The Things They Carried

It's an unavoidable truth: our heroes don't always come home alive—and they leave behind more than unforgettable stories. Here, those closest to six departed icons share their most cherished relics.

From left: Isaac and Sam Lowe-Anker and Max Lowe, near their home in Bozeman, Montana     Photo: Photo by Bryce Duffy

Isaac and Sam Lowe-Anker and Max Lowe
With Alex Lowe's hat, ice ax, and truck

ISAAC: The hat I'm wearing is my dad's. Mom knit it for him when they first met. He wore it on all of his expeditions except his last one. It was finally starting to tear, so he didn't want to take it with him.

SAM: I'm holding his ice ax. It's interesting having a celebrity father. People know us through that, and at climbing events people sometimes stare at us like, Wow, you're the offspring of Alex Lowe.

MAX: He was very passionate about music, and he insisted that I learn to play the violin. He would never push me to climb, but whenever I wanted to go out climbing or skiing he would be really excited. He wanted us to have passion in life—whether it was the same passion he had didn't matter.

In 1999, Alex Lowe, 40, was killed in an avalanche while scouting Tibet's 26,289-foot Shishapangma. His body was never recovered. Isaac, 14, is a freshman in high school; Sam, 18, is a freshman at Montana State University; and Max, 22, is a senior at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

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