Conrad Anker Establishes New Route for Fallen Friend

Nearly 20 years after an avalanche claimed Alex Lowe’s life, Conrad Anker creates a new ice route in honor of his former climbing partner.

In 1997, Alex Lowe stood atop Montana’s Hyalite Canyon and, in turn, the ice climbing world. His first ascent of Winter Dance put an exclamation point on an icefall that had confounded climbers for decades. Two years later, he perished.

Winter Dance remains an iconic and formidable challenge to this day. So to commemorate their friend, Conrad Anker and Kris Erickson planned a new route alongside Winter Dance: the Nutcracker.

Watch as Anker and Erickson remember the man who brought them to Hyalite Canyon and inspired two first ascents.