2 mountain climbers die after Montana avalanche

Montana logged its first avalanche death of the 2017-18 season south of Bozeman Saturday.

Two skiers — accomplished mountaineer Hayden Kennedy and his girlfriend, Inge Perkins — trekked to the upper reaches of Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range. Around 10,000 feet above sea level they accidentally dislodged a mass of snow 150 feet wide, 300 feet long, and 1 to 2 feet deep that buried Perkins. Kennedy could not find her and hiked out of the area.

Gallatin County Search and Rescue recovered 23-year-old Perkins’ body on Monday from the area about 20 miles southwest of Big Sky. She was found buried beneath 3 feet of snow.

Kennedy survived the slide, but “not the unbearable loss of his partner in life.”

“He chose to end his life,” Kennedy’s family said in a statement. Officials say 27-year-old Kennedy of Carbondale, Colorado, was found dead Sunday at a residence in Bozeman.