Jeff Lowe

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Alison Hargreaves and Jeff Lowe climbing Kangtega, 1 May 1986

Jeff Lowe (September 13, 1950 - August 24, 2018)[1] was a famed American alpinist from Ogden, Utah who was known for his visionary climbs and first ascents established in the US and Canadian Rockies, Alps and Himalayas. He was a proponent of the "Alpine style" philosophy of climbing, where small teams travel fast with minimal gear. Lowe made over 1000 first ascents.

Lowe was a co-founder of Lowe Alpine along with his brothers Greg Lowe and Mike Lowe.[2] Jeff Lowe is the cousin of George Henry Lowe III.

Lowe suffered from a neurological disease similar to ALS for approximately 18 years, until he died on August 24, 2018, in Colorado, USA.

Career achievements[edit]

Lowe is credited with bringing modern ice climbing to the United States from Europe as well as pushing the limits of mixed climbing. He founded the companies Latok Mountain Gear and Cloudwalker. He introduced the world's first softshell jacket while at Latok Mountain Gear. Lowe was featured ice climbing on the cover of the December 11, 1978 issue of Sports Illustrated.[3] Lowe worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School in his earlier years.

Lowe is credited with introducing ice climbing in the Winter X Games as well as starting the Ouray Ice Festival. He also was the organizer in Snowbird (Utah) in 1988, of the first international rock climbing competition ever held in the US. Lowe received an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the American Alpine Club, the club's highest honors, for his climbing achievements, contributions to the climbing community, and vision. He was also awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Alpine Club of the United Kingdom.

Lowe is the subject of the Award Winning 2014 biographical documentary film Jeff Lowe's Metanoia Produced by Connie Self and Directed by Jim Aikman.[4]

In 2017 he won the Piolets D'or Lifetime Achievement Award in France and was inducted into the Boulder Sports Hall of Fame in Colorado. Jeff was a beloved member of the climbing community both at home and abroad.

Notable ascents[edit]

His attempt on the north ridge of Latok I with Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy, and George Henry Lowe III in 1978 is considered by many to be the most difficult unfinished climb in the world.[citation needed]

Publications and instructional videos[edit]

  • The Ice Experience (1979)
  • Climbing (1986)
  • Lowe, Jeff (1996). Ice World: Techniques and Experiences of Modern Ice Climbing. Seattle, WA, USA: Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-446-1.
  • Waterfall Ice (1996)
  • Alpine Ice: Jeff Lowe's Climbing Techniques (1997)
  • Clean Walls (2004)


  1. ^ Jeff Lowe, Best Alpinist of a Generation, Dies at 67
  2. ^ "The Incredible Lowe Brothers". 19 January 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  3. ^ Wood, Willis A. (11 December 1978). "Jeff Lowe, Mountain Climbing". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Metanoia, a Climbing Film About an Extraordinary Life". National Geographic. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  5. ^[bare URL image file]
  6. ^ Lowe, Jeff (1975). "Keeler Needle, East Face". American Alpine Journal. New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club. 20 (49): 138–139. ISBN 0-930410-72-6.
  7. ^ Lowe, Jeff (1975). "Keeler Needle, East Face". American Alpine Journal. New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club. 20 (49): 128–129. ISBN 0-930410-72-6.
  8. ^ Murray, Kerry (26 July 1999). "Jeff Lowe, Ice Climber". Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  9. ^ Lowe, Jeff (1975). "Keeler Needle, East Face". American Alpine Journal. New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club. 20 (49): 139. ISBN 0-930410-72-6.
  10. ^ Lowe, Jeff (1975). "Squaretop". American Alpine Journal. New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club. 20 (49): 137. ISBN 0-930410-72-6.
  11. ^ Kennedy, Michael (March 2005). "Mountain Profile: Ama Dablam". Alpinist Magazine. Jackson, WY, USA: Alpinist LLC (X): 27.
  12. ^ John Roskelley (1991). Last Days: A World-famous Climber Challenges the Himalayas' Tawoche and Menlungtse. Stackpole Books. pp. 1–97. ISBN 0-8117-0889-6.

External links[edit]