Mountain climber kills himself after girlfriend's avalanche death

Avalanche causes skier fatality south of Big Sky

Officials say Perkins and Hayden Kennedy went skiing and approached a steep, narrow gully on Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range on Saturday, triggering a slide that fully buried Perkins and partially buried Kennedy. 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.

'Hayden survived the avalanche but not the unbearable loss of his partner in life, ' Michael wrote.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center said it will release more details later in the week.

Kennedy's post continued with an anecdote about climbing a "big-wall route in Mexico", an "incredible" experience with three good mountain climbing friends, two of whom would later die.

The accomplished mountain climber who killed himself after his girlfriend died in an avalanche in Montana had seemingly been at a breaking point prior to her death, writing weeks before on a climbing blog that the sport is "either a lovely gift or a curse".

In Memory of Hayden Kennedy It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our friend, Ambassador and true brother of... 'He chose to end his life.

He wrote recently of the pain of seeing "too many friends go to the mountains only to never return ..." 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. On October 10, he took his own life in his Bozeman home. Justin died in Nepal in 2015.

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"This is the painful reality of our sport, and I'm unsure what to make of it". I think about Kyle and Justin all the time.

Both Kennedy and Perkins were outdoor athletes sponsored by major gear brands, but neither had the broader name recognition among the general public that some rock climbers have gained.

In the same year, Hayden made a notable ascent of Cerro Torre in Patagonia; the first "fair means" ascent of the south east ridge alongside Jason Kruk, simultaneously removing 125 bolts placed by controversial climber Cesare Maestri in 1975.

As tributes flowed to the pair, Kennedy's family says they "sorrowfully" respect his final decision and remembered "an uncensored soul whose accomplishments as a mountaineer were always secondary to his deep friendships and mindfulness".

Kennedy's father, Michael Kennedy, was also an accomplished mountain climber.

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

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