Alex Lowe: who was climber who got lost, and what is Disney + documentary Torn about?

Torn is available on streaming site Disney+ from today

When world renowned climber Alex Lowe took off on a perilous expedition, his family were met with earth-shattering news.

Alex, who was an accomplished climber, was killed in a deadly avalanche in 1999.

Now his filmmaker son has documented his upbringing after his dad sadly passed away in a new Disney+ documentary titled Torn.

But who exactly was Alex Lowe and what is the documentary about?

Alex Lowe (left) died while undertaking a climbing expedition, with Disney+ documentary Torn charting his son’s experiences in coming to terms with his dad’s death. (Credit: Gordon Wiltsie/Disney)

Who was Alex Lowe?

Alex Lowe was an American mountaineer born on 24 December 1958.

He was world-renowned for his climbing skills and took on expeditions which included rock and ice climbing, ski descents and mountain climbing.

Alex would visit world-famous sites however, his love of the sport ended on one fateful day in 1999.

How did Alex Lowe die?

In September 1999, Alex set off for with climbing partner Conrad Anker for Shishapangma in the Himalayas.

The Tibetan mountain stands at 26,291ft tall and is the 14th tallest mountain in the world.

Both Alex and Conrad attempted to climb the mountain and become the first Americans to ski from the summit of Shishapangma.

They were also joined by David Bridges, a two-time US national paragliding champion, who broke off as part of a three-man filming team for an NBC documentary of the climb.

As Alex, Conrad and David searched for a route up the icy mountain, they crossed a glacier when a large column of ice (a serac) broke loose 6,000ft above them.

The column began to tumble down the mountain and cause a 500ft wide avalanche.

While Conrad was swept away by the blast, he emerged from the snow to lead a 20-hour rescue for both Alex and David.

Neither climber was found at the time, however, their remains were found by two climbers - Ueil Steck and David Gottler - in April 2016.

What is Torn about?

23 years after his father’s death, filmmaker Max Lowe has immortalised Alex’s memory with the new Disney+ documentary Torn.

The film follows Max, who was 10-years-old at the time of his dad’s death, as he and the rest of his family attempt to come to terms with the loss.

Conrad, who was present at Alex’s final expedition, also had a huge impact on the family after he married Max’s widowed mother, Jennifer, and helped to raise the children.

Torn tells the intimate story of the family’s strive to accept Conrad as their step father and to find peace for their 23-year-old hurt.

Where can I watch Torn?

Torn is only available on streaming service Disney+.

It is available from Friday 4 February.

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