To those of you who aren’t familiar with Fred Beckey, he’s still climbing at 85 years old–this time to Burkett’s Needle with two young ‘bucks’ Dave and Micah who are attempting a new route. I climbed with Fred from 1967 to 1970 doing many first ascents in Washington State, Wyoming and Canada. Fred only does first ascents–his name appears on every page of the the “Cascade Alpine Guide” which he authored first in the late 40’s, again in the early 60’s and 70’s (three volumes). Check out his bibliography on the internet–close to 20,000 hits!
This is what happens to you when you spend all day on Alaska Airlines with a baseball cap on. At least Fred wears it with the bill forward. Within two hours of arriving in Petersburg and some last minute shopping, they blast off north in a Hughs 500 ‘minicopter’ for the 35 minute ride to their destination.
By the way, Fred did the first ascent of Devil’s Thumb (beyond) on August 25, 1946–three days before I was born!….and he’s never stopped climbing.