The Legend of Fred Beckey

The Legend of Fred Beckey

An iconic adventurer, obsessive climber, writer and dirtbag.

Dirtbag: “A person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to pursue said lifestyle.”

Fred Beckey (1923-2017)
Name: Friedrich Wolfgang Beckey
Born in: Düsseldorf, Germany (1923)
Location: Seattle (but mostly the mountains, of course)
Occupation: Mountaineer, Author

Although not famous in the media, he is highly respected in his field and Beckey has inspired many to explore the mountains. As he was only focused on conquering the next summit, Beckey avoided not only a family life but also fame and sponsors. Besides climbing, he occupied himself with writing climbers guides based on his personal journals.


As one of America’s most advanced climbers, Beckey was mostly found in the Cascade Range, Canada and Alaska. He’s the man who has, unofficially, the most first ascents (unconquered peaks) on his name. He took his first hike together with his brother, Helmy, in the 1930s. The two brothers finished one of the most dangerous hiking trails in North America, Mount Waddington, in 1942. The brave Fred Beckey didn't stop climbing until the age 94.


A film has been created to present his mind blowing life called “Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey”. It tells an exclusive story capturing his life as a lone wolf and showcasing his personal journals and pictures.

O’Leske started this movie in 2015 with help of Jason Reid, Andy McDonough, Colin Plank, Adam Brown, Darren Lund and Colin Baxter. The film was funded via a Kickstarter campaign and a sponsorship by Patagonia. 

Fred was able to see his own film in the theatre at age 94 which ended up winning 13 awards such as Grand Prizes and Audience Awards. The film is making a tour screening in chosen cities and will later be released in 2018 by Film Sales Company.
Watch the trailer here:

Visit their website for more information: