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olyclimber

RIP Fred Beckey

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Fred was and will ever be THE cascade climber. He made it a thing. His yearn for adventure in the mountains eclipsed everyone's. He created a whole new lifestyle and inspired a whole generation, and generations to come: The Dirtbag Climber. And he showed the way, up that obvious gully, to so many classic routes now known in the climbing guides as the "Beckey Route" on so many mountains. His colored climbing guides became the bible for climbers in the Cascades. As Megan says on Facebook..."off belay" Fred. If only any of us could live a life 1/2 as well lived, we would be lucky.

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Fred was and will ever be THE cascade climber. He made it a thing. His yearn for adventure in the mountains eclipsed everyone's. He created a whole new lifestyle and inspired a whole generation, and generations to come: The Dirtbag Climber. And he showed the way, up that obvious gully, to so many classic routes now known in the climbing guides as the "Beckey Route" on so many mountains. His colored climbing guides became the bible for climbers in the Cascades. As Megan says on Facebook..."off belay" Fred. If only any of us could live a life 1/2 as well lived, we would be lucky.
:tup:

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Rest in peace Mr. Beckey. May your stories be told on bivy ledges for hundreds of years. May your corniced ridges terrify climbers for generations to come.

 

crossan-2002_1969-12-31_20.jpg

 

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wish i had more fred stories, but only ran into him a few times

 

saw him last winter - it was awesome to see somebody who suddenly made jim opdycke look like a teenager again :)

 

the first time was in talkeetna - this grizzled, stank-ass mofo was getting off a plane as we checked into the air taxi - one look at this old coot and i turned to my buddy n' said "dood, that's fred beckey firfuksakes!" - my boy's like "hell, no, no way" when at that exact second the chick behind the counter, who was clearly unimpressed by us, looked up and bloomed like a flower: "hey fred!" she cried, then handed him a baggie w/ his wallet in it w/ "beckey" burned into it :)

 

okay, with feeling now:

 

"wise sir, do not grieve

it is always better to avenge dear ones

than to indulge in mourning

for every one of us living in this world

means waiting for our end

let he who can achieve glory before death

when a warrior is gone that will be his best

and only bulwark"

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Just after Fred's book known among many as "Beckey's Best" came out I had him and friends over for a "Beer with Beckey." It was a great gathering of old friends as well as young admirers. One old friend of Fred's showed up with one of the original 2x4 blocks they used in the wide cracks the FA of a climb they had done 50 years before. It was great to see the memorabilia (both living and the gear).

 

I think my lasting memory of Fred will be his spirit. He was happy to just get out. Even if he did not go far.

 

The NY Times Obit: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/obituaries/fred-beckey-dead-mountain-climber.html

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I wrote this and posted it here years ago. It seems appropriate today, with the passing of a someone the likes of whom the Cascades will never see again.

 

The Random and Omnipotent Goddess of Northwest Weather is my Shepherd; I shall want.

She maketh me to become soaked to the bone in green slide-alder thickets:

She leadeth me onto the slick-as-snot log crossing the raging waters.

She taxeth every fiber of my soul:

She leadeth me in the way-paths of Beckey and I take His name in vain.

 

Yea, though the approach seems like a walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil devil's club: For thy Goretex art with me;

Thy trekking poles and thy cortisone creme, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a sucker-hole in the tempest storm for me in the presence of mine friends;

Thou annointest my head with rain, ice, and rock fall; My courage runneth away.

 

Surely "obvious gullies" and "easy 4th class terrain" shall beckon me for all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the House of the Cascades forever.

 

Godspeed Fred. Make sure to ask St. Pete about any unclimbed routes.

Edited by CascadeClimber
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hail freddy

full of horse-cock :hcluv:

the devil's club is w/ thee

blest art thou amongst dirtbags

and blest is the fruit of thy 4th class gully

sacred cascades, mother of storms,

prey for us hosers

now and especially in the hour of our ascent

belay on

:)

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Fred was and will ever be THE cascade climber. He made it a thing. His yearn for adventure in the mountains eclipsed everyone's. He created a whole new lifestyle and inspired a whole generation, and generations to come: The Dirtbag Climber. And he showed the way, up that obvious gully, to so many classic routes now known in the climbing guides as the "Beckey Route" on so many mountains. His colored climbing guides became the bible for climbers in the Cascades. As Megan says on Facebook..."off belay" Fred. If only any of us could live a life 1/2 as well lived, we would be lucky.

 

This could not have been said any better.

 

RIP, Mr. Beckey

 

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Dear Fred, thanks for showing us what true passion and persistence are. I feel lucky to have shared a beer, shared a rope, and shared FA tales and dreams with you.

 

Your alpine guides planted the seeds of adventure in our hearts, and we eagerly followed your footsteps into the mountains. That is where I will look for you, not down here in the city.

 

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” - John Muir.

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Dear Fred, thanks for showing us what true passion and persistence are. I feel lucky to have shared a beer, shared a rope, and shared FA tales and dreams with you.

 

Your alpine guides planted the seeds of adventure in our hearts, and we eagerly followed your footsteps into the mountains. That is where I will look for you, not down here in the city.

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Beckey is now contouring upwards, ascending the obvious vertical path, attaining his last summit.

 

Thanks for all the written guidance, while sometimes a bit cryptic, and inspiration to follow in your foot steps.

 

Rest in peace.

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Well, that guy had one good run of it.

 

First time I ran into him was out at Peshatin in '89 or so. I'm leading and look down and he is hitting on my belayer - 25 yrs younger than him. Somehow he later found got her phone number and called her up asking her out a couple times.

 

Then in the early 90's I was skinning up Mt Amebalis with others and was having equipment issues so stopped to doodle with it and my team kept moving upward. It's snowing pretty hard and up comes this lone craggy guy from below, pauses to nod to me from under his hood, and up he continues.

 

The last time we chatted was at Vertical World last year when he came in to imitate a creaky spider.

 

How many times did you look up at some vague "ascending traverse" and think - man, that was bold for 30 yrs ago - and still is?

 

Peace bro' - and thanks for the memories. Just an icon.

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DREW HOW IS THE COW DUNG AROUND CHILLIWACK SMELLING THIS SU MMER? THE PUBLISHER MIGHT GET THE iii GUIDE OUT THIS FALL LOW PRIORITY TO THEM APPARENTLY REALLY PISSES ME OFF

I SEE THIS GUY MC GEE IS CLIMBING A LOT IN ANDDERSON R AREA WHAT IS THE LALTEST ABOUT THE ROAD IS IT GATED? IS CATTERMOLE STILL RUNNING THE GATE? OR THE ROAD? IS THE HIKE TO LES CORNES ONLY 2 HOURS ? MAYBE I CAN COME UP THERE AND ZIGZAG ABUT AND COME UP WITH A WEIRD LINE.

BY WAY WE WENT T TAMIJIO ROAD A COU LE WEEKS AGO GOOD TO 3000 FEET ALTITUDE THEN YOU MEED A DUNE BUGGGY OR A MULE LOOKS LIKE THE SHITS TO THE FIRST SNOW NEAR 6000 FEET WE BAILED AT T HE ROAD

MAYBE HAVWE A GO NEXT WINTER WITH SKIS IF SNOW IS OKAY KEEP ME POSTED CHEERS F B

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"CHECK OUT THE BLONDE, SHE LOOKS LIKE A MOVIE STAR!" FB in a not so subtle whisper at the base of a Skaha crag, while looking at a group of underage girls (less than 30 feet away).

 

I wish I would have saved his voicemails.....He truly was a legend in his own time.

 

Climb on, Fred.

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"THAT WAS AT LEAST A 5.10B SHIT"

Beckey, emerging from Golden Denny's restroom, to entire restaurant

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some original verse for our boy's passage:

 

all hallow's eve n' all though the gorge

no one's got time fir me nor my whores

precious little time, i speed from an iep

n' rocket east with a pressing need to pee

 

jim in the lot, sad words on fred beckey

then down the trail i stumble as i change my perspecty

nastia, dan, then steve n' sweet kim

as i ponder my options n' wonder who could think who was Him?

 

it's the end of an era, but who the fuck could say

who's the next master of adventure, or where she shall stray?

there's gods n' there's guides, n' all men in between,

but the truth is we all flounder at all times just like teens

 

godspeed, good fred, i hardly knew ye i know

but fuck we're all doomed, n' that's how it goes

:)

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MANY MANY MANY THANKS FOR THE DETA1LED MATERIAL FOR GLACIER PEAK IT IS BETTER THAN WHAT I HAVE. CAN YOU THINK IOF ANY OTHER SIGNIFICANT ROAD, TRAIL, SCRAMBLE ETC CHANGES FOR VOL 2 (SKYKOMISH TO SKAGIT R IVERS) / ? perhaps will try phoning you

 

SHOULD I CONTACT BR___ C_____ FOR WME QUESTIONS ?

 

BEST FRED BECKEY

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So when does Fred get the Piolet D'or Lifetime Achievement Award? Seriously.

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Along similar lines as others, I was reminded of this quote from Malcolm Bates on Beckey's Bible from the NWMJ:

 

Yea, though I contour gently on talus slopes and beneath the obvious arete and across the firn into the hanging valley of Despair, I shall fear no exfoliation (although I should be on the lookout for hidden crevasses and friable rock). Thy route and approaches, they comfort me . . .

 

I was lucky enough to share a few trips with Fred over the last decade or so. Even in his late eighties though we amazingly even saw to top of a few routes together. On of my fondest memories though is of high camp on a ridge on Mt. Monarch. We roped up for the glacier and Fred insisted on carrying his own pack (which we discreetly lightened for him). He had to use an ascender to get up the last steep snow bit but he made it on his own. It was clear that he wouldn't be able to make it to the top but he hung out while Bill P. and I summitted the next day. Sitting on that high ridge with a beautiful sunset and only a few climbers around for miles and miles, Fred was clearly in his right place. I'm glad I got to share a few of those moments.

 

You will be missed Fred, your mountains and routes will endure.

 

 

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It would be neat if someone could get hold of Fred's diaries and transcribe them for posterity.

 

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