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I dropped by the museum last week to see what was there and found myself looking at a model of the mountain showing climbing routes.
Next to it was a video explaining the whole process of getting up the mountain - gear, routes, acclimatizing to the altitude, storms, sanitation, etc. I got pulled into and wondered why I'd never wanted to climb the mountain. But only briefly.
Then displays of gear.
I started thinking about the days hanging out at the Air and Space Museum
in DC with my son looking at the gear astronauts took into space.
And some old photos - here's Bradford Washburn, legendary Denali photographer, doing a movie about scientific research on the mountain in 1951.
The exhibit was interesting, but not as eye-catching as the Tim Remick exhibit of stunning giant photographs of climbers' faces as they get down the mountain that was up last March. There was also an exhibit then of George Browne paintings with a picture of Browne painting on Denali taken by Washburn. Both exhibits are highlighted here.
Here's a photo of Dr. Peter Hackett who set up a high altitude medical research program on the mountain in the 1980s and also treated climbers while he was there.
And two Denali paintings in the permanent collection.
Somehow, Sydney Laurance doesn't excite me all that much. It's nice, but it doesn't tell me anything about the mountain that I don't get more of from looking at it directly. It's more like a souvenir so you can remember the mountain when it's not around.
You can read more about all this in Mike Dunham's ADN piece last May.