A New Look at Harvard Mountaineer Bradford Washburn

The life of mountaineer, pioneering aerial photographer, and Museum of Science leader H. Bradford Washburn, newly chronicled by fellow mountaineer David Roberts ’65.

H. Bradford Washburn '33, A.M. '60, L.H.D. '75 (who died in 2007), was widely known for his daring ascents of America's most challenging mountains, for his stunning aerial photography of mountain terrain, and for his leadership of what became the Museum of Science in Boston.  A new biography of Washburn, The Last of His Kind: The Life and Adventures of Bradford Washburn, America's Boldest Mountaineer, by fellow Harvard mountaineer David Roberts ’65, has just been published by Morrow.

Washburn’s photographs have taken on a new importance, beyond their aesthetic appeal, as records of glaciers before their recent accelerated melting as global warming changes the climate.  "A Melting World," a photographic portfolio with images by David Arnold and earlier stills from the same sites taken by Washburn, was published in the May-June 2006 Harvard Magazine; it reveals the change in glaciers starkly. For a lively portrait of Washburn at age 90, see "Staying Active without Climbing Mount Everest," published in mid 2000.


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