Jeff Lowe

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Alison Hargreaves and Jeff Lowe climbing Kangtega, 1 May 1986

Jeff Lowe (September 13, 1950) is an American alpinist from Ogden, Utah. He is known for his visionary climbs and first ascents established in the US and Canadian Rockies, Alps and Himalayas. He is a proponent of the "Alpine style" philosophy of climbing, where small teams travel fast with minimal gear. Lowe has made over 1000 first ascents.

Lowe is a co-founder of Lowe Alpine along with this brothers Greg Lowe and Mike Lowe.[1] He is not related to the late Alex Lowe (1958-1999), noted climber and first ascencionist. Jeff Lowe is not related to George Lowe III, who is to be confused with George Lowe (mountaineer) of New Zealand.

Career achievements

Lowe is credited with bringing modern ice climbing to the United States from Europe as well as inventing 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.[2] 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 membership in the American Alpine Club, the club's highest honor, for his climbing achievements, contributions to the climbing community, and vision. He was awarded Honorary Membership in the British Alpine Club.

Lowe is the subject of the 2014 biographical documentary film Jeff Lowe's Metanoia directed by Jim Aikman.[3]

In 2017 he won the Piolets D'or Lifetime Achievement Award.

Notable ascents

His attempt on the north ridge of Latok I with Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy (climber), and George Lowe (American climber) in 1978 is considered by many to be the most difficult unfinished climb in the world.[11]

Publications and instructional videos

  • 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. 
  • Alpine Ice: Jeff Lowe's Climbing Techniques (1997)
  • Waterfall Ice (1996)
  • Clean Walls (2004)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Wood, Willis A. (11 December 1978). "Jeff Lowe, Mountain Climbing". Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Metanoia, a Climbing Film About an Extraordinary Life". National Geographic. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Murray, Kerry (26 July 1999). "Jeff Lowe, Ice Climber". Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Lowe, Jeff (1975). "Squaretop". American Alpine Journal. New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club. 20 (49): 137. ISBN 0-930410-72-6. 
  10. ^ Kennedy, Michael (March 2005). "Mountain Profile: Ama Dablam". Alpinist Magazine. Jackson, WY, USA: Alpinist LLC (X): 27. 
  11. ^ Martin, Frank W. (11 February 1980). "High Ice Is Jeff Lowe's Home—He Tries to Forget That What Goes Up Could Come Down". Retrieved 4 April 2010. 

External links

  • "Jeff Lowe: The Genius"
  • Jeff Lowe biography at
  • "Last Night I Dreamed I Had Legs"
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