Jeff Lowe (September 13, 1950 – August 24, 2018) 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. Jeff Lowe is the cousin of George Henry Lowe III, who is not to be confused with George Lowe (mountaineer) of New Zealand. He is not related to the late Alex Lowe (1958–1999), noted climber and first ascensionist.
Jeff suffered from a neurological disease similar to ALS for approximately 18 years. He died on August 24, 2018, surrounded by his daughter, Sonja and her boyfriend, as well as cousin, George Lowe and close friends.
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. 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.
In 2017 he won the Piolets D'or Lifetime Achievement Award.
- 1958 Grand Teton, Wyoming with father
- 1971 Moonlight Buttress, Zion National Park, Utah, USA. FA with Mike Weis
- 1972 first winter ascent of Grand Teton's west face with Greg Lowe
- 1973 North Face, Wetterhorn Peak (Colorado), San Juan Mountains, Colorado. FA with Paul Hogan
- 1973 Northeast Corner, Keeler Needle, Sierra Nevada, California USA; NCCS V F9 or F10 A2, FA with John Weiland
- 1974 Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride, Colorado, FA with Mike Weis;
- 1974 Green River Lake Dihedral, Squaretop, Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA - NCCS V F9, FA with Greg Lowe
- 1975 Mount Kitchener's Grand Central Couloir with Mike Weis
- 1979 Ama Dablam, Nepal solo
- 1980 Skyang Kangri - attempt
- 1982 Kwangde Ri's north face, Nepal with David Breashears
- 1985 Bird Brain Boulevard, Ouray, Colorado
- 1989 Tawoche, Northeast Face, Nepal with John Roskelley
- 1990 Trango (Nameless) Tower, Yugoslav route with Catherine Destivelle
- 1991 Metanoia, a new direct route on the Eiger's north face, that he opened solo and without bolts
- 1994 Octopussy, Vail, Colorado
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)
- Jeff Lowe, Best Alpinist of a Generation, Dies at 67
- "The Incredible Lowe Brothers". Blog.lowepro.com. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
- Wood, Willis A. (11 December 1978). "Jeff Lowe, Mountain Climbing". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- "Metanoia, a Climbing Film About an Extraordinary Life". National Geographic. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- Murray, Kerry (26 July 1999). "Jeff Lowe, Ice Climber". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- 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.
- Lowe, Jeff (1975). "Squaretop". American Alpine Journal. New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club. 20 (49): 137. ISBN 0-930410-72-6.
- Kennedy, Michael (March 2005). "Mountain Profile: Ama Dablam". Alpinist Magazine. Jackson, WY, USA: Alpinist LLC (X): 27.