Published on February 12th, 2018 | by adventuremag

RIP Fred Beckey 1923-2017

Hailed as one of the most influential climbers of all time, Fred Beckey is the original American “Dirtbag”–one who abandons societal norms and material comforts in pursuit of a nomadic mountaineering lifestyle.

This rebel athlete’s lifetime of accomplishments set the bar for the entire sport. He shattered records with an unparalleled string of superhuman first ascents, bushwhacking trails and pioneering direct routes thought previously impassable.

Beckey burned bridges, eschewed fame and thrived as a loner so that his only obligation would remain conquering the next summit. He kept meticulous personal journals where he mused on everything from arcane geology to his romantic life, to the myriad sunrises he witnessed from vantages not seen by anyone else on Earth. An environmentalist before there was such a term, Beckey’s legacy includes 13 essential books that act as blueprints for new generations. He is still defiantly climbing today at age 94.




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