Down from the Roof of the World
January 12, 2007 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Mountaineer, Scientist, Photographer Brad Washburn dies at 96. Across the world of mountaineering, but especially in New England, people are mourning a legend. He discovered the West Buttress Route -- the most popular route -- on Denali. He was director of Boston's Museum of Science for forty years. He took some of the most iconic photos of mountains and mountaineers. He won the National Geographic Society's Centennial Award and the King Albert Medal of Merit. His name may not be familiar, but chances are that you've seen his work.
posted by dseaton (11 comments total)
He was also a cartographer, helping to create some of the most detailed maps of Everest and Denali.

I saw him give a slideshow a couple of years ago. He was pushing 90 and he was funny, interesting, and had lead such an amazing life. His wife Barbara was there and they seemed like the perfect couple.
posted by bondcliff at 10:25 AM on January 12, 2007

posted by Busithoth at 10:26 AM on January 12, 2007

I read the obituary on yesterday and kept waiting for it to reach the past where he faded into quiet and obscurity, but here was a man who did truly amazing things his whole life long.

As Maine kid who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, the Museum of Science was a veritable Temple of Knowledge and Delight, a rare and wonderful place you only got to visit once every long while and treasured every moment of while you were there.

When our daughter was born in 2001, one of the first things we did as new parents was to buy a family membership at MOS, and she gets to visit A LOT.

Now I know who to thanks for all of this.
posted by briank at 10:35 AM on January 12, 2007

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:36 AM on January 12, 2007

I had a chance to see him speak and talk to him while I was in highschool, when he was doing a presentation at the MFA. He was an amazing person and his photos were breathtaking, and his stories inspiritational, as he had a matter of fact approach to what you would think would be daunting challenges.

posted by mrzarquon at 11:01 AM on January 12, 2007

This is some of the first I've read about this man, but he seems phenomenal. Thanks for the links.

posted by dead_ at 12:17 PM on January 12, 2007

My wife used to work at the Museum of Science and had the pleasure of meeting him a few times. A real gentleman by all accounts.

posted by Joe Invisible at 1:19 PM on January 12, 2007

posted by Merlyn at 2:47 PM on January 12, 2007

I saw him give a slideshow a couple of years ago. He was pushing 90 and he was funny, interesting

Ditto. An engaging character!

posted by ericb at 3:10 PM on January 12, 2007

He did more for Alaska climbing than anyone ever will. What an amazing photographer and incredible person.

posted by alpinist at 10:18 PM on January 12, 2007

I doubt that anybody will look at this thread at this point, but I nonetheless want to point out this fantastic remembrance of Brad Washburn in the Boston Globe this weekend. It's also got some great photos of and by him too.
posted by dseaton at 9:16 AM on January 16, 2007

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