International Film Premiere
Jeff Lowe, legendary American alpinist stars in the multi-award winning film ‘Metanoia’ that will be premiering at the Bethlehem Colonial Theater May 19th as a fundraising event. Jeff’s “unimaginable” new route, Metanoia – solo, in winter, up the North Face of the Eiger - changed his life and prepared him for the greatest adventure he’s ever been on.
An Interview with Jeff Lowe
Interview by Brandon Archibald
Jeff, I’ve seen the film and I love sharing your story with other people. The film has rave reviews from around the world, can you describe the reaction you’ve had to the film, and has it surprised you?
We have been blown away by the response. It is both humbling and exhilarating to have people really be inspired and able to relate to our film. We hoped that it would be meaningful to people, but what they tell us goes beyond what we could ever have imagined.
During the making of the film, did you find yourself reassessing past events and climbs/routes - and if so, how?
Yes, of course, I revisited past climbs, relationships, places… I relived it all in a way, in my mind and heart as I ventured to sort out exactly what we wanted the film to convey. Connie was often amazed at the level of detail I could remember from a climb I did in my teens or early twenties. I can remember detailed beta on climbs from my entire career. I kind of marvel at it myself.
What were your emotions when you traveled back to the Eiger during the making of Metanoia?
As I say in the movie, it really was a sort of coming home. I spent a lot of time in the Alps and I had not been there since I climbed the Eiger. It also brought Metanoia back full force into memory. Having the Eiger right there in front of me day after day. The memories would kind of float into my mind and then it was as if I was right there in that moment again, with my body, mind and spirit fully engaged in the climb, right down to the moves. I felt content, peaceful and closer to the feeling I had right after Metanoia. Being there brought me right back to that understanding that we are all connected. That being my true self is the most important thing I can do as an individual. I will make my greatest contributions to the world by being true to my values and principals and doing what I love. Always doing the best I can with what I’ve got from where I am right now. Working on the film on the Eiger brought me a sense of calm and clarity that we were doing the right thing, working on this film.
You have a degenerative condition that has affected you greatly that was originally thought to be ALS, what has been your biggest lesson on this path?
I have never been diagnosed with ALS. I have been told it is a Motor Neuron Disease similar to ALS, but not the same. Connie likes to call it JLS – the Jeff Lowe Syndrome, a first ascent in the disease department.
Dealing with this neurodegenerative disease has taught me a lot of things. I look back at my climbing experiences and I’m surprised to be content. I’ve had more than my fair share. I derive vicarious pleasure from younger climbers finding their own visions to follow, and find satisfaction where I see my own climbing has had a positive influence.
I’ve learned that there are higher peaks than Sagarmatha, steeper walls than Cerro Torre’s. Life is a great adventure. Adventure requires facing the unknown with all senses activated and a love of discovery. Death is a gift - it gives value to life. It’s also the last great adventure. Along the way an abiding sense of humor will help lift you over the rough spots.
This interview and the May 19th film premiere are brought to you by The Ivy League Advisory Group, LLC of Tilton NH.
100% of all ticket proceeds will go to The Jeff Lowe Special Needs Trust.