Climber kills self after girl­friend’s avalanche death

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

MON­TANA: Just two weeks be­fore renowned climber Hay­den Kennedy killed him­self fol­low­ing the death of his girl­friend in an avalanche in Mon­tana, he wrote on a climb­ing blog that he had watched too many friends die in the moun­tains over the last few years. “I’ve re­al­ized some­thing painful. It’s not just the mem­o­rable sum­mits and crux moves that are fleet­ing. Friends and climb­ing part­ners are fleet­ing, too,” he wrote for the “Evening Sends” blog. “This is the painful re­al­ity of our sport, and I’m un­sure what to make of it. Climb­ing is ei­ther a beau­ti­ful gift or a curse.”

Gal­latin County sher­iff’s of­fi­cials say Kennedy, 27, and Inge Perkins, 23, were ski­ing on Imp Peak in the south­ern Madi­son Range on Satur­day when they trig­gered an avalanche in a steep, nar­row gul­ley at about 10,000 feet (3,048 me­ters) above sea level. Perkins, also an ac­com­plished moun­tain climber, was buried by the 150-footwide (46-me­ter wide) slide. Kennedy, who was par­tially buried, pulled him­self free and hiked out for help after he couldn’t find his girl­friend.

The area had re­ceived a foot (0.3 me­ters) of snow since Oct 1, which was on top of about 4 feet (1.2 me­ters) of dense snow that had fallen over the pre­vi­ous two weeks, ac­cord­ing to the Gal­latin Na­tional For­est Avalanche Cen­ter. Kennedy, who had re­cently moved to Boze­man, was found dead in a home Sun­day as search teams pre­pared to re­cover Perkins’ body. “Hay­den sur­vived the avalanche but not the un­bear­able loss of his part­ner in life,” his par­ents wrote in a state­ment re­leased Tues­day.

They de­scribed their son as “an un­cen­sored soul whose ac­com­plish­ments as a moun­taineer were al­ways se­condary to his deep friend­ships and mind­ful­ness.” Kennedy, who grew up in Car­bon­dale, Colorado, had been work­ing on his EMT cer­ti­fi­ca­tion while Perkins com­pleted a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in math­e­mat­ics and ed­u­ca­tion at Mon­tana State Univer­sity. Kennedy was per­haps best known for climb­ing the South­east Ridge in Patag­o­nia’s Cerro Torre in 2012 and re­mov­ing many of the bolts placed by con­tro­ver­sial Ital­ian climber Ce­sare Maestri more than 40 years ear­lier.

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