Kevin Hansen 1979 – 2020 R.I.P.

Sadly, Kevin Hansen died as the result of a climbing accident on Labor Day Weekend 2020. He was descending Granite Peak in Montana after summiting with his father and two brothers. During the descent, a boulder they were using as an anchor dislodged, killing Kevin and injuring his brother.

Kevin was one of Idaho’s best and most active climbers. He made many difficult climbs in the Lost River Range including four impressive firsts as well as follow-ups on four of the range’s most difficult routes.

The East Face Direct – Mt Borah (FA)
The North Face Direct – Sacajawea (FA)
The Mountaineer’s Route – East Face of Mt Idaho (FA)
The East Face Direct – Mt Idaho (FA)

Psycho Therapy – North Face of Mt Borah
White Line Couloir – Mt Morrison
Northwest Ridge – Mt Borah
Borah, Borah, Borah – North Face of Mt Borah

Kevin Hansen grew up in Idaho Falls and competed in Gymnastics from 1983 until he started gym climbing in 1994. Sport rappelling led to sport climbing which led to trad climbing in 1997. As part of his Minor Degree in Outdoor Education, the ISU Outdoor Program introduced him to ice climbing and aid climbing in 2000. By 2001, he had climbed many pitches in Yosemite, Devils Tower and the City of Rocks.

Mount Borah was his first mountaineering experience in 2004 with his older brother. Car -to- car took over 11 hours that first trip. Since then, he has climbed the mountain 10 times (1X North Face, 2X East Face Direct, 1X Northwest Ridge and 6X COR trail including a Winter ascent.) For now, Kevin is happy to follow in the footsteps of Dean Lords and open new ice and rock routes in the Lost River Range. He was married in 2002 and was raising 4 children.

Bob Boyles, one of Kevin’s climbing partners remembers “First and foremost, Kevin was a family man. On several of our adventures after finishing a long, hard day of climbing Kevin would suddenly decide that he was not going to spend the night but instead would leave so he could get some extra time with his family and make it to church on Sunday even if it meant walking out in the dark and driving all night. The first time he did this I was amazed but later on I came to expect it.”

Daniel Todd notes: “Kevin really was an inspirational person to me. He was a great and visionary climber and I never met anyone more stoked about climbing than him. He would always encourage me when I had ideas or act so excited whenever I would accomplish anything. I guess it would only be fair to say I hope I can be half the person and climber Kevin was. RIP, I wish I had known you longer.”

Dave Bingham: “I didn’t know Kevin well, but enough to know he had the life force of an army. May we carry on in his tradition!“

Dan Robbins: “Two things stand out on every post I’ve seen tributing Kevin. One, he is always smiling in photos. Not some small fake grin, but a genuine big smile! Two, he offered help, advice and encouragement to a lot of people. Quite a few that kept with climbing.”

Check out Kevin’s adventure: the Borah North Face – Junk Rock Direct, a new route variation put up in June 2017.

Sean Muldoon states “This photo was taken after he lead the way on my first experience climbing the North Face of Mt. Borah back in 2017. Such an amazing mentor and friend. You will be missed dearly, Kevin.“ Kevin Hansen on the summit of Mount Borah 2017. Sean Muldoon Photo

Kevin at the start of the Mountaineer’s Route on Elephants Perch. Photo by Bob Boyles

Kevin and Wes Collins taking off for the East Face of Mt Borah. Bob Boyles Photo

Kevin and Wes Collins taking off for the East Face of Mt Borah. Bob Boyles Photo