Gallatin Range Mountain Named for Alex Lowe

The Billings Gazette reports Mountain 10,031 in the Gallatin Range has been named Alex Lowe Peak who died in a 1999 avalanche.

Alex Lowe Peak is at the head of the South Cottonwood Drainage and southwest of Mount Blackmore, south of Bozeman.

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names approved the name change last week, said Terry Cunningham, the Bozeman man who proposed the designation.

Cunningham said the idea came to him while he was researching an article about Montana’s unnamed peaks. He gathered statements of support from Gallatin County, the Gallatin National Forest, the city of Bozeman, the local chapter of the Sierra Club and the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, which is run by Lowe’s widow, Jennifer.

He died at the age of 40 in an avalanche on the slopes of Shishapangma, in Tibet.

Cunningham, who submitted the application for the name change a year ago, said several requirements first had to be met.

“They take into consideration that it should not be easy to name a mountain for all eternity,” he said.

The person must be dead for at least five years, and must have national or international significance or have a documented connection to the mountain.

Lowe qualified because he and Hans Saari were mentioned in a book that told of their first ski descent of a couloir — a deep mountain gorge — on the north side of the mountain.

The two men called the feature Hellmouth Couloir.

The name change will appear on new Gallatin Forest maps, which will be printed in 2006 at the earliest, according to spokesman Bob Dennee.
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