ShAFF2018: Dirtbag - Legend of Fred Beckey 12A
From the archive
This film was last shown on 11 March 2018
Hailed as one of the most influential climbers of all time, Fred Beckey is the original 'American Dirtbag' one who abandons societal norms and material comforts in pursuit of a nomadic mountaineering lifestyle. This rebel athlete's lifetime of accomplishments set the bar for the entire sport. He shattered records with an unparalleled string of superhuman first ascents, bushwhacking trails and pioneering direct routes thought previously impassable. Beckey burned bridges, eschewed fame and thrived as a loner so that his only obligation would remain conquering the next summit. He kept meticulous personal journals where he mused on everything from arcane geology to his romantic life, to the myriad sunrises he witnessed from vantages not seen by anyone else on Earth. An environmentalist before there was such a term, Beckey's legacy includes 13 essential books that act as blueprints for new generations. He defiantly continued to climb until passing away on October 30, 2017 at the age of 94.
Throughout the 20th Century, Beckey's accomplishments exceeded anyone in the sport. A rebel athlete with myopic focus, he shattered records with an unparalleled string of superhuman first ascents, bushwhacking trails and pioneering direct routes thought previously impassable.
An environmentalist before there was such a term, Beckey's legacy includes 13 essential books that act as blueprints for new generations. Beckey has 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.
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