While we’re on the subject of Denali, I wanted to point out this excellent article that was posted to the National Geographic Adventure Blog a few days back. It was written by Max Lowe, the sun of legendary climber Alex Lowe and stepson of Conrad Anker. Max and some friends are currently in Alaska and are attempting to climb Denali this spring, but the article reads like a young man who is charting his own course and not necessarily following in the footsteps of his two famous fathers.
For those who don’t know, Max’s father Alex is considered one of the greatest alpinists of all time. He put up first ascents all over the world and was known not only for his great skill and precision in the mountains but also as a great person as well. Hi nickname was the “the Lung with Legs,”which is an indication of how strong he could climb even at high altitude. Sadly, Alex was killed on Shishapangma in 1999 when he and teammates – Anker and David Bridges – were struck by a massive avalanche.
Alex and Conrad had been great friends and climbing partners for some time, and when Anker returned home he found himself grieving for the loss with Alex’s wife Jennifer. Over time, they two fell in love and got married. Conrad then became the step father for Alex’s sons Max, Sam and Isaac. This has obviously given Max two very strong role models to follow on his own alpine adventures.
But as I mentioned, Max seems to be plotting his own course on Denali and beyond. He is an accomplished photographer and writer, and seems inspired to chronicle his own adventures. The piece that he has written for Nat Geo is thoughtful and honest, with some great insights into his team’s effort to climb the tallest mountain in North America, then make a ski descent. The article also lists some of his favorite gear that he’ll be taking along on the trip.
The story was posted on June 15 and Max and his team were set to depart for Denali on June 8. That means that if everything is going well, they should soon be approaching their summit bid as well. After reading this story, I’d certainly welcome a follow-up with his thoughts on the climb.
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