Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Barbara Washburn

Barbara Washburn Barbara made history, along with her husband,Bradford,when she became the first woman to climb Denali (Mt. McKinley) in 1947. Barbara describes her colorful life as a hiker, climber, and wife to adventurer and scientist Bradford. Barbara gives a modest account of her exceptional accomplishments, including a wonderful description of her trip up the mountain and the camaraderie of the climbers. She offers a remarkable window into life, not only as a woman adventurer, but as a social pioneer living a life for which there were few, if any, models. She describes how Amelia Earhart inspired her, as did the tenacity and adventurous spirit of her husband Bradford. Barbara's warmth and humor show through in this interview, and it is easy to understand why she has become an inspiration to women adventurers who follow in her pioneering footsteps. Barbara Washburn died on September 25, 3014 at age 99. To learn more about Barbara Washburn, see her obituary in the Boston Globe newspaper.
Barbara Washburn appears in the following new Jukebox projects: