The people involved in this weekend’s avalanche in Montana included renowned climber and alpinist, Hayden Kennedy as well as his girlfriend, Inge Perkins.
According to a recent article by the Adventure Journal, Inge died in the slide on Saturday when she was buried some 3 feet beneath the snow’s surface. Following the emotional fallout of that fateful Saturday, Kennedy decided to take his own life.
So nice to get high with this guy again!! . . When no one wanted to come with me to climb @3v4n92 and @m.4bbott's fucking awesome new 8 pitch route on Ross Peak, Blue Pheonix, HK (who recently had shoulder surgery) volunteered to belay me and jug up behind. Very grateful for his support but also excited to really share the energy of climbing with him again soon.
In Memory of Hayden Kennedy ⠀ ⠀ It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our friend, Ambassador and true brother of the BD tribe, Hayden Kennedy. ⠀ ⠀ To say Hayden was a talented climber would be an understatement. To say he was one of the world’s best climbers is closer to the truth, yet even those words fall flat and fail miserably at truly describing what Hayden—or HK as we called him—really represented in our sport. He was, with all intents and purposes, a climber who transcended barriers. From high-end 5.14 sport routes at his home crag in Rifle, Colorado, to 5.14 trad lines in the Creek, to the first fair means ascent of Cerro Torre’s Southeast Ridge in Patagonia with Jason Kruk, or his first ascent with Kyle Dempster and Josh Warton on the south face of the Ogre in Pakistan. ⠀ ⠀ Yet, even that run-on list of incredible achievements hardly captures the whole picture. In truth, trying to share the full breadth of HK’s transcendental abilities in the vertical world, which he effortlessly cultivated in a mere 27 years, is impossible. ⠀ ⠀ But to be clear, he was by no means an elitist. In fact, as if born from a different generation, HK was a staunch believer in walking the walk, not talking the talk. You couldn’t find him on social media, and until a few years ago he clung to his malfunctioning, archaic flip phone as if it was a crucial piece to his rack. In short, HK climbed to climb, not to spray. And it was the moments in the mountains that mattered most to him, not “instatweetingmyfacegram” as he would often joke with his friends. ⠀ ⠀ HK’s depth went well beyond climbing, however. In high school he played the sax, and recently he applied that musical theory to the guitar while recovering from a torn ACL in his hometown of Carbondale, Colorado. He diligently practiced during the length of that winter’s recovery, and soon had a repertoire of songs that hinted at his eclectic tastes in music. From old school country to classic rock, to German electronica, he absorbed it all with the same ease that he applied to his climbing. Alpine, sport, trad; country, metal, folk. To HK, it was all good. ⠀ ⠀ …Continued in comments…
Raised in Carbondale, CO, Kennedy was more than just a man in the mountains. A family man and boyfriend– he found peace combining people and slabs of granite rock.
Perhaps his most notable as well as controversial achievement came in 2012, when he and Jason Kruk ascended the Cerro Torre’s southeast ridge. After a successful summit bid, the two descended the route, chopping off some 100+ bolts that were haphazardly and unfortunately installed by Cesare Maestri in 1970. Purists viewed the move as a symbolic and powerful message to the climbing community concerning the preservation of iconic pieces of rock.
Most recently, Inge and Kennedy had recently moved to Bozeman just months prior and were hoping to go for an early season ski when the deadly avalanche struck them both on the ascent.
*Our deepest condolences go out the victims’ friends and family.
Find the entire Adventure Journal article here: Climber Hayden Kennedy Dead After Montana Avalanche