First Annual Inge Perkins Scholarship Awarded to Aubrey Johnson

By Meredith Reitemeier | January 26th, 2019

Aubrey Johnson.

Aubrey Johnson, a member of the Bozeman climbing team, has been announced as the recipient of the inaugural Inge Perkins Scholarship in 2018. Inge Perkins was an accomplished mountaineer, skier, runner, yogi and climber. She was killed by an avalanche on October 7, 2017, at the age of 23, while skiing around Imp Peak in the Madison Range with her partner, Hayden Kennedy.

Family and friends started the Inge Perkins Scholarship in 2018 to remember Perkins’ adventurous spirit, and to empower other young women to follow their adventurous dreams. With donations from Mystery Ranch, Scarpa, a local foundation, Black Diamond, Evolv and Sola, the Scholarship provides gear and financial support to a female climber in middle or high school in the greater Gallatin Valley. As part of the Scholarship, the recipient must complete a minimum of ten hours of community service, and compose four written reflections—one after each climbing season, and one after the community service.

Perkins was a renaissance woman in the mountains. She was equally at home alpine climbing, backcountry skiing, running marathons or cranking on hard bolted routes. She had sent 5.14 sport climbs like Rodeo Free Europe (5.14a), Wild Iris, Wyoming; proud alpine lines like Hook, Line and Sinker, an 1,800-foot 5.12 on Mount Hooker, Wind River Range; skied peaks like the Grand Teton; and won events like the inaugural deep water solo comp at Summersville Lake, West Virginia, in 2016. Out of the mountains, Perkins was an avid student of Mathematics, a fluent German speaker, a waitress and a happy resident of her white truck, affectionately named “The Stallion.”

Aubrey Johnson is already an accomplished climber herself, and her support for her teammates in Bozeman was one of the standout qualities that led to her selection as winner of the Inge Perkins Scholarship. Johnson is a fierce competitor, and went to Sport Nationals last year. She will be competing in Bouldering Nationals this year in Bend, Oregon.

In her application for the Scholarship, Johnson wrote that, among her goals, “The biggest one in the next few months is climbing the best I can at Divisionals in January. In the long term, though, I really just want to become more experienced and comfortable climbing outside, and develop into the best climber that I can. My hope would be that I find a way to use my passion for climbing in a way that benefits others.”

The Scholarship will cover Johnson’s “gym, climbing team, and competition fees, fuel and lodging for competitions, and the costs for two outdoor trips through Touch the Sky.”

More information about the scholarship can be found online at


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