A world-renowned climber who watched his girlfriend die in an avalanche later killed himself in a fit of grief after he was unable to save her.
Hayden Kennedy, 27, and his girlfriend, Inge, were climbing on the slopes in Montana when they accidentally triggered an avalanche on Saturday, October 7. Both Hayden and Inge were buried in the snow. Mt. Avalanche’s Instagram account explained that Inge had been fully buried by the snow while Hayden had been partially buried.
Mt. Avalanche wrote on their Instagram account: “Both were caught, one fully buried and one partial. The fully buried skier was recovered from scene by Gallatin County Search and Rescue yesterday (Mon).”
Hayden successfully freed himself but was unable to find his girlfriend. Unable to bear the loss of his partner, Hayden took his own life just a day after Inge’s death. In a post written by Facebook account Black Diamond Equipment, it explained that the couple had been heading to southwestern Montana for an early season ski tour. Inge and Hayden had moved to Bozeman, Montana in the last few months.
Hayden’s sponsors, Black Mountain Equipment, paid tribute to the 27-year-old on Facebook.
They wrote: “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.”
A week before his death, Hayden had written an article about the perils of climbing. In the article, he mourned the loss of friends he had seen “go to the mountains”, only to never return.
He wrote on Evening Sends website: “Over the last few years, however, as I’ve watched too many friends go to the mountains only to never return, I’ve realised something painful. It’s not just the memorable summits and crux moves that are fleeting. Friends and climbing partners are fleeting, too. 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.”