Iconic Mountaineer, Fred Beckey Dead At 94

Iconic Mountaineer, Fred Beckey Dead At 94


Iconic Mountaineer, Fred Beckey Dead At 94


Beckey in Alaska in 2005 | Photo: Ray Borbon | Cover: Pat Ament

Fred Beckey — January 14, 1923 – October 30, 2017

Whether it was the northern Cascades or Alaska, if Fred Beckey was on your team– you knew you had a good shot at the summit. A man who prioritized upward mobility above all else, the 94 year-old climbing icon passed away on Monday in the residence of his partner, Megan Bond reports Outside.

Not only did the climbing legend put up a ridiculous total of first ascents but his influence on the outdoors community will be felt for decades to come. His focus on summiting mountains with a humble heart and relentless spirit continues to serve as a hallmark virtue amongst the Beckey school of mountaineers.

Known widely as the sport’s first ‘dirtbag,’ Beckey was born in Germany before his family moved to the Seattle area. With some basic rope work instruction from the Boy Scouts, Beckey forsook the mainstream and instead began climbing the Cascades in earnest. Some 70 years later, he would ultimately put up 21 notable first ascents with the last coming in 1996 on a trip to Alaska’s Cathedral Mountains.

*Our deepest condolences go out to Beckey’s friends and family.

Notable Becky First Ascents:

  • East Ridge Devil’s Thumb | Alaska [1946]
  • North Ridge of Mount Baker | Northern Cascades, WA [1948]
  • Northwest Buttress to North Peak, Mount McKinley | Alaska [1954]
  • Beckey-Chouinard Route, South Howser Tower | Bugaboos, Canada [1961]
  • Northeast Face, Mount Hooker | Canadian Rockies [1968]

Find the entire Outside post here: Climbing Legend Fred Beckey Dies

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