One of the greatest climbers of his time, Jeff Lowe, died last Friday night at the age of 67.
Jeff Lowe loved traveling in small teams or alone. He was an uncompromising alpinist who left the climbing world with more than 1000 first ascents. Born in 1950 in Ogden, Utah, the fourth of eight children, his father took him on alpine tours at an early age. At the age of 14, Jeff climbed his first new tour of Mount Ogden - alone.
Legendary trial at Latok Nordgrat
Today Jeff is best known for two endeavors. In 1978 Jeff and his cousin George Henry tried together with their compatriots Jim Donini and Thomas Engelbach to reach the 7145 meter high Latok I in Pakistan via the north ridge. 150 meters below the summit, a storm forced the group to turn back. After more than three weeks on the wall, the team returned safely from the mountain. Despite the lack of success at the summit, the performance of the four Americans is unimaginable, because it was not until August 14th of this year that an expedition managed to reach the Latok via the north ridge. The tour was considered to be one of the last unused high alpine tours of its difficulty.
Route single-handedly and without hooks on the Eiger opened
The route on the Eiger, which Jeff Lowe single-handedly opened in the winter of 1991, is no less spectacular. A life crisis brought the American to Switzerland at that time. His goal was a direttissima through the legendary Eiger north face. In nine days and without the use of bolts, Jeff opened the Metanoia route single-handedly. Only in December 2016 did the trio Roger Schaeli, Stephan Siegrist and Thomas Huber succeed in repeating (LACRUX reported, herewith Video of the repetition) the bold tour. “The route inspired me to look for more alpine challenges myself. My greatest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. The Metanoia route is really tough, ”says Roger Schaeli after the repetition.
The route Metanoia
Trailer for Jeff Lowe's Metanoia
The incurable illness tied Jeff Lowe to the wheelchair
Since the beginning of 2000, Jeff suffered from an incurable disease that had symptoms similar to ALS and multiple sclerosis. The Piolet d'Or, which Jeff Lowe received for his alpinism successes in 2017, was no longer personally available to him. Jeff had been confined to a wheelchair for the past few years and had to be taken by his wife Connie Self to be cared for. On Saturday, August 25, 2018, she wrote on Facebook: “I will miss him beyond measure and yet I am glad that he is free of his physical body and all the pain and suffering he has endured for many years. RIP, dear Jeff. "
Credits: pictures Jeff Lowe