Fred Beckey, Famous Mountain Climber, to Speak at MHCC Feb. 27

Posted: January 13, 2014

Fred Beckey, Famous Mountain Climber, to Speak at MHCC Feb. 27

Mt. Hood Community College, located in the shadow of its namesake Cascade peak, is excited to bring Fred Beckey, a world-renowned rock climber, mountaineer and guidebook author, to campus, Feb. 27, 7 – 9 p.m., for a public presentation in the Visual Arts Theatre, 26000 S.E. Stark St.

Fred Beckey
Photos Courtesy of Patagonia

Beckey will talk about his adventures around the world and share some amazing photos of his climbing accomplishments from the past 60 years. Even if you don’t know a crampon from a carabiner, you will find the 91-year-old (as of Jan. 14) speaker and his subject to be both entertaining and enchanting.

Why Climb?

In a 2007 interview with Lincoln Stoller, Beckey answered the question often posed to mountaineers: “I don’t even know why people climb,” he said. “I can’t figure it out. It’s a lot easier to play tennis or golf, bicycle; a lot less stress, not dangerous, doesn’t have the risk, doesn’t have the suffering. Climbing’s got a lot of suffering, a lot of it.

“There’s got to be a reason,” he continued. “Part of it’s the beauty of the mountains, but you can get that from hiking. You go hiking and essentially get the same scenery,” adding that with hiking, you don’t have the opportunity to peer down a cliff.

More ‘First Ascents’ than Anyone

Fred Beckey
Photos Courtesy of Patagonia

Beckey began climbing in the 1930s and is unofficially recognized as the all-time record-holder for “first ascents.” According to one account, when he was 16 years old, he first achieved fame by climbing Mount Despair in Washington state – a first ascent – even though the local mountaineering community had deemed the peak unscalable. “Much of the rest of his personal narrative unfolds like this: The impossible becomes possible once Beckey showed us how,” writes Sean Sullivan, author of “A Portrait of a Climber: Fred Beckey.”

Beckey has shared his love of the sport by writing several guidebooks, including the three-volume Cascade Alpine Guide series, which climbing enthusiasts have dubbed “Beckey’s Bible.” He is the author of 10 other books, including Mountains of North America. He will be available for a book signing at a brief reception in the Student Union prior to his 7 p.m. presentation.

Public Welcome to Attend

The presentation is free and open to the public. Guests are asked to bring food and/or money donations for Barney’s Pantry, the student-run food bank on the Gresham Campus. Individuals requiring accommodations due to a disability may contact the MHCC Disability Services Office at 503-491-6923 or dsoweb@mhcc.edu. Please call at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure availability.

Wildside, MHCC’s outdoor club for students, is sponsoring Beckey’s appearance. Wildside members participate in outdoor activities while learning about the wilderness from fellow students. Many members are enrolled in the college’s unique Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (WLEE) program. WLEE prepares students for careers as outdoor leaders and teachers. For more information, please visit mhcc.edu/WildernessLeadership or contact instructor Josh Stratman at josh.stratman@mhcc.edu.

Fred Beckey
Photos Courtesy of Patagonia

More information about Beckey

http://www.climbing.com/blog/interviewing-fred-beckey-at-90-years-old/

http://www.wengerna.com/blog/a-portrait-of-a-climber-fred-beckey/

For more information, media professionals may contact the Office of Community Engagement 503-491-7204 or news@mhcc.edu.

© 2014 Mt. Hood Community College | 26000 SE Stark St. | Gresham, OR 97030 | 503-491-6422
 Last Modified: 1/13/2014 02:28:36 PM