Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum - Golden, CO - the history of mountain exploration brought to life


Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum opened in Golden, Colorado in February of 2008. It is the first United States museum that is dedicated to the aspects of mountaineering. Visitors experience the rock and mountain climbing worlds and lean about the achievements of mountaineers from all over the world. The museum is housed by the American Mountaineering Center.

There are a number of facilities available at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum for the enjoyment of visitors. One of the largest libraries in the world that is dedicated to the education and research of mountaineering, Henry S. Hall Jr. American Alpine Club Library and Colorado Mountain Club Collection is housed here. There is also a Conference Center at the facility that can accommodate up to two hundred guests. There is a sound system, projection screen, flexible lighting and a kitchen for catering events.

The mountaineering museum also possesses the capability to hold up to three hundred and fifty people in the Foss Auditorium. The auditorium has a small stage for lectures, an audio visual booth with integrated sound system. Power Point presentations and films can be viewed utilizing the projectors and large screen. There are other facilities for meetings and classrooms available as well; additional information about the available options can be obtained by contacting the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum directly.

There are a historic artifacts covering mountaineering at the museum including the ice axe that belonged to Peter Schoening which is one of the most famous equipment pieces in the history of climbing. There are a number of artifacts and books that were donated by Albert R. Ellingwood a famous mountaineer. There is also an oxygen cylinder from a British Everest expedition that took place during 1922, a model of Mt. Everest and a number of artifacts from the 2nd World War related to mountaineering. There are also cultural pieces that include a Dorje Thorlo mask which was made by hand and is part of the celebratory costume worn during Mani Rimdu.

There hours of operation for the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum varies with Monday's being by appointment. Tuesday through Friday the facility is open from ten in the morning until five in the evening. On Saturday the hours of operation are from 10am until 6pm and from 11am until 4pm on Sunday. Groups of eight or more can take tours of the facility. Those with over twenty people in the group will be divided up because of limitations on space at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum. The facility asked for a week's notice if you would like a guided tour.

Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum also confirms to ADA guidelines making the facilities accessible to those with disabilities. Wheelchairs can access the museum's lower level and there are elevators to get visitors to the upper levels. The facility provides assistance with parking and directions simply call in advance to ask for this service. Anyone with an interest in mountain climbing or any other aspect of mountaineering should make it a point to visit the museum.

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