The Family of Mountaineering Excellence

A call came through to the Museum yesterday from a woman whom I’ll call Lana (to protect her privacy) asking if so-and-so would be presenting at the April 10th Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Gala and accepting the award for one of the inductees already in Valhalla. As it turns out, yes.

As it really turns out, Lana had been on an expedition to Mt. Robson in August of 1951 with five fellows and our presenter was one of them. She was invited to proceed to the top of the glacier then was politely asked to descend while the boys continued on to the summit. Interestingly enough, Mother Nature had her usual way and the summit team was stuck mountainside through several days of winter storms, so no one topped out that trip.

Lana went on to marry one of her expedition mates. Almost 50 years later and her husband now deceased she called to see if she might reconnect with so-and-so since they are the only two surviving members of that August, 1951 expedition.

Come on. How cool is that?!

It is such a privilege to be at the hub of stories, reunions, and history. The mountains are our common ground and they draw us together. And even though the Gala on April 10th is devoted to the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence, we’re really celebrating a unique and wonderful family bonded by the excellence we find in our mountain experiences. Maybe we can call it Six Peaks of Separation since we’re all so obviously connected.

It’ll be interesting to see what transpires with Lana and if she has the chance to reunite with her mountaineering partner. In the meantime, we’ll keep on keepin’ on with the Gala (ticket sales will be cut off on Monday) and with the family that gets closer, bigger and more interesting with each passing day. All because of the Little Museum that Could.

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