If there's one thing we Coloradans love, it's our mountains. We hike up them, climb up them, ride trains up them. We have guys named after our state capital sing songs about them. Now we even have a museum dedicated to the exploration of them: The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum. The museum, nestled at the foot of the Rockies at the American Mountaineering Center, 710 10th Street in Golden, explores the fascinating history behind American mountaineering, educating visitors about why mountaineers climb, how they do it and how the activity has evolved over generations and across continents. Considering the high-adrenaline nature of its subject matter, the 3,000-square-foot exhibit a joint venture of the Colorado Mountain Club, the American Alpine Club and the National Geographic Society is sure to be a blast for experienced mountaineers and novices alike.
Artifacts include the fabled Schoening ice axe, the instrument used on K2 in 1953 to save five climbers from tumbling to their deaths, and items from the collection of the museum's namesake, the late Bradford Washburn, a pioneer in aerial photography and mountaineering. There's also a massive scale model of Mount Everest, plus a prefabricated rock crevasse on which visitors can test their skills. The price of admission is $4.50 for children and $6.50 for adults. For details, go to www.bwamm.org or call 303-996-2755.