Der 27-jährige Hayden Kennedy und seine Freundin Inga Perkins gingen vergangenes Wochenende zusammen auf eine Skitour. Inga wurde von einer Lawine verschüttet und starb. Auf eine Tragödie folgte die nächste: Ein Tag später nimmt sich der amerikanische Kletterer Hayden Kennedy das Leben.

Erst gerade vor zwei Wochen philosophierte Hayden im Blog Evening Sends über die Sonnen- und Schattenseiten des Bergsports: ““I’ve realized something painful. It’s not just the memorable summits and crux moves that are fleeting. Friends and climbing partners are fleeting, too.” Er ergänzt: “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.”

Ein von @ingeluf geteilter Beitrag am

Hayden Kennedy: Mehr als nur ein talentierte Kletterer

Black Diamond, Sponsor von Hayden, veröffentlichte gestern einen umfangreichen Nachruf.

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. From high-end 5.14 sport routes at his home crag in Rifle, Colorado, to 5.14 trad lines in the Creek, to the first fair means ascent of Cerro Torre’s Southeast Ridge in Patagonia with Jason Kruk, or his first ascent with Kyle Dempster and Josh Warton on the south face of the Ogre in Pakistan.

Hard to capture the whole picture

Yet, even that run-on list of incredible achievements hardly captures the whole picture. In truth, trying to share the full breadth of HK’s transcendental abilities in the vertical world, which he effortlessly cultivated in a mere 27 years, is impossible.

But to be clear, he was by no means an elitist. In fact, as if born from a different generation, HK was a staunch believer in walking the walk, not talking the talk. You couldn’t find him on social media, and until a few years ago he clung to his malfunctioning, archaic flip phone as if it was a crucial piece to his rack. In short, HK climbed to climb, not to spray. And it was the moments in the mountains that mattered most to him, not “instatweetingmyfacegram” as he would often joke with his friends.

Music was part of his life

HK’s depth went well beyond climbing, however. In high school he played the sax, and recently he applied that musical theory to the guitar while recovering from a torn ACL in his hometown of Carbondale, Colorado. He diligently practiced during the length of that winter’s recovery, and soon had a repertoire of songs that hinted at his eclectic tastes in music. From old school country to classic rock, to German electronica, he absorbed it all with the same ease that he applied to his climbing. Alpine, sport, trad; country, metal, folk. To HK, it was all good.

Expeditions had a greater range

For someone so multi-faceted, just climbing wasn’t enough. Whether he was talking at length about his latest reading list, or immersed in the finer points of baking bread, HK was constantly searching for new avenues of self-expression, and new ways to live. He often wrote about his expeditions to the greater ranges—frequently publishing pieces in Alpinist, Rock and Ice, Evening Sends and other mags and websites—and his ability to weave a meaningful narrative through the trials and tribulations of climbing was innate. He also incorporated this skill into his live presentations, where he’d hold the audience rapt with tales that often crossed into the deeper reaches of loss and love and how they become undivided in a life of climbing.

Inge was his source of dedication

What he had recently found, though, was Inge. Inge Perkins was every bit Hayden’s equal. A brilliant climber, skier, and beautiful soul, Inge was HK’s latest source of dedication—and his commitment was unwavering as always.

Early ski tour

Inge and HK had moved to Bozeman, Montana, together in the last few months. On Saturday, October 7, they headed into the backcountry of southwestern Montana for an early season ski tour. On Saturday Inge was killed in an avalanche. Unable to bear the loss of his partner in life, the following day, Sunday, October 8, Hayden Kennedy took his own life.

Credits: Bild Black Diamond

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