Research and Resources:
For information regarding the collection of the Museum, or for research inquiries, please
Among the resources within the American Mountaineering Center is the Henry S. Hall, Jr.
American Alpine Club Library and Colorado Mountain Club Collection. Please visit their website for more
information about their collection—one of the world’s largest libraries dedicated to
mountaineering research and education.
The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum is home to some of the most historic artifacts in all of mountaineering. Our collection also includes artifacts from mountain cultures, the 10th Mountain Division, and early Colorado mountaineers. Here are a few examples:
Peter Schoening's ice axe:
Peter Schoening's ice axe is one of the most
famous pieces of equipment in climbing history.
1953, an American expedition attempted to summit
K2, the world's second-highest peak. When one of
the climbers became gravely ill at over 25,000 feet
(7,620 meters), the team desperately descended
during a storm in an attempt to save his life.
one climber slipped on an ice slope and tangled his
rope with the others. Soon, five men were plunging
off the mountain. Quick-thinking Schoening jammed
his ice axe against a boulder and held tight. All five
of the falling climbers were saved.
3A Autographic Folding Pocket Kodak
Circa 1914, owned by Albert R. Ellingwood.
Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, New York
Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1888, Albert R.
Ellingwood became one of the pioneering
mountaineers of the early 20th century.
At the time of his death in 1934, Ellingwood was
one of three men who had climbed all of the
officially named 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado.
In addition, he completed numerous first ascents
in Colorado and Wyoming, including the Middle
Teton and South Teton.
Ellingwood donated his fine selection of
mountaineering books to the Colorado Mountain
. His legacy has been honored
with the club's annual Albert Ellingwood Award,
which recognizes mountaineering excellence.
Oxygen Cylinder, 1922 British Everest Expedition:
Oxygen Cylinder, 1922 British Everest Expedition
(On loan from Eric Simonson / AFFIMER)
This oxygen cylinder was recovered from the vicinity of Mt. Everest Advance Base Camp (c. 21,000 feet) on the East Rongbuk Glacier, March 30, 2001 during the 2001 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition.
The cylinder dates from the 1922 expedition to Mt. Everest—of which George Leigh Mallory was the leader. This British expedition was the first to use oxygen as a systematic aid in the ascent of a mountain.
Tenth Mountain Division:
Tenth Mountain Division display
During World War II, the best of the best--skiers,
mountaineers, sportsmen, dogsled handlers, and
trappers--were recruited to join the U.S. Army's
10th Mountain Division. Created in 1943, this was
an elite unit trained to fight in extreme cold and
mountain conditions. More than 10,000 men were
stationed at Camp Hale, between Vail and
Leadville, Colorado, to learn the skills for mountain
survival and combat.
The Division achieved fame toward the end of
World War II for its daring nighttime attacks
against German forces in Italy's Apennine
Mountains. Still, the division's most lasting fame
may have come after the war, when veterans
returned home and used their new skills and
equipment to revolutionize American
mountaineering and launch the modern ski industry.
Mt. Everest model
Mt. Everest model
Built in 1990, the model is based on an
ultra-large-scale map of Mount Everest made for
Boston's Museum of Science, under the direction
of Bradford Washburn, by Swissair Photo+Surveys
Ltd. of Zurich, Switzerland.
Handmade Dorje Thorlo mask
A handmade Dorje Thorlo mask is part of a traditional
religious garment. Representing a wrathful deity,
the mask is worn during one of the dances of Mani
Rimdu, a festival performed at the Tengboche
Buddhist Monastery in Nepal.