Touring with George Lowe & Tidbits

| January 10, 2011 | 10 Comments

Have I mentioned what a great season the Wasatch has been having?  We haven’t had any significant amounts of new snow for two weeks, but there is still some excellent powder to be had.  The 4-6″ trace we had on Sunday (a virtual dump by CO standards) freshened things up a bit, but was so light that you could still feel the bottom.  Shame.

One of the best moments of the last few days was getting a chance to tour with George Lowe who was visiting from Golden, Colorado.  Due to our large group (six) and George’s flight, we didn’t actually get a chance to make turns together, but it was still fun just to be out in the mountains with such a legend.  I usually don’t pay much attention to who did the first ascent of any particular route, but there is something about George Lowe routes that always makes me think how exciting it must have been to be the first person up mega classics like  Moonlight Buttress, Lowe Route in LCC, Lowe Route in Lone Peak, the Dorsal Fin in LCC and many others.  Any one of those would be a climb of a lifetime for most people, but George happened to be the right guy at the right time and stacked up hundreds of them, to the point that he didn’t get around to naming them, and thus the proliferation of “Lowe Routes” all around the American West.

George Lowe

George had tele’d for most of his life, but recently changed over to AT after telemarking designed itself into obsolescence.

Wasangles, The Wasnatch, Sheep Pen... call it what you like.

Rick, Doug and Courtney laying carpet after a short shot.

Whippet Use #153 - a place to hold a skin while you put the first one on.

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Category: current conditions

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (10)

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  1. Derek says:

    George is certainly one of THE ICONS of North American alpinism. I guess no matter who your mother is, if your last name is “Lowe”, you’re a badass;)

  2. Andrew says:

    Hill or Hillary aren’t bad last names for climbers either. ;)

  3. BP says:

    I’m a big fan of Whippet use 153. 154 is probably getting the snow off the skins before applying them. (Especially after the wind blows and 153 fails)

  4. ty says:

    dont forget Lowe’s incredible crack of doom in the city of rocks…I haven’t tried the route, but it looks harder than the 5.9 grade given by george… He probably called Latok I 5.8!!

  5. Lil'C says:

    I used a Whippet to hook thongs at the ABC. That’s Whippet use #69, and easily one of my favorites.

  6. Jim K says:

    Trivia: George’s cousin Jeff Lowe got the FA of Moonlight Buttress. Let’s not forget George & Chris Jones’ landmark epic of North Face of North Twin in Canada.

    Whippets are great for mixed climbing & descending too.

  7. Brucikowski says:

    Whippet use #155: makes a great curtain rod, though girl friend gets pissed when you try to pull it down at 5:30 in the morning. Useful after you hooked that thong at the ABC. Btw what the hell is the ABC?

  8. Andrew says:

    Jim – Details, details. Why ruin a good story/blog posting by telling the truth about Moonlight Buttress? ;) But yes, it was Jeff, not George.

  9. Andrew says:

    Ty – OMG! I didn’t know he did the first on the Crack of Doom! That has to be one of the most devious cracks on earth. Just looking at it, you think “Hmmm, that doesn’t look that hard…” but it’s an ass-kicker from start to finish, all 100 or so feet of it.

  10. Erik says:

    Greg Lowe FA’d Crack of Doom, not George. In the 60’s. Badass.

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