Colorado Mountaineer, Girlfriend Die In Avalanche

BOZEMAN, Mont. (CBS4/AP) — Colorado native Hayden Kennedy and his girlfriend, Inge Perkins, both died after an avalanche struck Imp Peak in Bozeman, Montana.

Gallatin County sheriff’s officials say Kennedy, 27, and Perkins, 23, were skiing on Saturday when they triggered the avalanche.

Hayden Kennedy and Inge Perkins (credit: CBS)

Kennedy was able to get out and search for Perkins, but could not find her. He hiked out, but later took his own life at his home in Bozeman.

“Hayden survived the avalanche but not the unbearable loss of his partner in life,” his parents wrote in a statement released Tuesday.

(credit: CBS)

Perkins, an accomplished mountain climber, was buried by the 150-foot-wide slide.

On Monday, search and rescue crews recovered Perkins’ body by using beacon probes.

(credit: CBS)

The area had received a foot of snow since Oct. 1, which was on top of about four feet of dense snow that had fallen over the previous two weeks, according to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

Kennedy’s family described him as “an uncensored soul whose accomplishments as a mountaineer were always secondary to his deep friendships and mindfulness.”

Kennedy, who grew up in Carbondale, had been working on his EMT certification while Perkins completed her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and education at Montana State University.

Just two weeks before his death, he wrote on the climbing blog “Evening Sends” 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. “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.”

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.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center says a full report of the incident should be available later this week.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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