View Full Version : Washburn Photographs

05-13-2006, 11:14 PM
You can view the Washburn Gallery by clicking here:

Encapsulating Bradford Washburn’s career is a difficult task...rather like putting Mount McKinley into a bell jar. The sweep of a career spanning over 60 years, lived with intensity and commitment, captures the imagination. Washburn is America’s foremost field cartographer; he has climbed, mapped, and photographed the great mountain ranges of the world including Mount Everest, Mount McKinley, and New England’s Presidential Range. He is a special authority on the Alaska Range.

From the beginning, he has shared his insights, discoveries, and information with others as a writer, photographer, and filmmaker. Bradford Washburn and his wife Barbara, the first woman to climb Mount McKinley, have also been the subjects of numerous articles in LIFE, National Geographic, and American Photographer, among others. His maps of McKinley, Everest, and Washington are the definitive maps of their great peaks; his personal advice is still sought out by young climbers before they tackle such challenges as McKinley and Everest.

Bradford Washburn’s love of climbing began at an early age. In 1921, when he was eleven, he and a cousin climbed Mount Washington, New Hampshire. Two years later, taking along his new Best Pocket Kodak camera, he made a winter ascent of Mount Chocorua, New Hampshire with his father and brother. By the time he entered Harvard in 1929, Washburn had climbed Mount Blanc, Monte Rosa, and the Matterhorn in Europe; published the books, Among the Alps with Bradford Washburn, and Bradford on Mount Washington, in a G.P. Putman’s Sons’ series, Boys’ Books for Boys as well as several articles and a guide book to the White Mountains; worked on a 35mm movie in the Alps; lectured publicly on the Alpine climbs; and had begun to use a large format camera to record the mountain landscape. The large format, Fairchild K-6 camera projected images on a 8" x 10" negative which in turn produced incredibly detailed enlarged photographs.

Washburn’s life has maintained the momentum he established in the 1920s. Throughout his long career, he has accomplished many firsts in the fields of mountaineering and photography. Today, we take for granted long plane flights at high altitudes, radio communication between climbers, equipment air-drops, skiplane landings on glaciers, and pristine, high altitude photographs. In the 1930s and 1940s, when Bradford Washburn was first setting records, these techniques were untried and often extremely dangerous.

Dr. Washburn currently serves as a Life Trustee of the Mount Washington Observatory. Recently Brad and his wife Barbara donated their collection of White Mountain Photographs to the Observatory.

12-31-2006, 10:49 PM
People reading this thread might be interested in knowing that the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, in Philadelphia, October 22-25, included a special session that celebrated Washburn's 96th Birthday. He and his wife were to be present, but couldn't make the trip. I attended part of the session. It lasted all morning and began with a presentation on Washburn's life by Mike Sfraga, from the University of Alaska. It included a nice account of Washburn's beginnings on Mount Washington. It was of particular interest to me because I spent much of my childhood and early adult life hiking in the Whites, including Mount Washington, and worked on the Cog from 1979 to 1982. Sometime during that period, I recall bringing Washburn to the summit. We carried his equipment on the back of the tender.

KD Talbot
04-29-2007, 02:37 PM
I got me a 24x40 framed Washburn last night at the MWO fundraiser in Portland. I'd link you to the picture I bid on, but it's not in the gallery. I was surprised to not be outbid on the photo. John Lind took home a huge one, too big for my house! You may recall he built the cabinets in the conference room, or maybe you've seen his name somewhere? The fundraiser was great and featured a live feed from the summit with Charlie Lopresti, Jim Salge, Ryan Knapp and Nin. They raised over $30,000.00. It was great to see Peter Crane, Virginia Moore, Maryann Guerreri, Susan Beane, Mike Davidson and Scott Henley, among others.

Joey Keyz
04-30-2007, 07:28 AM
You can view the Washburn Gallery by clicking here:

These are really nice photos.
The black & white gives them a mysterious look.

Bill O
04-30-2007, 03:27 PM
My favorite is the one that shows the Auto Road.

KD Talbot
04-30-2007, 04:33 PM
The one I took home shows the mountain approaching from the southwest. It shows Mounts Franklin, Little Monroe, Monroe, Washington, Clay, Jefferson, Adams and Madison. My favorite picture of his on the website (that I hope to have someday) is the veiw over Webster Cliff. We like to bivvy at the summit of those cliffs on Mount Webster.

KD Talbot
07-06-2007, 06:12 AM
As todays comments suggest, if you haven't had time to check out the Washburn Gallery yet, make the time. You will be glad you did.



Steve M
07-07-2007, 07:51 AM
My favorites are pics 38 and 39. Lots of snow!!

09-11-2007, 01:06 PM
#54 is my favorite.

So much so, that I bought the 40x30 version. It is the envy of everyone who visits my living room.

09-11-2007, 09:27 PM
#8 shows the old hotel building on the summit. I can remember as a kid looking at the chains bolted in the rock going over the roof to hold it down!

Mike D
09-12-2007, 07:48 PM
#8 shows the old hotel building on the summit. I can remember as a kid looking at the chains bolted in the rock going over the roof to hold it down!

The Stage Office is like that now. Although I wonder what would happen if the wind got so strong that the chains were really needed. Wouldn't the building crumble and blow away despite the chains? I guess we'll never know until we get another 231 gust without a foot of rime to reinforce the structures.

10-24-2007, 08:36 PM
My favorite is the pic that is up right outside of the stateside entrance to the obs room (last volunteer trip it was there, at least) - it shows the Bonds with Washington looming in the background - it's so unbelievable, I found myself wondering if the picture was half-photography/half-painting...truly unbelievable work. I shoot a lot in black and white despite my initial trepidations about people seeing my work as a carbon of Washburn or Ansel Adams...there is still an infinant number of beautiful things to shoot in B&W in this world -- in NH even!:rolleyes:

09-25-2008, 08:59 PM
This is way off topic in regards to photography, but has anyone here read the book "Forever on the Mountain" by James M. Tabor? It recounts the tragedy that befell a group of climbers using the Muldrow Glacier to ascend Denali in 1967. In it, there is a bit mentioned about Bradford Washburn and some dialogues he and a member of the Wilcox expedition, namely Joe Wilcox, had. If you have read this account, you will know what I am talking about and if not, you ....well, you won't really have the foggiest. It is not my intention to throw any negative light on a great man such as Bradford Washburn, but it is interesting to read about certain aspects of that 1967 tragedy and how Washburn and Don Sheldon were connected with it.

09-25-2008, 09:45 PM
Thanks for bringing this thread back from the dead. Those pics are absolutely gorgeous!!!

09-26-2008, 11:48 AM
If you are in the vicinity of Highland Center you should stop in and see their Washburn exhibit.

Thayer Hall, next to the Highland Lodge, currently features a display of mountain photography by Bradford Washburn. An audio tour brings the images to life, offering personal anecdotes and commentary from Washburn himself about the larger than life images of Mont Blanc, Mt. McKinley, the Matterhorn, Tuckerman Ravine and Mt. Washington hanging on the walls.
We've been through this exhibit several times in the last year or so and it is more incredible every time. The photos are all in the order of 4'x5' or larger and the detail is just amazing.

KD Talbot
09-26-2008, 02:16 PM
Or, if you're on the summit before things close up, drop into the Tip-Top House where there is a good collection of them as well.


09-27-2008, 09:35 PM
Alright, if you don't want a tarnished image of both bradford washburn and Don Sheldon, don't read "forever on the mountain" by James M. Tabor. There are always 2 sides to every coin (so to speak), but I find the pre-judgment these two made on the expedition that this book is about just plain unnecessary.

10-11-2009, 06:31 PM
I got a look at the Washburn Gallery site - very impressive, but I'd love something showing off the fall colors. Does anyone know of a New Hampshire photographer that specializes in panoramic mountain photography. I'm trying to find a nice photograph of either Mt. Chocorua or Mt. Liberty. I've tried the web search, but am coming up with very limited photos.



04-11-2010, 11:32 AM
these are beautiful. I am new to this blog. My name is kellie gibson and I am a beach portrait and wedding photographer in wilmington, nc. I have only been doing photography professionally for two and a half years. I would love to order one of those photos. Can you do that?

04-12-2010, 02:44 PM

Welcome to this forum and we look forward to seeing your pictures. I do believe you can order copies of Brad Washburn's photos but I would have to wander around the web site to see how.

I used to work in Raleigh and loved to go to Elijah's on the river there in Wilmington for dinner. Good seafood!

04-12-2010, 02:46 PM
Go the MWO main site - then go to SHOP - WASHBURN GALLERY.

12-02-2010, 12:33 AM
Great photos! You are good. :)

12-02-2010, 09:24 AM
Watching the photos (http://www.washburngallery.org/images.php?WASHBURN=6baf5f2ecc3b4459e04f92e2287c7c ad) makes you feel that you're on the moon, except that the observatory reminds you that you're still on earth. :)

12-06-2010, 06:50 PM
Really Nice Photos, this is my favourite one: The Windswept Western Flank, http://www.washburngallery.org/view.php?p=18&WASHBURN=f8e0b065e01317847a8aa5426317405a, it is truely amazing.

01-15-2011, 08:20 PM
These photos are amazing. One of my old friends invited me to go, so I came here to get more information. I think that I may go now.