One of the original dirtbag climbers passed away on Monday at the age of 94. Fred Beckey was responsible for more North American first ascents than any other climber. According to The New York Times, Beckey passed away on Monday due to congestive heart failure.
Beckey lived a life completely dedicated to climbing, often living out of his car while constantly traveling to different peaks around the United States and Canada.
As The New York Times stated, “Mr. Beckey made as many as a thousand ascents that no one was known to have taken before. He wrote a dozen books on mountaineering, many of them considered definitive guides to the terrain of the continent's best-known and least accessible peaks.”
One of the most important climbers ever, Beckey was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1923. His family then immigrated to the United States when he was two and settled in Seattle where Beckey would grow up.
He began climbing at the age of 13 and when he was 15, Beckey and two friends reached the top of Mount Despair — a rugged 7,292-foot peak in the North Cascades that many had considered unclimbable.
A legend rests. Beckey 🙏🏻 R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/MwTt0zJsnT
— Sasha DiGiulian (@sashadigiulian) October 31, 2017
Beckey continued to climb regularly even into his 80s. A climbing career that spanned seven decades, he is surely a legend who led the way for so many others who have followed.
He is survived by his brother Helmut who still lives in Germany. Rest in peace Fred Beckey.
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