, overpopulation, oppressive heat and poverty.
After that trip, the trio began to focus on making videos about their off-the-beaten-path travels.
They started a clothing line, High on LIfe, which was more about inspiring a lifestyle than simply clothing.
Asked at the time about what he was most proud of, Lyakh said: “Having made it through the grey area of uncertainty as to what I’m doing in life and come out the other side with a sense of freedom and drive. A lot of people get molded by their environment, school, parents, etc. into embodying the ideas of others and it can be hard to break away from the system and create your own path.”
His advice to others: “Be very particular with the people you surround yourself with. Strive to always be in the company of people that are better than you in some way; they will start to rub off on you. Cherish your down time and alone time.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up in honour of the trio at tinyurl.com/LyakhFund, with a goal of raising $50,000, which will help cover the cost of the Celebration of Life for the trio, as well as set up a legacy fund “to support causes that align with the values and aspirations of Ryker, Alexey and Megan—empowering others to pursue their passions and dreams, and to live life to the fullest.”
As of Thursday, the fund had raised more than $15,000.