Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum
710 10th Street
Golden, CO 80401
The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden has some amazing history inside. The museum is a good deal, too. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $1 for children under 12.
As CBS4 Critic at Large Greg Moody reported in June 2011, it’s a great place for anyone who enjoys mountaineering, hiking or the great outdoors.
Watch his report in the video clip below:
The museum is a partnership between the National Geographic Society, the Colorado Mountain Club and the American Alpine Club. It’s named after a man who was the director of the Boston Museum of Science for 30 years.
Greg Moody was impressed by many things during his 2011 visit, including:
A finely detailed replica of Mount Everest — the “Holy Grail.” Push pins represent the various routes that people have taken to the top of Everest throughout the years. More than 200 people have died on the mountain since the first ascent in 1953.
Pete Schoening’s ice axe from the 1953 K2 expedition. One man fell on the descent. Five were saved when Schoening jammed the axe into a boulder.
An oxygen tank from George Lee Mallory’s 1922 expedition.
An exhibit honoring the 10th Mountain Division, the unit of the armed forces that trained for combat in Colorado’s mountains. The members of the 10th Mountain Division spent years training for high-altitude warfare in World War II at Camp Hale on Tennessee Pass.
“For three weeks we went without fire and with no hot food and saw how you could survive out in this country in the winter,” veteran Hugh Evans told CBS4 when he was reunited with other veterans in a ski trek up nearby Homestake Peak in the 00s. Evans was 82 at the time of the ascent of the 13er and his experience was captured in an episode of Colorado Getaways. “There’s no question that the experiences we had here at Camp Hale, and in Italy have affected my life in many different ways.”
Director Nina Johnson told CBS4 when the museum in opened in 2008 that the idea is for the museum to have a wide appeal despite its narrow focus.
“We expect who are passionate about the sport of bouldering or rock climbing to come and have fun with us,” she said.
“But we layered the museum so people can people can be interested in the aesthetics, the beauty of the mountains, the science and the safety of the mountains.”
“We’re hoping people will come to us first and learn a little bit about safety before they go up into the mountains.”
The museum also includes a climbing wall.
“It’s very interactive and we have things for people of all ages,” said Johnson. “Children can have a great time with computer interactives. We have things like ‘dress the climber’ where you can find out what historic underwear looked like for women of 1895.”
Johnson says the museum was created with a goal in mind.
“This museum was planned to be something unexpected. We wanted people to walk into the museum and see something that’s modern, interactive, fun and engaging. We wanted to be a space that really wowed you.”
The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum is open 6 days a week.