Legendary American climber Jeff Lowe passed away on Friday 24th August, after a long battle against a neurogenerative disease that was diagnosed in 2000 and had left him in a wheelchair in his latter years.
The passing of Lowe, generally acknowledged as the best alpinist of his generation, was announced by his daughter Sonja on Facebook:
“My father, Jeff Lowe, to put it in his words, ‘moved on from this material plane to the next’ this evening in a peaceful transition. The last few days were a beautiful whirlwind of laughter, tears, sadness and new friendships. We lived outside the entire time, where my dad always wanted to be, and created our own “base camp” as the wonderful nurses at Lemay Ave Health & Rehabilitation Center lovingly referred to it. We laughed, cried, and honored his life and the many climbs and many lessons he experienced.… and had a 3 day celebratory party, with him as the guest of honor and the one bringing us all together. We all felt this was exactly what Jeff would have wanted, without a question.”
Tributes have been pouring in , including from the company he helped to co-found, Lowe Alpine:
“It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Jeff Lowe. A father, a pioneer and a friend of the earth who lived his life with commitment and compassion. Together with his brother’s Greg and Mike, he improved our experience of the mountains, developing new routes, innovating better gear and sharing his clarity of thought for how to respectfully inhabit the natural environment, taking care to help preserve the outdoor playground which we all love. When we celebrated Lowe Alpine’s 50th Anniversary last year, Jeff wholeheartedly embraced the moment, generously sharing personal memories with us. At the time, we asked Jeff: if you could impart one piece of advice to the future generation of mountaineers, what would it be? He replied: “Take care of your human relations, the plants and animals, the environment. All of it. Teach by example and proselytize others to care for the planet. Vote responsibly and/or protest peacefully in ways that support your love of the mountains, your family, your tribe and the world.”
More to follow…