Zeb the Duck Visits the Mountaineering Museum

Too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, too rainy in the spring?   Time to explore the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado.

Let’s go inside

This is the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to mountaineering history.   This center opened in February, 2008.    Inside we paid our fee and gazed at the many displays before us.

So much to see here

Maybe start with this climber.

Mountain climbing

Then to this model of Mt. Everest, the portion above 18,000 feet (5,486 meters).

Mt. Everest–the tallest portion

Clean climbing now allows climbers to safely climb without destroying the rock they are ascending.

Clean climbing

A piton hammered into a crack makes a solid anchor, but when a piton is hammered out of the crack, bits of rock are eroded.   In the 1960’s, British climbers began picking up machine nuts by railroad tracks and slotting them into tapering cracks to create rock anchors.   These nuts could be removed from the crack without hammering.   Nuts made specifically for climbing began to catch on in the early 1970’s.   This is called clean climbing.   Did you know that 10% of the Earth’s population inhabits mountain slopes, valleys and plateaus. Many diverse cultures learned to live in isolated and often hostile environments.   Food, work and religion are all partly shaped by mountains.   This is a Prayer Wheel, often found in the Himalayas.

Prayer wheel

Prayer wheels have existed for at least 1,600 years in Tibetan culture.   Prayer wheels are inscribed with the ancient symbols for a mantra, a prayer that is also chanted or whispered.   Some mantras symbolize each of the 84,000 sections of the Buddha’s teachings.     I, Zeb the Duck, like them.   Another exhibit providing glimpses of mountain cultures.

Mountain cultures

This mask is part of a traditional religious garment worn during Mani Rimdu, a festival performed at the Tengboche Buddhist Monastery in Nepal.   It seeks to destroy demons that would harm human life.   How high can humans live?   Remember the higher the elevation, the less oxygen available in the air.   People have lived up to 2 years at 19,500 feet (5,944 meters).   The highest known permanent settlement is a mining town in southern Peru at 16,730 feet (5,100 meters).   The 10th Mountain Division was very important during World War II.

The 10th Mountain Division.  So important in World War II

A peek at life in the 10th Mountain Division

10th Mountain Division

These men were excellent skiers and excellent soldiers.   As the above sign said, many returned to the Colorado mountains and were vital to the today’s ski industry.   Present day climbers are conquering sheer rock walls such as this.

Climbing a very steep rock wall

We ducks know that you humans are very curious, so we will tell you.

You wanted to know this

Now about that sleeping…

Satisfying human curiosity

I, Zeb the Duck, am fascinated by these climbers, but I don’t want to try it.   Remember, the higher the altitude, the colder the temperatures.   There is an average decrease of 3.5 degrees F for ever 1,000 feet.  Or decrease of 6.5 degrees C for every 1,000 meters of elevation that you climb.   I am almost embarrassed to say that I like to be warm and I enjoy my comforts.   How about you?  For more information about the Mountaineering Center, visit http://www.MountaineeringMuseum.org

Summer Afternoon in Aspen

Another reason to love Colorado!  We can go to Aspen for a few hours.  No need to buy an airline ticket, reserve a hotel, or even plan ahead.  Today I, Zeb the Duck, Soapy Smith Duck and mom spent the afternoon enjoying Aspen.

Lift to ski the famous Aspen Mountain

Lift to ski the famous Aspen Mountain

We could stay longer if we want to, but this was just an afternoon as we were exploring our Colorado Mountains.

The shopping in Aspen is wonderful.  This was mom’s first stop.

Nothing beats a great jewelry store

Nothing beats a great jewelry store

A couple blocks down the street is Aspen Mountain.  After all, Aspen is a first class ski destination.  Always be prepared when going to the top of a mountain.  As you approach the gondola, you can learn the barometric pressure, summit wind speed, summit temperature, and the time at Aspen Mountain.

Love the information

Love the information

Information and knowledge is always good.  Near Aspen Mountain we loved this statue of a 10th Mountain Division soldier.

So proud of the 10th Mountain Division

So proud of the 10th Mountain Division

We learned about the 10th Mountain Division in Leadville.  A proud American unit.

Many people ride bicycles in Aspen.  If you didn’t bring yours, rent bicycles here.

Bicycle friendly city

Bicycle friendly city

Maybe you will pedal to the famous hotel, The St Regis.

The St Regis is beautiful inside

The St Regis is beautiful inside

Aspen is very friendly for pedestrian and bicyclists.

Peaceful pedestrian area

Peaceful pedestrian area

Exploring the area required a snack for us.  So, we stopped at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  This is one of our favorite places.

Yum!

Yum!

Remember to drink plenty of water in the mountains.

Aspen has fountains where children can cool down.  Looks like fun!

Can ducks play?

Can ducks play?

This restaurant is opening and ready for diners.

Time to eat?

Time to eat?

Such a nice setting.  You know Aspen is a world class ski resort; enjoy this summer view of some ski runs.

Summer in Aspen

Summer in Aspen

Visit Aspen soon.  It is breathtaking in any season.  You will like Aspen, we do.

Visit http://www.ColoradoTravelingDucks.com/2014/07/18/heritage-museum-and-gallery-in-leadville-colorado/  to learn more about the 10th Mountain Division.

 

Heritage Museum and Gallery in Leadville, Colorado

While in Leadville, Colorado, Soapy Smith Duck and Zeb the Duck visited the Heritage Museum and Gallery.

A great museum

A great museum

We thought this would be a quick trip, but there is so much in this museum.  Remember Leadville was a successful mining town.  Before entering the museum, we saw all this mining equipment.  This is a side dumping ore car.

Side dumping ore cart

Side dumping ore car

This gravity stamp mill helped crush ore.

Difficult to bring this to Leadville

Difficult to bring this to Leadville

Here is a shaker-concentrating table.

Shaking makes sense

Shaking makes sense

Shaft Cages served as elevators to raise and lower men and materials in and out of mine shafts.

So necessary for mining

So necessary for mining

There is so much mining equipment, education and history in the yard of the museum.  You should see this stuff!

When we went inside we learned much about the silver mining in Leadville.  Remember last time you learned that gold was discovered in 1860 and silver was discovered in 1874.  By 1880 Leadville was one of the greatest silver camps in the world, producing $15,000,000 in minerals per year. Two successful mines, the Robert E. Lee and Little Pittsburg had a contest.  Which mine would produce the most silver in a 24-hour period.  Look at the results!

This is fantastic!

This is fantastic!

Another area of the museum was like a house.  This Cycloid Grand Piano (named for rounded sides) was previously owned by Baby Doe Tabor.

The Tabors were very important in Leadville

The Tabors were very important in Leadville

The Rocky Mountains are beautiful, but were also very important defending our way of life.  During World War II Germany had a highly trained elite mountain division.  The United States created the 10th Mountain Division.

Soldiers trained here

Soldiers trained here

These soldiers trained at Camp Hale northwest of Leadville.

Mountain training

Mountain training

This division is credited with help the war end earlier than previously expected.

We are so proud of these soldiers

We are so proud of these soldiers

Leadville is a fascinating city and this museum is wonderful.   For more information about this museum, visit www.leadvilleheritagemuseum.com   We hope you visit soon.