A story about a climber, cutting his teeth during the developmental stages of the sport, contributing thousands of new, difficult routes to the pantheon of rock, ice and alpine climbing and innovating the equipment and techniques necessary to push the sport into the future, shifting the planet’s perception of what was possible; a story about a man, struggling through his life to live simply, responsibly, and with love, amidst turbulent marriages, both romantic and corporate; finally, a story about a disease, and this man’s ability to face his own mortality with the grace and integrity necessary to not only surpass the medical community’s expectations, but actually thrive in a new world where getting out of bed becomes a challenge tantamount to climbing the world’s gnarliest peaks.
Since October, when I came on as Director, Editor and Producer of “Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia”, production has been in full swing and I will be deep in the trenches until it is finished in the spring. We’re re-inventing Jeff’s story, his legacy, and the power of climbing to embolden all of us in the face of life and death.
Jeff is currently suffering from a condition similar to ALS, or Lou Gehrigs disease. He is limited to a motorized wheel chair and has lost his ability to speak clearly. The tragic irony of his current situation, compared to the boundless mobility he enjoyed as a climber, is central to this film and Jeff’s inspiring story.
On September 6th, around the same time I started working on the film, I went in for my first reconstructive hip surgery, which has made climbing impossible for me and temporarily derailed my self-image; If I’m not a climber, what am I? On December 6th, I went in for my second reconstructive surgery, on my other hip. It will be six months before I can climb again. Going through this experience now, at this point in my life, at the same time that I’ve jumped into Jeff’s film and gotten to know him as a human being in a much more difficult circumstance, suffering a much more grave malady, has not only put my own condition into perspective but given me the strength I need to stay patient, focus on recovering, and appreciate every day I have as an able-bodied young man.
Jeff is an incredible inspiration, and his story will shine on the big screen. I’m currently in the scripting stages of the film and wrapping up the last of the cinematography. I hope to see you at the premiere, along with Jeff who, despite all odds, may yet outlive us all.