Hailed as one of the most influential outdoorsmen of all time, Fred Beckey is the original “Dirtbag”climber one who abandons societal norms and material comforts in pursuit of a nomadic mountaineering lifestyle. A mythic figure in climbing circles, his name evokes simultaneous mystery, adulation and vitriol.
Through out the 20th Century, Beckey’s accomplishments exceeded anyone in the sport. He shattered records with an unparalleled string of superhuman first ascents, bushwhacking trails and pioneering direct routes thought previously impassable.
A rebel athlete with myopic focus, Beckey burned bridges, eschewed fame and thrived as a loner, staying unencumbered so his only obligation would remain conquering the next summit.
Throughout his exceptional life, Beckey kept meticulous personal journals where he mused on everything from arcane geology, to his many romantic dalliances and wild life on the road, to the myriad sunrises he witnessed from vantages not henceforth seen by anyone on Earth. His dedication to the mountains is unmatched, as Beckey defiantly continued climbing until passing away in October 2017 at age 94.
An environmentalist before there was such a term, Beckey’s legacy includes 13 essential books that act as blueprints for new generations. Beckey entrusted director Dave O’Leske with volumes of his personal journals, rare archival footage, photographs and writings dating from 1933 – 2015. O’Leske is the only person ever to gain unfiltered access to Beckey and have his full cooperation to create a feature film about his life. This 96 minute documentary reveals the untold story of a true American icon.
See ‘DIRTBAG’ at Manchester Climbing Centre Saturday 17th March as part of our Festival of Routes!
Free with entry