Famed climber kills himself after girlfriend dies in avalanche

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

Mr Kennedy managed to dig himself out after being partially buried, but was unable to find Ms Perkins, who rescuers later discovered buried beneath 3ft (92cm) of snow.

According to a Facebook post by Friends of the Gallatin Avalanche Center, "two skiers (now identified) were approaching the north couloir (of Imp Peak) when they triggered the avalanche".

As a rescue team set out to look for Perkins on Sunday, Kennedy committed suicide at his home in Bozeman, according to the Denver Post.

GNFAC avalanche specialist Eric Knoff told NBC Montana this is the earliest avalanche fatality he has seen in his nine seasons at the Gallatin National Forest.

The 27 year old's death comes just two weeks after he wrote a blogpost about his devastation at the multiple deaths of friends who were fellow climbers.

"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", Michael Kennedy wrote. Friends and climbing partners are fleeting, too.

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Perkins, who grew up traversing the mountains of Montana and Norway with her parents, hoped to continue pursuing her passion for climbing and skiing around the world, she wrote in her biography on Mystery Ranch. Reflecting on his ascent of Logical Progression in Mexico alongside Chris Kalous, Kyle Dempster, and Justin Griffin, Hayden remarked: 'There's no easy way to say this, but half that team is now dead.' Hayden wasreferring to Griffin, who died in Nepal in 2015, and to Dempster's disappearance in Pakistan's Ogres a year ago. This is the painful reality of our sport... rock climbing is both a gift and a curse. Justin died in Nepal in 2015. "Myself and his mother Julie sorrowfully respect his decision", Michael Kennedy also said. "Their absence from this world is felt by so many who are left in a wake of confusion, anger, and frustration".

The climber was well-known for climbing the Southeast Ridge in Patagonia's Cerro Torre in 2012 and removing numerous bolts placed there more than four decades earlier by Italian climber Cesare Maestri, the Associated Press reported. His father, Michael Kennedy, was an accomplished mountaineer in own right, establishing countless first ascents and served as editor-in-chief at Climbing Magazine for 30 years.

Both Hayden and his father recognized the internal battle of goal in climbing.

The alpinist couple had recently moved to Bozeman, Montana, near to where the accident occurred, so Ms Perkins could complete her studies of mathematics and education at the Montana State University.

"An awareness of mortality prompts us to focus on what's important: developing a strong community of family and friends", he wrote.

The death of the young couple has shocked the mountaineering community.

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