MSU student Inge Perkins was killed while backcountry skiing on Imp Peak in the Madison Range on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 7. Perkins and her boyfriend, Hayden Kennedy, were skiing about 20 miles southwest of Big Sky Resort when they triggered an avalanche. Perkins was fully buried and Kennedy was partially buried. Gallatin County Search and Rescue was able to locate and recover Perkins’ body on Oct. 9. Following the avalanche, due to the unbearable loss of his partner, Kennedy took his own life.
Perkins, a Bozeman local, was a high-level backcountry skier and climber working toward her Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. In April 2017, Perkins was awarded Outstanding Scholar during the Department of Mathematical Sciences Annual Award Ceremony.
According to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, the area where Perkins and Kennedy were skiing had received 12 inches of snow since Oct. 1, and three to four feet between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1. Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson warned outdoor enthusiasts of the dangerous terrain in the area, stating, “Imp Peak is rugged with steep slopes that have received enough snow to create early avalanche hazard.”
Memorial services are pending. In the wake of this tragedy, students in need of support are encouraged to reach out to MSU Counseling and Psychological Services at (406) 994-4531.