Carole Ellen Lowe

Carole Ellen Lowe loved being outdoors and in the mountains.

Carole Ellen Lowe died March 21. She was 74. The following was provided by her family and friends.

Carole left us speechless at the grace of her quick and unexpected exit. She expired of natural causes with a single sigh on the first day of spring, under the bluest of skies. In her last hours she enjoyed a fresh 10-inch blanket of new snow that carpeted the forest that morning, brilliant sun, the wind in her hair and friends in tow as they journeyed back from a favorite cross-country ski tour up Darby Canyon on March 21.

Carole was born Dec 3, 1947, to Calvin and Adele Chandler in Ogden, Utah. She was the oldest of five children and graduated from Weber State College with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1972. She had a brief marriage to Mike Lowe and sewed the first backpacks for Lowe Alpine Systems, founded by Mike and his brother, Alex Lowe.

Carole spent many summers guiding for Colorado Outward Bound, where she honed her guiding and outdoor skills. Leading an adventurous life, she moved to Teton Valley with friends in 1978. Living rurally meant doing whatever she could to carve a place for herself in this beautiful, high mountain valley. She was an industrial seamstress, a teacher at Alta Elementary School, and taught cross-country and telemark skiing for Teton Mountain Touring (predecessor of Yostmark Mountain Equipment) and Grand Targhee Resort. Additionally, she spent numerous summers as a wilderness ranger in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness and later shared her deep knowledge of the area, local history and wildflowers as an instructor and guide for local Elder Hostel programs.

Carole was a patient teacher with a good sense of humor. She loved being outdoors and in the mountains. Her engaging smile, easy competence, beautiful ski turns and bright laugh inspired many. She co-founded and was instrumental in the success of Rendezvous Ski Tours, a backcountry hut system and guide service (predecessor of Teton Mountain Guides).

Carole’s mountain life was complemented by her enthusiasm and love for the southern Utah desert, which she thoroughly explored over the years, and world travel. She was a voracious reader. Additionally, she loved making music with friends and expanding her expertise to new instruments. She had a wonderful voice, rhythm and enthusiasm that was often a welcome accompaniment to local musicians during Teton Valley’s long winter nights.

Carole was a kind and gentle spirit, a lover of birds and all things wild and a terrific adventure companion. She is survived by her longtime partner, Mark Whittlesey; her extended family — stepdaughter Claire Vitucci, granddaughter Elsa Neraas, Willa Fouts, Pat Pansze, and Glenn and Lisa Vitucci; her beloved siblings Barbara and Doug Christensen, Katie and Ralph Jaggi, Mark and Jill Chandler, and Mary and Danny Christensen; many cousins, nieces and nephews; and a multitude of dear friends.

There will be a celebration of Carole’s life at the Linn Canyon Ranch at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7. For photos and additional information at

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