Remembering mountaineering pioneer George Lowe

George Lowe (BBC photo)

George Lowe (BBC photo)

   Most of us have heard the two most famous names in mountaineering: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. They’re the first two humans to successfully reach the summit of Mount Everest, a feat accomplished in 1953.
   But few people know the names behind the names of climbing’s most elite pair.
   One of those people passed away last week. And to get a good understanding of the sacrifices it took to get two people to the top of the world’s highest peak, it might be a good thing to know a thing or two about George Lowe.
   Lowe, 89, died last week and was the last surviving member of the British-led expedition to Everest.
   (Interestingly, both Lowe and Hillary are New Zealanders)
   While Lowe played a supporting role in the expedition and was not part of the summit day team, his role was notable. A few facts from an Associated Press story on his effort on the mountain:
   Kari Herbert of Polarworld, which is due to publish Lowe’s book “Letters From Everest” later this year, said Lowe’s efforts had been crucial to the expedition’s success.
   “He was one of the lead climbers, forging the route up Everest’s Lhotse Face without oxygen and later cutting steps for his partners up the summit ridge,” she said.
   In short, he expended the effort needed to help ease the summit team’s path to the top. That’s the sort of selfless actions we’d all like to see in our partners on the mountain and in life.
   Lowe also participated in a transcontinental crossing of Antarctica, no small deal in any age, and certainly not then.
   Check out his story and revel in the adventurous and giving life this guy led.
Bob Doucette
On Twitter @RMHigh7088

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