Mountainfilm in Telluride: Two Fathers of Fame

Mountainfilm in Telluride: Two Fathers of Fame

Max Lowe is a photographer, writer and National Geographic Young Explorer who has been exploring the far reaches of the planet since before he could walk. He has been published in Backpacker magazine, Powder and on After completing his Young Explorers Grant project, he served as a photo assistant for National Geographic’s Everest expedition. Below is the story of his two fathers that first appeared on Mountainfilm in Telluride’s website.

Max and Alex Lowe, courtesy of Mountainfilm

Conrad Anker and Max Lowe, courtesy of Mountainfilm

Growing up as the son of two of the world’s most renowned alpine and high-altitude mountaineers has been no ordinary childhood. My father, Alex Lowe, was off in the mountains more of than he was around me. On October 4, 1990, seven days before my second birthday, he became the fortieth American to reach the summit of Mount Everest successfully. I flew to Thailand with my mother to meet him, making my first intercontinental travel as a two year old.

I’ve gotten used to meeting people and them asking, “Lowe, like Alex Lowe, the climber?” As I move through life, I’m continually amazed by the people who knew my father and looked up to him, not only for his prowess as a climber, but for his integrity, compassion and life-loving nature as a person. I was first exposed to the magnetic effect he had on people after he died in 1999 in an avalanche on Shishapangma, a peak high in the Tibetan Himalaya. Over the next few months, my family received hundreds of consoling letters from friends, coworkers and even people who had never met Alex, sharing how he had influenced or impacted their life.

To me, he had always just been my dad…

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