A local outdoor enthusiast who died in a snowboarding accident last week is being remembered as a kind and patient young man with a bright smile.

A local outdoor enthusiast who died in a snowboarding accident last week is being remembered as a kind and patient young man with a bright smile.

Over 100 volunteers from across the north state and southern Oregon volunteered during the three day search for Alex Gautreaux, a 23 year old Mount Shasta resident who went missing at the Mt. Shasta Ski Park on Thursday, Feb. 17.

“It is with great sadness that the Mt. Shasta Ski Park mourns the passing of Alex Gautreaux,” said marketing director Jim Mullins in a statement issued Tuesday. Alex “was a well-liked member of the Mount Shasta community and will be missed by all,” he said.

“What I remember about Alex is that he was such a nice kid to be around,” said Barbara Porteous, student counselor at Mount Shasta High School. “He always had a smile on his face. It’s difficult to identify what makes a student stand out, and as a teacher, you love them all. But Alex was one young man you don’t forget. He was very light hearted, very nice... He was a great kid.”

Born in Mount Shasta in 1987, Alex was a 2006 graduate of MSHS. He was a top player on the tennis team and played the saxophone in Greg Eastman’s Jazz Band.

Eastman described Alex as “a young man who was mature beyond his years.” He said Alex spent “countless hours” patiently helping a fellow alto sax player during his time in Jazz Band, helping her learn the music and bringing her up to speed.

“He was relaxed and calm, an excellent student and musician. He was a real pleasure to have in class and to snowboard with,” Eastman said.

After graduation, Alex attended College of the Siskiyous and later, Shasta College in Redding, where he met his future wife, Molly.

Alex then went on to Humboldt State University, where he earned a degree in photo journalism.
He and Molly married less than a year ago, in June, 2010.

Alex’s family said he was a person who took on his interests “with a full passion.” He enjoyed duck hunting, was a skilled woodworker, and enjoyed brewing beer and rock-wall climbing. He was an avid snowboarder who “grew up on the mountain” and was very experienced in the outdoors, said his aunt, Susie Escatel.

Escatel described her nephew as “a prankster.”

“He loved to pull pranks on Aunt Susie,” she said with a laugh. “He also loved his little brother, Spencer. He was his best friend.”

Alex was a loving, patient mentor to Spencer and the two spent many hours building jumps and constructing trails in the woods behind their home for downhill mountain biking.

Alex is survived by many family members and friends. Some have begun to express their condolences at a makeshift memorial near the driveway to his childhood home in Mount Shasta. Consisting of an old snowboard, one of Alex’s tennis trophies and one of his tennis rackets, messages written in Sharpie pen have begun to accumulate on the snowboard.

Alex’s family thanked Sheriff Jon Lopey and the Siskiyou County Sheriff Department’s Search and Rescue team, as well as the countless volunteers who assisted in the exhaustive search at the Ski Park.

A memorial honoring Alex’s life will be held this Saturday, Feb. 26, at noon at the Mount Shasta Community Building in Mount Shasta. All who knew and loved him are welcome to attend.