Magazine article Geographical

George Lowe, 1924-2013

Magazine article Geographical

George Lowe, 1924-2013

Article excerpt

George Lowe, the mountaineer and photographer, who has died aged 89, played a crucial part in the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. His skills on steep ice--as much as his positivity and sense of humour--were of huge benefit to the team, and his efforts greatly helped his best friend, Ed Hillary, reach the summit.

Born in New Zealand in 1924, George first met Ed while working in New Zealand's southern Alps just after the Second World War and they soon became friends. Ed would later write that it was George who 'set off the spark that finally got us both to the Himalayas'.

In 1951, the pair joined the first New Zealand expedition to the region, exploring the Indian Garhwal and being part of the team that climbed Mukut Parbat. The following year, George was invited by Eric Shipton to join the British expedition to climb Cho Oyu.

On Everest, George was one of the lead climbers, forging the route up the Lhotse Face without oxygen and later cutting steps for his partners up the summit ridge. …

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