Contents of Jeff Lowe's Pack Revealed after 20 years


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Social climber
No Ut
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 12, 2011 - 08:04am PT
Dear Tacoites... we have returned from Switzerland a bit weary, but brimming with news.

From the Deck of the Hotel Bellevue des Alpes, Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland, March 25, 2011

While on a filming trip to Switzerland for Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia, a special event occurred that will be included in the film.

In 1991, after 9 harrowing days on the North Face of the Eiger, Jeff Lowe abandoned his backpack when he couldn't find any anchors at the end of his rope. He was topping out on his new route, Metanoia that went straight up the center of the Eiger Nordwand. Jeff untied and left the rope and his pack behind, as he free soloed the last 50 feet to the summit ridge where he was plucked off the mountain by a helicopter, just hours before a big storm would engulf the great North Face.

On March 25, 2011, Josh Wharton spent over 2 hours digging Jeff's backpack out of the ice and snow, high up n the North Face of the Eiger. Lowe was anxious to see the condition of the pack after 20 years on the mountain.

Josh delivered the frozen, weather worn pack to Jeff on the deck of the Bellevue Hotel at Kleine Scheidegg. Chris Alstrin filmed both the excavation and the heroic delivery. Getting the frozen pack onto the helicopter was quite precarious for everyone involved. (See the video clip at

Jeff was relieved to have this bit of unfinished business taken care of after all these years. Leaving the pack was contrary to Jeff's Alpine Style ascents, but necessary for his own survival on that day. Josh also delivered a Jumar and Gibbs Ascender, along with bits of rope cut away with the pack.

The contents of the pack will be explored when it thaws..

On Saturday, April 2, 2011, Jeff opened the backpack and withdrew the contents one by one, along with a gritty sand like material…, which turned out to be oxidized aluminum.

• 1 white Scott motorized goggles (a fan for defogging)
• 1 Thermarest stuff sack
• 6 Mazda AA alkaline batteries
• 1 Vau De prototype jacket designed by Jeff Lowe
• 1 Pair of wool socks
• 1 carabiner
• 1 small black stuff sack
• 1 pair glove liners
• 1 pair very thin/light glove liners
• 1 medium blue stuff sack
• 1 lithium battery dated 1/91
• 1 Black Diamond Red Lithium Battery Headlamp
• 1 Medium sized food bag (pretty trashed, but one Mars Bar and one snickers bar remained intact)
• 1 small black stove bag
• 1 large pink stuff sack for pots
• 1 hanging stove made by Jeff Lowe
• 2 nested pots, oxidized through on one side
• 1 potholder
• 1 small purple plastic cup
• 1 Ziploc bag
• 1 fuel canister
• 1 16 oz. white plastic Nalgene pee bottle
• 1 small zip lock with small roll of TP intact
• 1 compass
• 1 silver insulated water bottle bag
• 1 large purple stuff sack
• 1 medium blue stuff sack
• 1 pink and beige zippered side pocket
• 1 small pouch with repair kit
• 1 small clear plastic box with assorted safety pins (10+)
• 1 small tube sun cream
• 1 small film canister with a tissue and 3 pills - disintegrating
• 1 glasses case with signature Jeff Lowe glasses, large, thick lenses with a Croakies attached to them
• 1 small can of vitamin C tabs
• 1 2” roll of medical tape
• 1 cut off 8” metal mill bastard file
• 1 extra ice pick (unattached)
• 1 hammerhead (unattached)
• 1 shovel head
• 1 green HelSport one man bivy tent with poles
• 1 black Vau De compression stuff sack
• 1 pink and purple Vau De sleeping bag (still frozen)

There you have it folks... photos to follow soon.

We continue to seek support and sponsorships to help us complete this film. For more information please visit or call 208.630.4477)

Sent by Connie from Jello's computer....


Apr 12, 2011 - 08:09am PT
1 compass...

That points UP!

Mountain climber
La Mancha
Apr 12, 2011 - 08:20am PT
Looks like Josh Wharton scored the motherlode of booty! ;-)

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 12, 2011 - 09:01am PT

Thanks for letting us know, Jeff!!!!

Social climber
Los Angeles
Apr 12, 2011 - 09:12am PT
guess he was into stuff sacks...

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Apr 12, 2011 - 09:19am PT
So, how much did Josh charge you to return the pack? :)

BAD crimpergirl, BAD!!!

Thanks for the share. Pretty cool!

Apr 12, 2011 - 09:56am PT
What was in that ziploc bag??? Inquiring minds want to know!

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Apr 12, 2011 - 10:06am PT
where's the e-bay link?

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Apr 12, 2011 - 10:13am PT
One Carabiner

One Ziplock Bag

Awesome.....Jeff Lowes total rack for one of the hardest walls in the world. I took 23 cams and more food and clothing up Nutcracker.

The best thing in that pack are the memories for sure. Glad they found it Jeff!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 12, 2011 - 08:52pm PT

No Twinkie??
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
Apr 12, 2011 - 09:54pm PT
Did you take the kitchen sink...:)

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Apr 12, 2011 - 11:11pm PT
Pot holder? What was in the purple stuff sac?

Outstanding climb Jeff.

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2011 - 11:36pm PT

TFPU. Hope you had a Paulener Breu.
Captain...or Skully

My ready room
Apr 12, 2011 - 11:40pm PT
Frickin' cool.

Social climber
Apr 12, 2011 - 11:41pm PT
hey there say, jello and connie...

say, i really enjoyed this find!! and the contents, as well..

glad you got it settled after all these years, and glad that
you shared it here, too...

god bless...
sending more best wishes and prayers for your successs with
your project...


Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Apr 12, 2011 - 11:58pm PT
This is so cool! I saw the video of the retrieval and return and was really moved by it. But to be able to peek inside this piece of climbing history, man that's like alpine archeology in real time. Thank you for the wonderful share.

Mountain climber
there and back again
Apr 13, 2011 - 03:00am PT
Thanks for sharing this with us. So glad it was intact and still there after all these years. How great is that? Good luck with the film. Can't wait to see it. All the best with your endeavors.
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