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Fred Beckey

Fred Beckey (born 1923) is a legendary American mountain climber, who has made hundreds of first ascents[?], more than any other North American climber ever.

He was born in Dusseldorf, Germany, and his family emigrated to the United States when he was three, ending up in Seattle, Washington. He started climbing in the Cascades as a teenager, learning the basic concepts from the The Mountaineers[?] but quickly going on to harder climbs.

He attended the University of Washington and received a degree in business administration, but worked as a delivery truck driver, which left him more time for climbing. In between climbs, he wrote several books, most importantly the Cascade Alpine Guide[?], the 3-volume definitive description of the mountains north of Oregon.

Some of his first ascents:

Other notable feats:

Unlike Jim Whittaker, a fellow Seattleite and the first American to reach the top of Mount Everest, Beckey has always shied away from the large team efforts, preferring smaller alpine-style undertakings.

As of 2003, he continues to climb all over the world.


  • Climber's Guide to the Cascade and Olympic Mountains of Washington (American Alpine Club, 1961)
  • Challenge of the North Cascades (1969, 2nd ed. 1996 ISBN 0-89886-479-8)
  • Cascade Alpine Guide[?] (3 vols.) (Mountaineers Press, 1973-1981)
  • Darrington and Index Rock Climbing Guide (Mountaineers Press, 1976)
  • Mountains of North America (Sierra Club, 1982)
  • Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America (Mountaineers Press, 1993, paper 1999 ISBN 0-89886-646-4)
  • Range of Glaciers: The Exploration and Survey of the Northern Cascade Range (Oregon Historical Society, 2003 ISBN 0-87595-243-7)

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