Forget Me Not: A Memoir: Easyread Super Large 24pt Edition
In 2005, a previously nameless 10,031-foot mountain in Montana's Gallatin Range was officially designated Alex Lowe Peak by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. It was a hugely appropriate act. Not only was Alex Lowe one of the modern era's most extraordinary mountaineers, his life was intricately woven into the landscape of southwestern Montana. Alex climbed and skied prodigiously throughout the Gallatin backcountry, but nowhere there is his presence more strongly felt than in Hyalite Canyon, a steep-walled valley immediately east of his namesake massif. Each November, the hundreds of waterfalls that spill down the canyon's flanks are transformed into finely wrought curtains of ice, attracting climbers from far and wide. Alex was the first person to ascend many of these routes, among them an ethereal frozen trickle he christened Winter Dance - an intermittent stripe of ghostly blue ice suspended two thousand feet above the valley, splattered down a cliff as black as onyx. Ascending it demands stamina, a sensitive touch, unwavering mind control, and utter mastery of technique. Only a handful of elite climbers have ever succeeded. Alex referred to Winter Dance as his favorite ice climb. Guidebook author Joe Josephson calls it one of the top ten winter routes of the world. The blow-by-blow of its first ascent is one of many ''Alex stories'' that are told and retold around campfires and in climbers' pubs across the planet..I, for one, was sometimes frightened by the risks Alex took, and by the number of close calls he had. But he always emerged more or less unscathed. I came to appreciate that when you were as strong and talented as Alex, the odds that applied to ordinary mortals had to be recalculated. The old rules no longer seemed relevant. I convinced myself that he was indestructible. Sadly, on October 5, 1999, I was proven wrong. - JONATHAN KRAKAUER
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