A renowned climber committed suicide the day after an avalanche took the life of his girlfriend. According to the NY Daily News, 27-year-old Hayden Kennedy and his girlfriend, 23-year-old, Inge Perkins, were skiing at Imp Peak in Bozeman, Montana, on Saturday. They triggered an avalanche that buried Kennedy three feet under the avalanche and left Perkins missing.
Her body was recovered on October 9. He was able to dig himself out from the 150-foot-wide slide and left a note with “incredibly clear directions for where to find her” when he couldn't. On October 10, he took his own life in his Bozeman home.
In a Facebook post, Kennedy's father shared the loss of his son. “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,” he said.
Just two weeks ago, Kennedy penned a column about climbing and what it means to him. “The true, lasting meaning, we like to say, is found in the friendships and partnerships that we build while pursuing our climbing goals," he wrote. "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.”
As Denver Post shares, Kennedy and Perkins—also an adept climber—recently moved to Bozeman where he was working on his EMT certificate. She was completing her bachelor’s degree in math and education at Montana State University.