Kevin Volkening Dies in Wyoming Climbing Accident

Photo courtesy Black Diamond

9/3/13 - On August 30, 2013, 25-year-old Salt Lake City climber and Black Diamond employee Kevin Volkening, affectionately known among friends and partners as "K-Bone," was killed in a climbing accident in Clark's Fork, Wyoming. Here's the statement from Black Diamond:

"Kevin was climbing with several friends on the moderate final pitch of a route, when a block he was standing on gave away, causing him to fall approximately 50 feet and strike a ledge. His partner and two friends were able to get to him quickly, but Kevin was already gone. He was wearing a helmet. Search and rescue was called, and they were able to retrieve Kevin's body from the canyon late that night.

Kevin had been a member of Black Diamond's Quality Assurance team in Salt Lake City for the past year and a half. He spent years living in Bozeman, Montana, and climbing in Gallatin Canyon before moving to Salt Lake City to work at Black Diamond and be closer to his favorite climbing area, Indian Creek. Kevin was always smiling, always willing to help out and always… ALWAYS psyched to climb. The tag line from his personal blog reads "I LOVE to climb… everything," and it was true—from rock and ice all across the Western US and alpine routes in Alaska, to local bouldering and training at the gym. Kevin was a climber, and he shared his positive energy with everyone, whether they tied in with him or not. Kevin leaves behind a wife, sisters, parents, and a huge community of friends who were positively affected by his never-ending passion for the climbing life. We will miss his infectious smile, his super-stoked attitude, and even his sizable collection of wolf T-shirts. Rest in peace, Kevin."


Previous Comments

Kevin was the president of the Montana State climbing club while i went there and if it werent for his work and dedication, I probably would not have been able to start climbing. I didnt know him that well but I always looked up to him because he was a great climber and a really nice guy. Condolences to his friends and family.

Nate Kenney - 10/04/2013 9:51:32

My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Kevin and his family,

Noah Lochner - 09/23/2013 5:24:16

Came across this post by accident. I'm a climber from Georgia! Always a shame to have a fellow climber go down, it happens I've seen my share but I will always get back up there to keep the climbing spirit alive. We'll all rest one day but for now lets all find some smooth granite and big air. Celebrate the lives of fellow brothers and sisters who live before they die.

Jeff Lawrence - 09/23/2013 4:41:55

I also went to High School with Kevin. We played on the soccer team together. I think it is safe to say that soccer was also a strong passion of Kevin's (espically in High School). He was a couple of years older then me and the first one to welcome and accept me to the team when I was a freshman. I will always remember that and his fun loving demeanor. Kevin was a great guy and as a fellow goal keeper we often trained in the offseason together and after practice. I wish we hadnt lost touch over the years. My heart and prayers goes out to his family and friends.

Luke Nofsinger - 09/20/2013 2:30:14

I'm not a climber. I have a brother who is an avid climber and I always say a thought bubble for his safety. Go with your Higher Power. Peace and Serenity.

Mary Bissell - 09/12/2013 1:05:15

Tragic...Too young to die. RIP. This is one dangerous game we play as climbers....but then again, life is very fleeting. Can be taken from us at any moment, not just while climbing. My condolences to the family and friends of this young man who passed on way too soon.

lafayette - 09/05/2013 12:19:06

K-Bone was only a friend of mine for a short time, and I think I'm still in shock about this, but I felt like I was instantly friends with him after only hanging for a short time. He was very unassuming, and my heart aches with this loss. Much Love to Kevin Volkening, his wife and his family.

Luke Mehall - 09/04/2013 9:43:25

I actually went to High School with Kevin, and he was always the same then as he was before he died. We were never particularly close, but he was always nice to me, and never hesitated to strike up a conversation with you. Rest in Peace Kevin, I'll miss you.

Alex Irwin - 09/04/2013 8:30:03