BOZEMAN - A shocking twist in the story of a couple who were caught in an avalanche while skiing over the weekend.
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office has identified the woman killed as Igne Perkins, 23. she was skiing with her boyfriend Hayden Kennedy, 27, in the southern Madison Range.
Kennedy was able to hike out of the mountains, but according to a statement released by his family later he took his own life.
It may seem early in the season for avalanches, but the two skiers were on Imp Peak. Kennedy was partially buried while Perkins was completely buried and died.
"We have a couple feet in the mountains and the wind has been blowing. It's a tricky situation because slopes are either scoured or wind loaded and the ones that are wind loaded hold the most snow and offer the best skiing so you're kind of stuck with this dilemma, " said avalanche forecaster Eric Knoff.
Kennedy was able to get out and searched for Perkins, but could not find her and hiked out. Gallatin Search and Rescue recovered Perkins body on Monday by using probes.
Officials at the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center knows that since it's the beginning of the snow season outdoorsmen may need some extra prep to get back in the habits of safe recreating.
"Practice with your transceiver and your rescue gear, and be prepared for anything," Knoff said. "Avalanches can happen at any time and early season is no exception. "
The avalanche center says a full report of the incident should be available later this week.
BOZEMAN - An avalanche killed a backcountry skier in the Madison Range on Saturday.
The skier has been identified by the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office as 23-year-old Inge Perkins.
She was skiing with 27-year-old Hayden Kennedy, her boyfriend, who did survive the avalanche but then took his own life after Perkins' body was recovered.
Kennedy's family released a statement on his death Tuesday.
The skiers were approaching the north couloir when the avalanche occurred.
Perkins' body was recovered from the scene by Gallatin County Search and Rescue Monday.
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center says they will release more details later in the week
A press release from the Gallatin County Sheriff's office on Tuesday states:
Preliminary investigation indicates that Saturday morning, Oct 7th, Ms. Perkins and 27-year-old Hayden Kennedy 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. Ms. Perkins was recovered by Rescuers after a probe pole search around 11:15 AM Monday.
Due to the remote location of the mountain, a helicopter was used to access the search area. According to Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson, Imp Peak is a rugged mountain with steep slopes that has received enough snow to create an early avalanche hazard. Every year, outdoor enthusiasts are cautioned to be careful when exploring the backcountry in Montana since dangers like these exist throughout the fall, winter, and spring.
Authorities say that a backcountry skier died Saturday after being caught up in an avalanche in the Madison Range.
According to a post by the Gallatin County Emergency Management Center and Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, two skiers were caught in an avalanche they triggered on Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range.
The skiers were approaching the north couloir when the avalanche fully buried one and the other partially. The fully buried skier was recovered from the scene by Gallatin County Search and Rescue on Monday.
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center will release details soon. This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.