World-Renowned Climber Sees His Girlfriend Die in Avalanche, Then Commits Suicide in Fit of Grief

A world-famous climber who was caught up in an avalanche with his girlfriend killed himself after he was unable to save her, his parents have said.

Hayden Kennedy, 27, was skiing alongside 23-year-old partner Inge Perkins in Montana on Saturday when the pair triggered an avalanche, leaving him partially buried and her fully submerged in now.

Kennedy searched for Inge in vain, but was forced to abandon his rescue attempts and hike six miles to get help.

Rescuers eventually found Inge’s body underneath the snow the following day. Kennedy took his own life as they were preparing to pull her remains free.

Father Michael Kennedy, himself a seasoned climber, broke the news on Facebook.

‘Hayden survived the avalanche but not the unbearable loss of his partner in life,’ Michael wrote. ‘He chose to end his life. Myself and his mother Julie sorrowfully respect his decision.’

They described their son as ‘an uncensored soul whose accomplishments as a mountaineer were always secondary to his deep friendships and mindfulness.’

The avalanche happened on Imp Peak, in the southern Madison Range, in a steep, narrow gulley about 10,000ft (3,048m) above sea level.

Perkins, also an accomplished mountain climber, was buried by the 150ft-wide (46m-wide) slide.

The area had received a foot (0.3m) of snow since Oct. 1, which was on top of about 4ft (1.2m) of dense snow that had fallen over the previous two weeks, according to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

Kennedy, who had recently moved to Bozeman, was found dead in his home Sunday as search teams prepared to recover Perkins’ body.

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.

Just two weeks before his death, he wrote on the climbing blog ‘Evening Sends’ that he had watched too many friends die in the mountains over the last few years.

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Source: Daily Mail