Montana is still a pristine wilderness with many remote areas chalked full of unnamed peaks. On September 12, one of those peaks was named after Alex Lowe, the great mountaineer, climber, and athlete who resided in Bozeman, Montana. At the head of Cottonwood Canyon, South of Bozeman, near the ice-climbing Mecca of Hyalite canyon now stands the newly named, 10,031-foot Alex Lowe peak.
During the spring of 1997, Lowe and Hans Saari hiked and skied the prominent couloir on the peak, naming it Hellmouth Couloir. “It is fitting,” states Terry Cunningham who submitted the proposal to The US Board on Geographic Names (BGN), “that this beautiful peak would be named after a person who climbed up its slopes, skied down its most challenging feature and appreciated its silent majesty.”
The BGN will only consider naming a geographic feature in honor of someone if they have been deceased for more than five years, and he or she has a connection to the terrain. Support to rename the peak in honor of Lowe was heavy in the local southwest Montana community, which a key factor in BGN approval. Jenny Lowe, his widow and President of the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation states, “It is wonderful for the people who keep Alex in their heart to know that amongst the millions of mountains on this earth, there is now one right here in the Gallatin National Forest that is named for a mountaineer from Montana.”
Alex Lowe Peak. Photo courtesy of Terry Cunningham and www.alexlowe.org