Man takes life following girlfriend's death in Imp Peak avalanch - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Man takes life following girlfriend's death in Imp Peak avalanche

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Gallatin County -

Friends and family members are dealing with the tragic death of a Montana couple. A Saturday avalanche claimed the life of  23-year-old Inge Perkins, a Bozeman resident. During the avalanche, her boyfriend was stuck as well. 27-year-old Hayden Kennedy was rescued from the snow but took his life.

Kennedy's father released the following statement: 

"Having lived for 27 years with the great joy and spirit that was Hayden Kennedy, we share the loss of our son and his partner Inge Perkins as the result of an avalanche in the southern Madison Mountains near Bozeman, Montana, on October 7th." 

"Inge Perkin’s body was recovered by the Gallatin County Search & Rescue at the base of Mt. Imp on October 9th. 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.”

Hayden was a renowned climber and nationwide the climbing community is mourning the loss of both people. 

On the morning of Oct 7, Perkins and Kennedy hiked six miles from the Upper Taylor Fork trailhead to the north couloir of Imp Peak. Officials say that near the bottom of the couloir around 10,000 feet, they triggered an avalanche while ascending on skis with skins.

The Gallatin Media Center found that the avalanche was 1-2’ deep at the crown, approximately 150’ wide, and 300’ long.

Perkins was recovered by rescuers after a probe pole search around 11:15 AM Monday. Due to the remoteness of the mountain, a helicopter was used to access the area.

Imp Peak is a rugged area with steep slopes. It received enough snow to create an early avalanche hazard according to Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson.

“Over the last few years, however, as I’ve watched too many friends go to the mountains only to never return, I’ve realized something painful,” wrote Hayden in Evening Sends just last month. “It’s not just the memorable summits and crux moves that are fleeting. Friends and climbing partners are fleeting, too. 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.”

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