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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2008

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Goldenwelcomesclimbingmuseum
Grandopening weekend Feb. 16 and17
Story and photos by Brendan Leonard YourHub.com staff

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Golden is home to several notable climbers. Here are just some of them, along with their accomplishments:
Tod Anderson Pioneering climber at Castlewood Canyon, Clear Creek Canyon and Devil’s Head, author of The Devil Made Me Do It: Climber’s Guide to Devil’s Head Colorado Tom Carr Solo climbed the west face of Peru’s Chacraraju; did the first ski descent of the Cross Couloir on Colorado’s Mount of the Holy Cross, did a 30-pitch circumnavigation of the Grand Teton in a day Megan Emmons The youngest person to climb all 54 of Colorado’s 14ers by the age of 7; now a student at Colorado School of Mines in Golden Merrick Johnston At age 12, became the youngest female to ever climb Mount McKinley in 1995; now a student at Colorado School of Mines Craig Luebben Guide, photographer and author of several instructional climbing books; senior contributing editor at Climbing Magazine Charley Mace Summited four 8,000-meter peaks — Mount Everest, K2, Manaslu and Gasherbrum II John Mitchler Co-author of Hiking Colorado’s Summits; climbed the high points of all 50 states and of all 64 Colorado counties Jake Norton Summited Mount Everest twice, Mount Rainier 86 times, Mount McKinley, Kilimanjaro; helped find remains of British mountaineer George Mallory on Everest in 1999 Ken Trout Pioneering climber in the Colorado’s South Platte, author of South Platte Rock guidebook Erik Weihenmayer Became the only blind man ever to summit Mount Everest in 2001, became the only blind person ever to complete the Seven Summits (highest mountain on each continent) in 2002 SOURCE: MOUNTAINPROJECT.COM USERS

Mount Everest, the world’s tallestmountain at 29,035 feet, is so large that it creates its own microclimate, complete with hurricane-force winds for much of the year and temperatures as cold as minus-60 F. Of course, if you’d rather just see a model of it, you can head to the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, where it’s about 70 degrees and calm. The brand-new3,800-squarefoot museum, in the American Mountaineering Center at 710 10th St. in Golden, will hold its grand opening Feb. 16 and 17, featuring speakers, films and open climbing on the AMC’s indoor climbing wall. Golden is already home to the American Alpine Club’s offices and its library, the largest mountaineering library in the western hemisphere, and it’s fitting that it’s now home to the museum of American mountaineering, said AAC Executive Director Phil Powers. Powers said the museum will be another attractionto Golden, a town that now claims 10 museums, according to the Chamber of Commerce. “I think this will be a substantial destinationin itself,” Powers said. Gary Wink, executive director of the Golden Chamber of Commerce, already has had a sneak previewof the museum.

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What: Grand opening of the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 16; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 17 Where: American Mountaineering Center, 710 10th St., Golden Admission: $6.50 for adults, $4.50 for children 12 and younger, $5 for youth 12-18, students with ID and seniors Info: www.bwamm.org; www.americanalpineclub.org

“It’s absolutely fantastic,” Wink said. “It’s a small space, but they crammed a lot of wonderful stuff into that small space.” The large-scale model of Mount Everest is based on a map of the mountain made for Boston’sMuseum of Science,under the direction of the museum’s namesake, Bradford Washburn. Washburn was a groundbreaking mountaineer, photographer and cartographer originally from Massachusetts. His maps and early photographs helped pioneering ascents of peaks such as Mount Everest and Alaska’s Mount McKinley. Another of the museum’s famous artifacts, on loan from the Washington State HistoricalSociety, is an ice ax that saved five lives on K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, in 1953. As the American expeditionwas retreating, one member of the party fell, pulling off his rope partner as well as three other men. Pete Schoening, acting quickly, jammed his ice ax behind a boulder and was able to stop the men from tumbling to certain death. The ax is on display with a diagram of the accident, as well as a photo of all the children and grandchildren of the five men saved by Schoen-

Above: Members of the American Alpine Club and the Colorado Mountain Club check out the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden during a special preview night for the clubs Feb. 7. Left: An exhibit of climbing ropes through the ages.

ing’s heroic act. The museum has interactive exhibits such as the video game “Dress The Climber,” a life-size model of a glacial crevasse, exhibits on mountain culture and

even a case containing a figure dressed in the gear worn by soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, who trained at Colorado’s Camp Hale during World War II A few 10th Mountain Division

soldiers later founded Vail and Aspen’s ski resorts. Historical exhibits show the evolution of mountain climbing equipment over the years, beginning with wooden-shafted ice axes, hobnailed bootsand hemp ropes. Lecturers at the grand opening include pioneering climbers Lynn Hill and Kelly Cordes, as well as two-time Everest summiter Jake Norton and others. For more information, call 303-996-2755.