World famous climber, Hayden Kennedy was skiing alongside 23-year-old girlfriend Inge Perkins when an avalanche triggered. The couple was at about 10,000 feet above sea level on Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range, Montana on Saturday when the large planks of snow started peeling off. The avalanche left him partially buried in snow while Inge was submerged in it. After searching for Inge for hours he was forced to abandon the rescue attempt and hike another six miles to find help. Eventually, rescuers found Inge’s body the next day buried in snow. Faced with sorrow of his girlfriend’s death, Kennedy took his own life.
Hayden Kennedy’s father Michael Kennedy, who was the editor of Climbing Magazine for more than two decades and seasoned climber seasoned climber himself later broke the news on Facebook. Michael Kennedy wrote on Facebook, “Hayden survived the avalanche but not the unbearable loss of his partner in life. He chose to end his life. Myself and his mother Julie sorrowfully respect his decision.” They described their son as ‘an uncensored soul whose accomplishments as a mountaineer were always secondary to his deep friendships and mindfulness.’ Hayden’s mother, Julie, was the founder of the 5Point Film Festival, an annual event for outdoor and adventure-related films. Hayden grew up in the Colorado mountain town of Carbondale.
In their memory:
Perkins who is also an accomplished mountain climber was buried by the 150ft-wide (46m-wide) slide. The place had received a foot (0.3m) of snow since October 1 on top of about 4ft (1.2m) of dense snow, according to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Around two weeks before Hayden died he wrote on the climbing blog 'Evening Sends' that over last few years he had seen too many friends die in the mountains. The Alpinist was best known for climbing the Southeast Ridge in Patagonia's Cerro Torre in 2012 and removing many bolts placed by controversial Italian climber Cesare Maestri more than 40 years earlier.