Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 29

1990s

Outdoor Retailer 35th Anniversary
frequented The Grand in order to prepare for
even bigger climbs.
"My first [Yosemite] Valley trip was 1967,"
the voice on his tablet says. "And my first climb
was the Chouinard-Herbert on Sentinel." The
Chouinard-Herbert is the 1,400-foot line immortalized by Alex Honnold's free-solo ascent,
that was featured on "60 Minutes" in 2012.
"I did the Salathé Wall [on Yosemite's El
Capitan] in 1969 for the seventh ascent, and
the next year, the fourth ascent of the North
America Wall. After that, I spent big wall time
in Zion and the mountains of the western U.S.
and Canada," he says.
His words greatly underscore his achievements. During the '60s, the North America Wall
was considered the most difficult big wall in the
world. It's like saying the San Francisco 49ers
quarterback Joe Montana was good at throwing a ball. He wasn't just good; he was so good
he defined the sport.
Jeff 's climbing resume spans 40 years and
encompasses all of climbing's disciplines-
rock, big wall, free solo, ice, mixed, and alpine-
at the elite level. He was awarded the Piolet d'Or,
Golden Piton Lifetime Achievement Award,
the Outdoor Inspiration Lifetime Achievement
Award, and is recognized in the Centennial
Celebration of 100 best climbers in 100 years.
He's credited with well over 1,000 first ascents.
"He's the greatest alpinist to come out of
North America," author and climber Pete
Takeda proclaims in Jeff Lowe's Metanoia.
The film revolves around his greatest achievement, an 1,800-meter route on
Switzerland's Eiger, rated VII, 5.10, M6, A4. He
climbed it over nine days in the winter of 1991-
an ascent the American Mountaineering
Museum called, "perhaps the boldest solo
mountain climb in history." It was a culmination of his 25 years of climbing experience. And
he used his innovative gear designs to do it.

BACK AT LAKE VIEW, A KESTREL AND DOVE
break the conversation and pause in the air before landing on the house.
"In Outside's [2012] article 'The Most
Influential Gear of All Time,' four out of 100
were designs by Jeff and his brothers," says
Connie. "They were climbers, innovators with
high standards. A lot of their inspiration came
from their own needs." These items include
the Lowe Alpine Systems Expedition Internal

Frame Pack (1968), Hummingbird Modular Ice
Axe (1972), Latok Tuber Belay Device (1982),
and Latok Diamond Softshell Pullover (1989).
It was on his historic climbs that Lowe learned
just what gear needed to be able to do when put
to the test, to the breaking point.
Lowe's climbs, like his gear inventions, were
ahead of their time. In addition to his success in
the alpine, he put up first ascents on the sandstone big walls of Zion National Park. Between
the late '60s and early '70s, he authored a dozen
new routes-during a time when many of the
greatest lines were there for the taking-including the iconic 1,200-foot Moonlight Buttress,
which he climbed with Mike Weis in 1971.
Johnny Woodward and Peter Croft free climbed
the 5.12d-rated route in 1992. Honnold, regarded as world's greatest free soloist, climbed the
route sans rope on April 1, 2008. It was an ascent that shocked the climbing community.

visible behind it.
"When people pick the granddaddy of mixed
routes, the purest, most eye-catching, adrenaline pumped mixed route in the region, Jeff 's
visionary climb is the unanimous choice," Palin
wrote of the route in Mark Kroese's book Fifty
Favorite Climbs: The Ultimate North American
Tick List.
Jeff Lowe was also the first to bring sport
climbing to the masses, when he organized
the televised International Sport Climbing
Championships in Snowbird, Utah, from 1988
to 1990. His motivation to host the event, which
was held on the side of the Cliff Lodge with artificial holds, was two-fold. One, he wanted
to protect the delicate resource, the world's
crags-especially after witnessing the environmental impacts from competitions he'd seen
in Europe-and two, to popularize the sport.
Thanks in part to him, the 2020 Olympics will

"When people pick the granddaddy of
mixed routes, the purest, most adrenalinepumped mixed route in the region, Jeff's
visionary climb is the unanimous choice."
In 1994, Lowe established a route that forever
changed mixed climbing. To climb Octopussy,
above Vail, Colorado, he employed an emerging technique called the Figure 4. A Figure 4
requires hooking a leg over an arm, becoming
semi-inverted in the process, and leveraging
off the elbow to extend reach and snag the next
placement. Octopussy ascends a several-bodylengths-wide limestone roof to reach a hanging
curtain of ice. It marked the world's first "M," or
mixed ice and rock route, rated at M8.
This is what Mountain Project has to say
about the route today: "Though the route does
not get climbed often, it still awaits those with a
sense of adventure and perhaps a little insanity."
After Octopussy, Lowe continued pushing the standards of mixed climbing, often on
dangerously run-out terrain. This includes
his and Ed Palin's line, Gorillas in the Mist,
in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Over
three pitches, Gorillas ascends ice that is no
more than four-inches thick. The ice is so thin,
like a clear plastic bag, that black rock is clearly

feature climbing on artificial walls in the disciplines of sport, bouldering, and speed.
The Ouray Ice Festival, which Lowe also
founded, is going into its 23rd year. Today the
park contains more than 200 climbs over three
miles. Ice climbing became a recognized sport
in 1974, when Jeff and Mike Weis climbed the
400-foot-high Bridalveil Falls near Telluride.

ON THE PORCH, WITH THE SUN SETTING, THE
conversation turns to our love of climbing
and our partners. We talk about his longtime
friends: Mike Weis, his partner of 50 years,
cousin George Lowe, and Jon Krakauer.
"The climbing tribe is amazing," Lowe says.
"Climbing was an important part of our relationship," says Weis. "But that's not what it's
all about. It's about a personal relationship
in a beautiful setting where we climbed. You
can waste a beautiful day reading his resume,
but I'm sure he would prefer that you spend
the day visiting someplace wild, either alone
or with friends." O.R.
35th Anniversary 2017 / OUTDOOR RETAILER 29



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - July 2017

OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
CONTENTS
CONTRIBUTORS
FIRST WORDS
THE TRIBE
GREG THOMSEN
YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
STEVE BARKER
THE SCENE
JEFF LOWE
PETER AND PATTY DUKE
BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
CARSON STANWOOD
CHAD GALLWITZ
JOHN MEAD
THE TORNADO
THE SCENE
SALLY MCCOY
JOHN STERLING
CASEY SHEAHAN
THE SCENE
MUSIC AND MEMORIES
PETER METCALF
SALLY JEWELL
CONRAD ANKER
JEN TAYLOR
DAN NORDSTROM
JEREMY COLLINS
JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
THE FUTURE
THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTRIBUTORS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - FIRST WORDS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TRIBE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 10
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - GREG THOMSEN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - STEVE BARKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEFF LOWE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER AND PATTY DUKE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CARSON STANWOOD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CHAD GALLWITZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN MEAD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TORNADO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 46
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY MCCOY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN STERLING
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CASEY SHEAHAN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 58
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - MUSIC AND MEMORIES
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER METCALF
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY JEWELL
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONRAD ANKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEN TAYLOR
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - DAN NORDSTROM
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEREMY COLLINS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE FUTURE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 77
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 78
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 79
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover4
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