The last surviving member of the historic 1953 Everest team has died in the UK at age 89.
George Wallace Lowe was a key part of the first Everest summit showing uncommon strength by establishing the route up the Lhotse Face and the final camp at 28, 035 feet, only 1,000 feet below the summit on May 27, 1953. The next day Hillary and Norgay summited.
Lowe returned to the South Col to await the summiters and went out to meet them with hot lemonade where upon Hillary said the famous line “Well, George, we knocked the bastard off.”
Lowe also became the expedition photographer when the official photographer became ill. He is credited with many of the images we see that captured the spirit of the expedition.
After Everest, Lowe joined a British expedition on Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth highest mountain and was part of the first team to cross Antarctica via the south pole.
Lowe was born in New Zealand and considered Hillary a close friend as they were the only two Kiwis on the 1953 team.
George Lowe has just finished a book, Letters from Everest, that will be released on 28 May 2013.
Memories are Everything