On October 7th, 2017, two skiers were skinning up Imp Peak in Montana when they triggered an avalanche.
The skiers were famous climbers Hayden Kennedy and Inge Perkins who were lovers living together in nearby Bozeman.
- 2 Skiers Caught in Avalanche in Montana on Saturday | One Killed, Survivor Took His Own Life In Grief
The avalanche fully buried Inge. Hayden searched and dug for her but was unable to find her. Why he wasn’t able to find her isn’t yet clear, but the hole he dug searching for her appears to be about 30′ or more away from where her body was located by rescuers. The quote from the GNFAC leads one to believe that, at least at the time of the rescue (2 days after the accident), Inge did not have a functioning avalanche transceiver.
“They [rescuers] located her [inge] with avalanche probes, buried 3’ deep.” – GNFAC
Hayden eventually left the scene and notified the authorities. Tragically, Inge did not survive.
The next day, October 8th, 2017, Hayden took his own life out of grief due to being unable to save his buried girlfriend.
Search and rescue located and removed the body on October 9th, 2017.
The above video shows us exactly where the avalanche was located, where the crown was, where Hayden dug searching for Inge, where Inge’s body was located by rescuers, as well as the details of the avalanche and snow conditions at the time of the avalanche.
The avalanche was 1-2′ deep, 150′ wide, 300′ long.
The slope the avalanche released was 38-45º steep with a north-northeast aspect at about 10,000′.
Inge’s death was the first avalanche fatality in North America in 2017/18.
Full Avalanche Report from GNFAC:
Update: October 10th, 2017
With unbelievably heavy hearts, we are sad to report there was an avalanche fatality on Saturday, October 7th. The incident occurred on Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range, approximately 20 miles south of Big Sky. Two skiers were caught, one was fully buried and killed.
On Saturday, two skiers hiked 6 miles from the Upper Taylor Fork trailhead to the north couloir of Imp Peak. Near the bottom of the couloir around 10,000’, they triggered an avalanche while ascending on skis with skins. The avalanche was 1-2’ deep at the crown, approximately 150’ wide, and 300’ long. The slope where the avalanche released was 38-45° steep with a north-northeast aspect.
This area received one foot of snow since October 1st, which was on top of 3-4 feet of dense snow that fell since September 15th. The avalanche was a hard slab of wind-drifted snow that collapsed on a layer of soft old snow underneath, and slid on the old snow from late September (photo).
Both skiers were caught, skier 1 was partially buried and skier 2 was fully buried. Skier 1 searched for skier 2, was unable to locate her, and then hiked himself out from the area. On Monday, Gallatin County Search and Rescue recovered the body of skier 2. They located her with avalanche probes, buried 3’ deep. Alex and Doug went in for the recovery and accident investigation, and will have a full accident report available later this week. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the skiers involved.