Beckey in Baja - climbing at 85!


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Juan Maderita

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 7, 2008 - 03:26am PT
Just back from Baja. Fred doesn't complain about sleeping in the dirt, waking up to frost on the bivy bag, rattlesnakes, cactus, or several meals of cold canned ravioli. It's all just another day in a lifetime of non-stop adventure.

Preparing for a wall. (ST's very own "Flex" is on the left.)

Fred leads "What Time is It? 4:20", Canyon Tajo

Fred on "Bartering with Beckey" a repeat of our 2003 FA. He led both pitches in smooth style.

An afternoon first ascent and then a cold cerveza in Baja.

Fred riding "Tajo", a frisky 4 year old.


Trad climber
Durango, CO
Apr 7, 2008 - 03:49am PT

Trad climber
Apr 7, 2008 - 09:34am PT
My grandmother just turned 90, and while not as active as Fred is, she is in pretty darn good shape for her age. I expect we'll have another big party for her 100th!

I love hearing stories of Fred's continuing adventures, thanks for the pictures. He looks pretty comfortable on that horse!

One of my hero's, along with my grandparents, fer sure.

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Apr 7, 2008 - 10:27am PT
Doesn't look a day over 83.

Trad climber
DC Area (it's as bad as you've heard)
Apr 7, 2008 - 10:32am PT
Look at the first pic.
For a second there, I thought he'd shaved his head! His hair blends perfectly with the background colors.

I saw his slideshow last fall, nice guy.

Apr 7, 2008 - 10:43am PT
Fred was a hero of mine when I was 18 and he's still my hero now that I'm 48. Scary.

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Apr 7, 2008 - 11:31am PT
That boy has more style in the step through pic than a thousand gym clowns!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 7, 2008 - 11:33am PT
First met the Beckster 24 years ago in Cal.
Since then have had adventures in three states with him (sober, not sober, and definitely not sober).

Its pretty clear what brought Fred to Baja, just look to the left in the first photo.

Trad climber
Northern, Ca.
Apr 7, 2008 - 11:40am PT
I had the adventure of drivning from cali to zion once with Fred. It was his car and he insisted on driving. We crossed into other lanes at least a hundred times before we got to vegas. I just got used to waving at people as they drove by saluting us with fingers and horns. I have at least a dozen stories from that trip that would make you pee. Out of respect for my elders I think Ill leave it to that one.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 7, 2008 - 07:43pm PT
That's so friggen awesome

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Apr 7, 2008 - 08:57pm PT
" That's so friggen awesome"

yeah and then some -
Fred Becky is my hero. Period.


ron gomez

Trad climber
Apr 7, 2008 - 09:49pm PT
Great post, gives us all a little hope "maybe" we can still climb like Fred when we get that age! Last shot is what Tarbaby is gonna look like in a few years.

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Apr 7, 2008 - 10:10pm PT
He's going to outlive us all.

Hell, he's already outclimbed us all.

Love the pic on the horse. Classic!!!

Apr 7, 2008 - 10:13pm PT
He looks good.

He's got that "look", you know the one.

The one that says, I've been there.

Apr 7, 2008 - 10:17pm PT
F.B. is the ultimate. Nobody can touch him!!

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Apr 7, 2008 - 10:28pm PT
Becky on Horse, priceless, thanks for this cool post.

Fred Becky coming to drink your women and chase your beer.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 7, 2008 - 10:30pm PT
Fred is an amazing guy, not just for his longevity and his climbs and climbing and his lifestyle, but also as he likes to (shall we say) "cherchez les femmes". Perhaps more in his head now, but anyone's who's on his/her feet and still trying at 85 is pretty awesome.

I know people who knew him 50 or 60 years ago, who say he's hardly changed in that time. Secret route notebook, always on the phone, always checking the weather, always on the move.

Once upon a time I had a chance to climb with Fred - we're acquaintances, and he's done some things with my brother. He called me very early one September morning, and tried to talk me into a trip. Told me he had it all lined up - another climber, helicopter, etc. Wouldn't tell me where it was, of course. I said I'd have to see if I could free up time, hoping to figure out a way - even the experience of a trip with Fred would be worth it. Asked that he call back later.

So I went about my morning activities, but was soon interrupted by some urgent news, and had to go over to my parents' house. Late in the morning Fred called back, even telling me where the destination was (generally), and saying that the pilot was all ready to go. I said I couldn't go, but didn't have the heart to tell Fred why.

It was September 11th, 2001 - no civilian aircraft was flying anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, or was to for days. I guess Fred hadn't heard, but at least he was saved a long drive into the interior for a flight that couldn't happen any time soon.

(The urgent news was, of course, a friend calling to tell me what was happening. I went to my parents to get my father to turn on the TV so we could see, as I don't have one.)

Apr 7, 2008 - 10:31pm PT
"Rhymes with Orange." ROFLOL A dried-up one...

Trad climber
Northern, Ca.
Apr 7, 2008 - 10:45pm PT
Exactly Eddie.
Never, ever, absoluteley never, eat the mystery meat out of the mystery crate.

Ok you trolled me. Ill share one more. We stop in Vegas for an all you can eat buffet. Of course with Fred is implied that this is all you can eat later as well. Its two days later and we are climbign in the back part of zion. Fred reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a napkin. Being the generous type that he is he offers some. With a disturbed look I pass and he then unrolls a new york staek that he had in his pocket from the Vegas buffet. BTW, we didint have an ice chest with us.
To be continued...
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 7, 2008 - 11:31pm PT
A couple more:
Those are not wrinkles, they're "character lines".

He would prefer to sit on the dirt, rather than use a chair while sorting gear.
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