The remains of Lowe and Bridge’s were found recently, 16 years after the accident, in April 2016. For Anker and the Lowe family, the news evoked mixed emotions. “It brings up the memories of what we went through in 1999,” Anker told NPR in an interview shortly afterwards. “And the other end of it is there's a sense of closure now. It will be a healing thing for our family.”
The shrine contains a dozen items, from prayer flags to a signed climbing helmet, a pair of climbing tools, and a 90s-vintage satellite phone. It’s a constant reminder of the risks Anker faces in his chosen profession, if Jenni and the boys aren’t already reminders enough. At one point Jenni, dark-haired and fair-skinned, comes downstairs to check on a travel detail with Anker. After the Nepal expedition, they’ll be meeting in Paris for the Climate Summit. She seems on edge.
“This is the hardest part for her,” says Anker, once she has gone. “The time before the expeditions.” Still, this is how he provides for his family, and he treats climbing the same way a doctor treats his practice. “I need to be as professional and organized as possible in order to get the best returns,” he says. “I can’t climb at this level forever.” Not that his work isn’t compelling. He’s in the inspiration business, after all. “I love climbing. It’s what I’m best at, and taking the risk out of life would be tremendously boring,” he says.