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Colleagues mourn Eric Love, the founder of Crosscut Mountain Sports Center, a year after his passing



Bozeman, Montana – Crosscut Mountain Sports Center’s founder, Eric Love, passed away tragically one year ago. Crosscut is still pursuing and advancing his concept today.

Crosscut Mountain Sports has a coach by the name of Sydney Michalak. As she mentors young children at their biathlon summer camp, she exemplifies Love’s passions.

“He was just an amazing role model and the things that he—the vision he had at Crosscut and getting kids and youth and everybody involved. And his passion for that was absolutely amazing,” Michalak said.

Love served as Crosscut’s chief visionary; on July 15, 2022, a dust storm in Hardin, Montana, led to a serious automobile accident that claimed the lives of six persons, including Love.

The year following Love’s passing has not been simple for CEO Jen Beaston.

“It’s just unfathomable to understand that it’s been a year since Eric passed and actually today would have been his 62nd birthday,” said Beaston.

According to Beaston, Love wanted to make Crosscut a welcoming place for both locals and professionals.

“He wanted everybody to feel welcome here, from a five-year-old learning how to mountain bike to people that have been Nordic skiing for their entire lives, to somebody that wants to start trying a new sport, like biathlon, or mountain biking, to the best in the world,” she said.

The organization’s growth after more than seven years has far surpassed the team’s expectations.

“And what we’ve realized is while he was the spark for Crosscut and being able to acquire this amazing property seven years ago and build this incredible center, it quickly grew so much bigger than himself,” Beaston said.

These facilities are used by a large staff and community for biathlons, skiing, hiking, and mountain biking, demonstrating that the principles Love advocated decades ago are still relevant today.

“We were sitting around for a long time trying to come up with our vision and mission statements a couple of years ago,” Beaston recalled. “And I remember Eric just leaning back in his chair after we had done all this brainstorming for a couple of days, and he just leaned back in his chair and he said, ‘We’re about creating healthy community by connecting people with nature.’ And I think that just captures all of it.”

The Hoot, a major mountain biking competition with 20-mile, 10-mile, 5-mile, and kids’ race options, will be held on July 29 at Crosscut. Visit the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center website to learn more.

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