Sehler worked tirelessly to build Emerald singletrack | SteamboatToday.com

Sehler worked tirelessly to build Emerald singletrack

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Friends and family remember longtime Steamboat Springs resident Marc Sehler as a sweet man, a good husband, a mentor and a best friend.

"He was a kind-hearted person," said Gretchen Sehler, Marc's wife of 30 years. "I think that was what he was most proud of."

Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg confirmed Monday that the body found on Emerald Mountain on Sunday morning was that of of the 64-year-old, who was known for his work building mountain bike trails on Emerald Mountain and around Routt County. He also was a longtime ski instructor at Steamboat Resort.

If you go

What: Marc Sehler's memorial service
When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15
Where: Top of the gondola at Steamboat Resort

The gondola will begin uploading at 9 a.m. No pass or ticket necessary. A group ride to the service meets at 7:30 a.m. at the Billy Kidd statue.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marc Sehler Trails Memorial Fund at Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

The day after learning of Marc’s death, his friends recalled the man who had brought joy and happiness into their lives.

"He was my best friend," said Will Bolt. "When I say that, I'm being selfish because he was everyone's best friend. He was a hero, an idol and my mentor.”

Bolt said Marc took him under his wing when Bolt was first hired at Steamboat Resort in 1989. The two men worked with each other for the next nine years and became close friends. Bolt moved away in 1998 but returned a few years ago.

He said both Marc and Gretchen were there for him and his family when he had to undergo a heart transplant. The couple supported Bolt and his family during the surgery. And later, Bolt said Marc was there to make sure his friend still lived life to its fullest.

"He would meet me every morning to take a run," Bolt said. "We did that almost every morning the last two years. Those were special times for me and him. … He was a father figure to me, for sure."

Fellow ski instructor Nancy Gray said Marc touched a lot of people in the skiing world and in Steamboat’s ski school. She described her longtime friend as patient and humble, and she said he worked hard to get his full ski instructor certification and was as qualified a teacher as any at the ski area.

"He gave a lot to our community in a quiet way," Gray said. "He had a passion for powder and for his bike. No matter where he was on his bike, he was always happy."

From Facebook

“From those of us who ride our incredible Steamboat trails we can thank Marc and Gretchen for the many smiles they gave us. Their passion and drive to find us more fun places to ride has made this an even better place to live.”
— Robin Craigen

“His contributions and extraordinary dedication to trail building, and to the community were next to none.”
— Adam Rongey

“If you have ever stepped on a trail in Steamboat chances are Marc and his wife Gretchen had a hand in creating it.”
— Amanda Grimes

“I always think of Marc and Gretchen with thanks and awe when I ride the trails of Emerald.”
— Linda Strear Liman

“What really matters is how much of his heart that he poured into Steamboat, so many people, and biking in particular. Steamboat is forever better for having you Marc and we are forever grateful for the amazing legacy you have left us.”
— Jon Wade

“Emerald mountain is what it is because of Marc and you, Gretchen.”
— Stephanie Loomis

Gretchen said she was drawn to Marc shortly after she moved to Steamboat in 1983. The two started working together at the ski area in the winter and with Routt County Landscaping in the summer and became fast friends. That friendship grew into love, and the two eventually married.

Gretchen and Marc recently celebrated their 30th anniversary with a trip to the Wind River Mountain Range near Pinedale, Wyoming.

"Marc and Gretchen were inseparable and seemed like they did everything together," said Aryeh Copa, who was a friend and worked with the Sehlers as part of his work with Routt County Riders. "They were true life partners."

The couple shared a passion for mountain biking and for building trails.

"It wasn't Marc, and it wasn't Gretchen," Copa said. "They were a team."

The couple was instrumental in building and maintaining trails on Emerald Mountain and were honored as the recipients of the Steamboat Springs Bike Summit’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

Copa said Marc was always there to clear fallen trees from the trails, and the couple loved riding on the trails that are just a stone's throw away from the backyard of their home in Fairview. It's not surprising that several trails have names tied to the family including MGM, which is named for Mica, Gretchen and Marc. Mica is the family’s dog.

"I would say the two of them are hugely responsible for a lot of what is going on with the bike stuff today," Copa said. "They basically created the start of trail systems, and trails designed better for riding, by building almost everything that’s up on Emerald.

“Then once we secured the funding for all these future trail projects, Marc and Gretchen's support really went a long way,” Copa continued. “I don’t know if we would have gotten any of this stuff done without their support."

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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