Bodies of climbers recovered from Glacier; Florida man also dies in park
Glacier National Park has released the names of the two Flathead County men killed in a climbing accident on Dusty Star Mountain this week.
The mountaineers were 67-year-old Brian McKenzie Kennedy from Columbia Falls, and 67-year-old Jack Dewayne Beard from Kalispell.
According to park staff who knew the men personally, Kennedy and Beard were considered expert climbers and have been summitting mountain peaks in Glacier National Park for decades.
As long-time members, both men contributed greatly to the Glacier Mountaineering Society and were well-known in the Flathead Valley community.
The men were climbing Dusty Star Mountain and initiated the trip on July 21 with the plan to hike out July 22.
They were reported missing on July 24 and park rangers located their vehicle at the trailhead on the same day.
An air search began on July 24 in the Dusty Star Mountain area on the east side route of the approach. Two Bear Air flew on July 24 in daylight and darkness.
Minuteman Aviation took over the air search with NPS spotters on board on the morning of July 25 and located the bodies of the climbers. The bodies were recovered on the same day by Two Bear Air.
Also this week, a man from Florida died while climbing in the park. Glacier officials said the 79-year old victim fell while trying to climb a steep slope off trail with friends.
The incident occurred several hundred feet above the Two Medicine Campground on Rising Wolf Mountain.