Black Diamond Equipment engineer and dedicated climber Kevin Volkening was killed on Friday, August 30, while climbing in Clark’s Fork, Wyoming. A report issued by the employees of Black Diamond explains that Volkening was on the final, moderate pitch of a route when a block he was standing on dislodged, causing him to fall roughly 50 feet onto a ledge. Volkening’s climbing partner and two other friends were able to reach the ledge quickly, but Kevin’s injuries from the fall had already proved fatal, despite the fact that he was wearing a helmet. His body was retrieved from the ledge by a Search and Rescue team that night.
Kevin Volkening, or “K-Bone,” as he was known among friends, had been living in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was a part of Black Diamond’s in-house Quality Assurance Team. This team is comprised of a group of engineers who perform tests on Black Diamond products to insure quality control. Volkening was an enthusiastic climber, and maintained a blog with the tagline “I LOVE to Climb … everything.” He had spent several years living in Bozeman, Montana, and climbing in Gallatin Canyon before moving to Salt Lake City, which put him closer to his favorite climbing area of Indian Creek, Utah. The employees of Black Diamond report: “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.” Volkening was 25-years-old.