Ascent Archive: Oral Histories with Rock Climbers
A podcast series on climbers, mountains, climbing culture, and the history of climbing in the American West.
The Ascent Archive Podcast features oral histories collected by the University of Utah and produced by the J. Willard Marriott Library, including the Rock Climbers Oral History Project and the American West Center’s Everett L. Cooley Oral History Project. You’re about to hear an oral history that is unedited. Please excuse possible interruptions, sound quality issues, potentially outdated or offensive terminology, and the occasional curse word. https://ascentarchive.lib.utah.edu/
Legendary Utah-based climber Jeff Lowe (1950-2018) talks about his experience and observations on the development of climbing gear. Lowe did not just observe major significant developments that pushed the sport further; he was an innovative and driving force behind them. From shoes to portaledges, and his first soft-shell jacket which changed everything for regulating body temperature, Lowe maintains that all along climbing and the desire to climb in new places remained the primary motivation to create new gear. Working with Lowe Alpine, Lowe Pro, Asolo, La Sportiva and Latok, Lowe mentions specific projects, other climbers like Chouinard, and particularly how he enjoyed working with his brother Greg over the years. Lowe recounts his early climbing instruction through family members, clubs and work with Colorado Outward Bound. Lowe began the International Alpine School, the American Mountain Guides Association, created climbing festivals and competitions, authored instructional books and videos and asserts the importance of teaching an appropriate attitude as well as technique. Lowe made several big mountain climbing films with his brother Greg and addressed any challenge. He became the father of ice-climbing at the Winter X Games by virtue of creating the first artificial ice wall for competition. Unable to find equally capable peers to climb with, Lowe eventually began to mentor and climb with some of the world´s most talented younger climbers like Alex Lowe and Catherine Destivelle. Lowe also gives his take on indoor climbing gyms and the real experience. Project: Outdoor Recreation. Interviewers: Matt Basso, Greg Thompson, John Worsencroft, Cheri Daily.