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Brad and Barbara Washburn

"[American explorer Vilhjalmur] Stefansson said you never should have an adventure if your planning is good and you pull off every detail; an adventure is when things go wrong."

Cartographers of land that is seemingly unmappable. This husband-and-wife team has employed a variety of tools (theodolite, photomapping, laser photography, and GPS) plus tireless fieldwork, to map such challenging terrain as Everest, the Grand Canyon, and Mount McKinley. They have won numerous honors over the last 60 years, including the National Geographic Society’s 1988 Centennial Award. Brad is a leading expert on Everest, as well as Alaskan mountains and glaciers; Barbara was the first woman to ascend McKinley. Currently, they are working on a project funded by the National Geographic Society to determine Everest’s precise height and the rate at which the shifting of continental plates is pushing the world’s tallest peak ever higher.

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