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EverestHistory.com: George Lowe


George Lowe certainly isn't the first man to have a feature of Everest's vast slopes named after him; there is of course the famous Hillary Step and the Hornbein Col. among many. However few are as daunting or as dangerous as the 3,500 foot rock and ice wall on Everest's East Face that would become know as Lowe's Buttress.

George Lowe and a expedition of fellow Americans were making a second attempt at Everest's East (or Kangshung) Face in 1983. A 1981 attempt had been aborted due to bad weather, inter-group strife and illness, however the expedition had left in place ropes and pitons that aided the second attempt to. Climbing the buttress took 28 days.

On October 9, Lowe along with Dan Reid, and Jay Cassell reached the summit via the still unrepeated East Face route, they followed Carlos Buhler, Kim Momb and Louis Reichardt who summited the day before. The expedition was successful in putting 6 men at the peak but their feelings of success were dampened by the falling deaths of two Japanese climbers and a sherpa from another nearby expedition.

Note: American George Lowe is not the same as the New Zealander Lowe who accompanied and helped support Hillary and Tenzing on the first summit of Everest in 1953.

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