Tuesday Map: “One of the last great explorers” dies

Last week, the world lost a giant in Bradford Washburn, who died of heart disease at the age of 96. Washburn wasn’t well-known outside the insular world of mountaineering, but he was an amazing human being. Sections of his Washington Post obituary read like a real-life version of the Chuck Norris facts website: In a ...

604807_everest2_05.jpg
604807_everest2_05.jpg

Last week, the world lost a giant in Bradford Washburn, who died of heart disease at the age of 96. Washburn wasn't well-known outside the insular world of mountaineering, but he was an amazing human being. Sections of his Washington Post obituary read like a real-life version of the Chuck Norris facts website:

Last week, the world lost a giant in Bradford Washburn, who died of heart disease at the age of 96. Washburn wasn’t well-known outside the insular world of mountaineering, but he was an amazing human being. Sections of his Washington Post obituary read like a real-life version of the Chuck Norris facts website:

In a long and adventurous life, Bradford Washburn ascended mountain peaks, drew complex and complete maps, shot stunning aerial photographs and rebuilt a science museum. He tried to persuade aviator Amelia Earhart to take better radios on her final, fatal flight in 1937. He directed a 1999 effort that revised the official elevation of Mount Everest. […]

He was the first person to climb seven North American peaks, and he discovered the West Buttress ascent on Alaska’s Mount McKinley that has become the most popular route. Several of his maps, some drawn decades ago, remain the best available. His breathtaking, large-format aerial photographs are so detailed that at least one climber said he thinks they saved his life.

The above is a scan of Washburn’s Everest map, which he supervised at the ripe old age of 89 (!):

Just seven years ago, he was part of another team of sherpas and scientists who determined, using global positioning system measurements, that Everest’s height is 29,035 feet, seven feet taller than previously thought.

For a more personal look at Washburn, read this piece by David Arnold of the Boston Globe.

More from Foreign Policy

Residents evacuated from Shebekino and other Russian towns near the border with Ukraine are seen in a temporary shelter in Belgorod, Russia, on June 2.
Residents evacuated from Shebekino and other Russian towns near the border with Ukraine are seen in a temporary shelter in Belgorod, Russia, on June 2.

Russians Are Unraveling Before Our Eyes

A wave of fresh humiliations has the Kremlin struggling to control the narrative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva shake hands in Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva shake hands in Beijing.

A BRICS Currency Could Shake the Dollar’s Dominance

De-dollarization’s moment might finally be here.

Keri Russell as Kate Wyler in an episode of The Diplomat
Keri Russell as Kate Wyler in an episode of The Diplomat

Is Netflix’s ‘The Diplomat’ Factual or Farcical?

A former U.S. ambassador, an Iran expert, a Libya expert, and a former U.K. Conservative Party advisor weigh in.

An illustration shows the faces of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin interrupted by wavy lines of a fragmented map of Europe and Asia.
An illustration shows the faces of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin interrupted by wavy lines of a fragmented map of Europe and Asia.

The Battle for Eurasia

China, Russia, and their autocratic friends are leading another epic clash over the world’s largest landmass.