VIFF 2017: Mountains and women alike are scaled in Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey
Massively entertaining, here’s the life story of the greatest of all alpineclimbers, the “Bob Dylan” of his field, and still the thorniest at a never-say-die 94.
The title is slang for hard-core addicts of the sport, of which Fred Beckey was the uncontested all-time champ, travelling from range to range in a beat-up pink T-bird and eating garbage to support his habit. He climbed just as many women, yet this secret intellectual still found time between conquests to produce a canon of classic books based on his dizzying number of first ascents and the routes he left behind. Friends, enemies, critics, and exes line up to testify—good and bad, but always reverent. Then there’s Beckey himself, a man who was “never for sale”, beefing at the camera for a doc sponsored by Patagonia and still “mastering the art of pain” in his fragile old body. Contains a half-century of archival footage: amazing for a guy who refused to go public about his life until 2005.More