Alex Lowe was one of America’s leading climbers when he died in an avalanche with David Bridges in 1999 by a serac fall in Tibet. On April 27, Ueli Steck and David Goettler found their encased in blue ice, but beginning to emerge. The two climbers were part of the 1999 American Shishapangma Ski Expedition that was to see them and Conrad Anker become the first to ski down from the summit of the 8,000-metre peak via the Swiss-Polish route on the south face. Bridges was part of a film crew documenting the descent.
Lowe wrote the following on MountainZone.com before his trip: “It’s been a passionate goal of mine to ski off an 8,000-metre peak. I guess there’s a lot of people sort of looking to do this and try to ski off Everest. But for me, it’s got to be an aesthetic and quality run. And Shishapangma has the best ski line of any of the 8,000-metre peaks. It’s just an absolutely straight shot right down the Southwest Face. That’s going to be a good one.”
Anker, Bridges and Lowe were part of a scouting group on Oct. 5 to scout for a route up the mountain. As they were crossing a glacier, a serac fell from above. Anker was tossed about 30 metres and suffered bad injuries, but lived. He then led a rescue attempt for around 20 hours for Lowe and Bridges. For a Anker’s reaction to the finding of Lowe and Bridges, read Grayson Schaffer’s article on Outsideonline.com here.