August 24 was a fateful day for the climbing community as both Tom Frost and Jeff Lowe passed into legend
Tom Frost lost his short battle with cancer at a hospice near his home in Oakdale, California. Frost, who was 82, was a Yosemite pioneer in the 1960s, and established some of the most famous routes in the Valley while climbing with Royal Robbins, Chuck Pratt, Yvon Chouinard, and others.
Widely regarded as the finest American alpinist of his generation, Jeff Lowe also died on August 24. He was 67 years old. His daughter, Sonja, announced the death on Facebook, writing, “My father, Jeff Lowe, to put it in his words, ‘moved on from this material plane to the next.’
Both climbers were influential in different ways. Tom Frost will always be associated with the Golden Age of Yosemite big wall climbing, while Jeff Lowe was a hardcore alpinist who excelled on dangerous, mixed terrain and frozen waterfalls.
Both men also left a lasting legacy in the outdoor industry as well. In 1967 formed Lowe Alpine clothing with his cousin Greg Lowe, and Tom Frost was an early business partner of Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia.
Of the two, Tom Frost had a bigger impact on California climbing, although Lowe was an early big wall climber in Yosemite as well. Both will be remembered for their wit, creativity and devotion to the sport of climbing.
Here is a previous article we published about Tom Frost and the Golden Age of Yosemite: https://adventuresportsjournal.com/legends-of-yosemite/