Who is Fred Beckey?

If you have any sense of climbing history, you recognize the name.¬†For those who don’t know, Fred is the most productive ascentionist in North America. With hundreds of first ascents on mountains all over North America, I don’t think anyone even comes close.

He’s also the consummate climbing bum, the paragon of the species, if you will. He started climbing back in the days when it wasn’t just considered weird or insane, it just plain wasn’t considered. He lived in a car, in a tent, crashed on couches across America, did whatever it took to pursue his passion without distractions. He climbed through the eras when climbing came into social observation, first as abherrent behavior, then as fringe element, and finally as fad. He didn’t climb with sponsors supplying his every need, didn’t climb any way or any thing to satisfy the Facebook crowd.

He’s also 90 years old. And still climbing.

You have a chance to meet this guy. He will be chatting with climbers and signing book/s this Sunday at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley. He will be speaking at the Northwoods School in Lake Placid. And he will be speaking at Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington VT on the 21st.

Our paths have crossed a couple times. Fred is personable, gentle, and fascinating. You may not see thrilling videos of narrow escapes and wild climbing moves, but you will be caught up by the passion of our sport exemplified in Fred’s experiences. If you can make one of these events, don’t miss it.

 

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