Filed under: Wilderness Heroes | Tags: Eiger, ice climbing, Jeff Lowe, Jon Krakauer, Metanoia, mountain climbing
Jeff Lowe was and still is one of the most important and influential American mountain climbers, credited with bringing ice climbing to the US and for inventing the “mixed climbing” style. A visionary climber, he has made over 1000 first ascents including Colorado’s Bridalveil Falls. He also happens to be the brother of Greg Lowe founder of Lowe Alpine.
In 1991 After struggling through some of his life’s roughest spots including a divorce and a failed business he sought an escape and headed to do a solo ascent of The Eiger in the Swiss Alps. Specifically he went to climb the Nordwand, otherwise known as the North face of the mountain…in the winter. The climb, during which Jeff almost lost his life, went on to become a transformation event and one which resulted in “metanoia,” a Greek word meaning a fundamental change of thinking. Do yourself a favor and watch the clip below, narrated by Jon Krakauer, to get the fuller version of this story. Also the video above is of Jeff unpacking his Vaude pack 20 years later that he left on the climb up Eiger.