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Legendary mountaineer Fred Beckey passes away at age 94
Beckey's iconic legacy lives on through his routes, books and powerful life story
By: Fred Beckey Film
Beckey is known for being the most accomplished, prolific and unrelenting climber in history. He achieved more first ascents than anyone in the sport, spending nearly eight decades with unwavering focus on breaking new ground in the mountains. He never married or settled down to start a family, remaining dedicated to his adventures and plotting new expeditions well into his 90s.
Fred Beckey's uncompromising spirit will live on forever in mountain ranges across the globe. His legacy includes hundreds of groundbreaking routes captured in his 13 essential books that have inspired countless new climbers to follow in his footsteps.
Both a rebel and a scholar, Beckey eschewed fame and the comforts of mainstream society in order to maintain unwavering focus on climbing. He is an unwilling icon at the center of what became the "dirtbag" lifestyle, a term that outdoor enthusiasts now wear as a badge of honor. Tales of Fred Beckey's adventures on the road have been spoken in hushed tones around campfires for generations.
His powerful life story is being told for the first time in a new feature documentary titled "Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey." Director Dave O'Leske spent more than a decade climbing and filming with Beckey in the mountains of China, Canada and North America.
O'Leske released the following statement upon hearing of Beckey's passing:
"Fred was a true American icon. His legacy is profound, and he has inspired countless people to explore this amazing planet. We are honored to have known Fred, and our memories with him will live on forever.
I am grateful to have been able to spend so much time with Fred over the years and develop a real friendship while producing the documentary on his life. The production team and I are so happy that Fred was able to attend the premiere screenings at Mountainfilm in Telluride in May and at the Seattle International Film Festival in June. It was amazing to feel the energy in these theaters and observe Fred receiving long standing ovations. We will all miss him very much."
The filmmakers are currently in the midst of a worldwide screening tour, bringing Beckey's story to new audiences at festivals and community screenings. Upcoming shows include Banff Mountain Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Mountainfilm Graz, Torelló Mountainfilm and Kendal Mountain Festival. The 96-minute documentary recently won the Grand Prize at EHO Mountain Film Festival in Macedonia and received a Special Jury Mention at Tegernsee International Mountain Film Festival in Germany.
A full list of screenings is available on the film's official tour page: http://dirtbagmovie.com/
O'Leske and the producers are working to finalize plans for widespread distribution on all media platforms targeting Spring 2018.
More info at http://dirtbagmovie.com
About the Film
Fred Beckey is a true American pioneer, with an unparalleled list of alpine accomplishments under his belt over the past century. Known for an uncompromising dedication to the mountains with his record string of first ascents and groundbreaking new routes, he carries a polarizing reputation as a hero and a rebel, his name evoking simultaneous worship and vitriol. Despite his controversial nature, Beckey's scholarly writings reveal a greater depth to this man, captured in more than a dozen published books that continue to inspire new generations of climbers and environmentalists.
Colorado-based documentary director Dave O'Leske and co-producer Jeff Wenger partnered with a crew of award-winning Seattle filmmakers--producers Jason Reid, Andy McDonough and Colin Plank, editor Darren Lund, co-producer Adam Brown and executive producer Colin Baxter--whose collective past credits include the hit climbing documentary "K2: Siren of the Himalayas" (2012), the Webby Award-winning "Sonicsgate:
Presented by Patagonia.
Nonprofit support provided by The American Alpine Club and The Mountaineers.