The Photography of Brad Washburn - Inspiration
"After the Storm, The East Ridge of Doldenhorn" is a photograph that sticks in my head and will forever. Bradford Washburn spotted these climbers on a snowy ridge while he was flying by. He asked the pilot to circle around so he could make a photograph. It's a constant challenge to do that, to stop and get those images you see on your way by but often those are the ones that are the most remarkable.
Anyone who explores mountains has seen and been inspired by the works of Ansel Adams and Bradford Washburn. In turn those greats were inspired by others such as Vittorio Sella and Gaston Rebuffat. Each of them found inspiration in a particular landscape, Adams - Yosemite, Sella - Alaska and Rebuffat The Alps. All amazing and soaring places of remarkable and grand beauty. Sharing a common landscape makes me appreciate Washburn's work all the more and pushes me to look at our local mountains and features with more care.
Washburn, as most people know was also an explorer and cartographer. He completed a detailed map of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains in 1980. If you've ever walked above tree line in New Hampshire with this map you will have a new level of respect for the time and effort that went into creating that level of detail. During the mid 1990's I spent several winter seasons working as a snow ranger for the USFS on Mount Washington. That map was a constant companion and never left my pack lid pocket, I still take it with me whenever I head into the alpine zone.
I think we as New Englanders have a certain pride when someone that cut their teeth in our "little mountains" makes their way into the national and world stage. We feel like, "yeah, our mountains are not the largest but they have punishing weather, plenty of vertical relief and enough adventure to fill a lifetime". If you've never visited New Hampshire take a look at any of Washburn's photographs from the White Mountains, like "A Windswept Summit", "Oakes Gulf and Bigelow Lawn" and "Mt. Washington - The East Face" and you'll quickly realize how good it really is here for photographers, explorers and mountaineers looking to find a landscape to inspire them.