The Western Hemisphere 193 The Eastern Hemisphere 196 World Classics 200
It was on a Russian peak in the Pamir range more than twenty years ago when [ first realized that Jeff Lowe was destined to become one of the world's great mountaineers.
As we belayed and climbed up the steep snow and ice face of Peak Nineteen to the 19,423-foot summit, Jeff, even at the age of twenty-three, showed me he was one of the few athletes in any sport who could live up to his growing international reputation. His flawless ice-climbing technique and fluid, effortless motion were obvious skills few mountaineers could match, But it was his confidence and almost spiritual perception of the climb that moved us to the summit.
We separated after the Pamirs trip and followed separate trails and climbed with different partners to achieve our goals. Jeff went on to accomplish some of the world's great alpine climbs. My path led me to the Himalayas. I always hoped, though, that someday we would again share a rope.
Fifteen years later our trails finally merged. 1 teamed up with Jeff once more on a Nepalese peak named Tawoche, six miles from Everest. I knew from having trekked to the base of Tawoche's great Northeast Face in the spring of 1986 that success hinged on two factors: the route must be climbed in winter to avoid falling rock and ice debris and the team would have to include the world's best alpinist, Jeff Lowe.
Despite intense cold, nine bivouacs, my cerebral edema, Jeff's acute mountain sickness, and some incredibly difficult mixed climbing, we summited and made it down safely, Jeff proved to me on that climb that fifteen years had turned a superb climber into a genuine master of his craft.
After climbing with Jeff and knowing him for so many years, I've come to realize that it is not just physical movement in the cold and vertical world that he uses to overcome difficulties but also intense mental preparation and the often neglected sixth sense. As you will read, this sense is perhaps his most important asset.
It is an honor for me to be a part of Jeffs book. Rarely have I seen an author blend instruction and technique so well with their own actual experience and emotion. kt World takes the sport of ice climbing to another frontier and challenges the next generation.
John Roskclley July 1995
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