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A true story of love, survival, a pathological optimist, his indomitable spirit and a wheelchair. Meet Jeff Lowe

A true story of love, survival, a pathological optimist, his indomitable spirit and a wheelchair. Meet Jeff Lowe Read More
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on March 3, 2011.

About this project


meta·noia noun \ˌme-tə-ˈnȯi-ə\ greek origin: a transformative change of heart; a fundamental change of thinking

PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD SO WE CAN REACH OUR GOAL!! Trouble pledging on kickstarter? Please contact us right away about other payment methods and also inquire about tax deductible contributions at or 208.630.4477

What are we doing? We are raising money!! We are determined to complete our inspirational feature-length documentary film about the life and climbs of legendary alpinist and visionary, Jeff Lowe. We will send our director, Academy Award nominee Greg Lowe (Jeff's brother), Jeff and a small crew back to Switzerland later this winter to film key scenes from Jeff’s harrowing 1991 solo first ascent of Metanoia, on the magnificent north face of the Eiger. While there, we hope to film the long awaited 2nd ascent of the infamous route. Getting Jeff back up in the helicopter to direct the aerial shots is hugely important. His vision of Metanoia is fundamental to the film and besides, it’s the most fun he’s had since a degenerative neurological disease forced him to quit climbing 7 years ago.

Right now we are collecting archival footage. We will begin editing the film this spring. We have a winning story here, so we will complete the film in time to submit it to the Sundance Film Festival before their submission deadlines in late summer 2011.

What is the film about? Nearly 20 years ago Jeff Lowe made an amazing solo first ascent on Switzerland’s Eiger North Face - in winter - without the usual expansion bolts that climbers use for protection on steep, blank rock faces. Jon Krakauer was there on assignment for Men's Journal to photograph and document the climb. Jeff’s survival on the “impossible climb” was nothing short of miraculous. Very strong climbers have tried to repeat the climb… not one has succeeded. Now an extremely talented and accomplished Swiss climber wants to fulfill his own dream of climbing Jeff’s route.

Once again acclaimed author Jon Krakauer teams up with Jeff, this time to narrate this compelling biographical documentary about the life and climbs of one of the world’s greatest alpinists.

In this movie we will travel to some of the most beautiful places on earth and experience firsthand what it is like to be high up in the great ranges. We will learn what sort of spirit drives a man to risk his life repeatedly, as the transcendent moments are revealed that shaped his very soul.

The characteristics that made Jeff Lowe an extraordinary climber and visionary are the same characteristics that engender his graceful response to the mysterious neuro-degenerative process that has robbed him of his climbing life and landed him in a wheelchair.

What is it that makes a person able to embrace their circumstances, no matter how devastating, and continue to find joy in every day life, while others struggle endlessly, still despairing of their losses or simply giving up? Meet Jeff Lowe... At the height of his climbing and designing career in 1991, Jeff’s life was in chaos. While climbing a remote granite spire in Pakistan, he fell in love with a famous French climber. Their romance led to a painful divorce and heartbreaking separation from Jeff’s two-year-old daughter. On top of that, Jeff’s climbing businesses were in financial peril.

Facing this mountain of trouble, Jeff turned to what he knew best: climbing. He chose the most difficult unclimbed route he could find on one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. During the climb, Jeff faced conditions that it seemed no human could survive. He encountered ghosts from past attempts on the “Ogre” and revisited their failed struggles to survive.

High up on the mountain, faced with yet another fierce storm, Jeff climbed into a small limestone cave where he was then trapped for a day and night. He heard a strange, deeply resonant sound. It lasted much of the day, and seemed to come from within the mountain. After hours of questioning the source, he was lulled into a deeply meditative state.

He awoke the next morning fundamentally changed, but he was also out of food, wet and chilled to the bone, and there was still nearly 1,000 feet of difficult climbing to go.

Nine harrowing days after he started, Jeff completed what is now considered the most formidable route on the Eiger. He named his route Metanoia – a transformative change of heart. The haunting song Jeff heard on the mountain has never been explained. Until now...

Discover what lies beneath Jeff’s high adventure lifestyle. See how years of climbing and living in the present moment have not only prepared him to live with disabilities he could never have imagined but also have brought him an unexpected peace . Jon Krakuer will narrate the incredible story behind this climb, a crossing point for Jeff, that unfolds within this biographical documentary.

This movie is a labor of love, a gift to the climbing community, a tribute to disabled people everywhere, a legacy for Jeff’s loving daughter and granddaughter, and a beacon for all those who aspire to live in the present moment…

This is a story that must be told. Please help us to make it happen!

10% of profits will be donated! When this project makes money, after all expenses are paid, we will share our success. 10% of the profits will be divided among The American Alpine Club, The Access Fund and Paradox Sports Thank you for your generous support!

Where can I learn more about your project? Please visit our official website There you can find a full synopsis of the story and more about Jeff’s amazing life and climbing career. You will also find company sponsorship opportunities for involvement and information, climbing photos, production photos and video clips, project team bios, interviews with renowned climbers, fantastic links, our blog and more to come! Stay tuned!

If I make a pledge, when is my card charged? If Jeff Lowe's Metanoia is successfully funded, your card will be charged when we reach our funding deadline on March 3, 2011. If we do not reach our funding goal, your card is never charged. That's why we call them pledges.

Is my pledge amount publicly displayed? No. Only you and the project creator will be able to see your pledge amount.

If I donate, when can I redeem the incentive? All incentives, big and small, will only happen if our goal is met. When we do meet our goal, after we cross our deadline ( ) we will immediately begin processing and completing incentives for everyone involved. You will get a message from us requesting information from you, like your address, etc. At that time, please reply to us as soon as possible so that we can complete your pledge reward. Some rewards, like the screenings, parties, movie credits, and dvds of the movie can only happen after the film is completed so this will take a bit of time. Please bear with us!

What if I don’t want the incentive, I just want to support? No problem, there is a button that you can select if you don’t want the reward.

Can we exceed the goal? YES! That would be FANTASTIC! Exceeding our goal would enable us to make an even better film. There is no limit to the money we can raise as long as it is pledged before the deadline. We have set our goal at the low end, so if we can exceed it, that would truly be a dream come true. We could recreate more of Jeff's actual climb on the Eiger and so much more! We are certain you will love the results! Spread the word!

Can I increase my pledge once it’s been made? YES! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click on it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.

Can I Gift An Incentive? YES! Splendid idea! If you would like to donate to the film but give the reward to someone as a gift, go through all the normal process of making a donation in your own name. For billing purposes, this action must be in your own name. After our deadline, we will send a message to you on Kickstarter. (It will be forwarded to the email address you provided) We will request things like your address from you at that time. Please reply with all the information for the person who is to receive the reward and we will make sure that they are the person who actually receives the reward.

What happens if the money isn’t raised in time? Unfortunately nothing (sounds of tears flowing) If our goal isn’t met before the deadline, no money changes hands and we are back to square one for fundraising. We want to avoid this scenario at all costs!

Who does the money go to? Every penny (minus the fees for Kickstarter’s involvement) will go directly to “Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia” movie budget! Your money goes directly to the funding of this film!

I'm not in the US. Can I still pledge to projects? Yes. You can pledge from anywhere.

How do I contact you? Glad you asked! Please email us: or call us at 208.630.4477. We will quickly get back to you!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00 USD

    Exclusive Updates on the project and our heartfelt gratitude for your support and enthusaism! We want everyone to be able to join us on this great adventure!

    19 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10 USD

    Exclusive Updates about the Project and a Metanoia Postcard signed by Jeff Lowe

    46 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    Above + 18" X 24" Metanoia poster signed by Jeff Lowe

    59 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30 USD

    New Reward as of 1/27/11 by popular demand
    Above + digital download of Jeff Lowe's Metanoia after the DVD release of the film.

    21 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    Above + DVD of Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia after the DVD release

    150 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    Above + choice of Waterfall Ice or Clean Walls DVD (Waterfall Ice Climbing Techniques or Clean Climbing Techniques for Big Walls -Instructional DVDs by Jeff Lowe)

    40 backers
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200 USD

    Above + Waterfall Ice AND Clean Walls DVDs (Waterfall Ice Climbing Techniques or Clean Climbing Techniques for Big Walls -Instructional DVDs by Jeff Lowe)

    3 backers
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300 USD

    Above + framed 1978 Sports Illustrated cover signed by Jeff Lowe + screen credit on the film and website: “We would like to thank the following people for their generous support:”

    32 backers
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500 USD

    Above + signed copy of 1978 Sports Illustrated magazine featuring Jeff Lowe.

    9 backers
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    Above + 20” x 30” framed limited edition print of Jeff Lowe making the first ascent of Metanoia, signed by Jeff Lowe and Jon Krakauer (photographer)

    3 backers
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500 USD

    Above + 4 nights at the stunning Marrakech Riad, Luxury Accommodation in Marrakesh Morocco. A very special place! Check it out! They will treat you like royalty and attend to every need! Travel not included.

    Limited 0 backers
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000 USD

    Above + screen credit: “Associate Producer” + 2 tickets to pre-release screening party with Jeff Lowe and other members of our team

    1 backer
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000 USD

    Above + screen credit: “Producer” + 4 tickets to pre-release screening and party with Jeff Lowe and other members of our team

    0 backers
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000 USD

    Above + screen credit: “Executive Producer” + 8 tickets to pre-release screening and party with Jeff Lowe and other members of our team

    0 backers
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000 USD

    Ownership of a timeshare at Playa Del Sol Grand in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico that includes one week every other year. Transfer of ownership and titie to your name in full. Travel not included. Contact us for details.

    Limited 0 backers
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000 USD

    YOU can be in our movie! Learn a few lines and see yourself on the big screen!

    Limited 0 backers


Funding period

- (75 days)