Fred Beckey’s Legacy Lives On

Washington climber Fred Beckey was a legend among Northwest Mountaineers as a climber, historian, and environmentalist. He passed away on October 30, 2017 at 94 years old.

Beckey’s climbing career started at a young age, long before he became a member of Seattle’s Mountaineers Club in 1939 at age 16. Beckey climbed nearly to his dying day. Over the years, he explored thousands of remarkable first ascents on mountains across the globe. During the course of seven decades, Beckey amassed more first ascents than anyone else and authored books that are considered classics of mountaineering literature.

While other guidebook authors merely recited maps and notes, Beckey created three of the most iconic guides in Washington. He wrote the “Cascade Alpine Guide” series (V1, V2 and V3). Beckey is also the author of “Mountains of North America,” “The Range of Glaciers,” “Mount McKinley: Icey Crown of North America,” and a personal narrative, “Challenge of the North Cascades.”

Beckey’s life was also recently chronicled in the film “DIRTBAG: The Legend of Fred Beckey.” He never married or had children, he never pursued a professional career, and he never pursued financial security as a goal—his only goal was to climb mountains. Although he will be greatly missed, his books and climbing contributions will continue forever. //

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