Watch mountaineer documentary at San Juan Community Theatre

  • Mon Aug 20th, 2018 9:28am
  • Life

Submitted by the San Juan Community Theatre

The San Juan Community Theatre is hosting a film series this summer. Viewings are free, but donations are accepted. Also, $2 bottomless popcorn is available.

An upcoming viewing is at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the theater and will feature the 96-minute documentary “Dirtbag.”

Fred Beckey was the original American “Dirtbag.” A mountain climber whose stubborn, singular quest to conquer peaks meant a solitary life on the road, where he left a long trail of scorned climbing partners and lost lovers in his wake. Beckey’s adventures began in Washington’s North Cascade range with his brother Helmy in the 1930s. In 1942, the Beckey brothers cemented their place in climbing lore when they conquered Mount Waddington, considered the most difficult climb in North America at the time. This success marked the beginning of Beckey’s epic tear of first ascents around the world, during which he became the consummate “Dirtbag” defined as one who forgoes the pursuit of material comforts and defies societal norms to pursue a nomadic mountaineering lifestyle. Still obsessed with the mountains and planning ambitious expeditions at age 94, Beckey slowed physically, but his zeal for the outdoors did not wane, and he was still steadfastly plotting new routes up undiscovered ranges for the next generation of climbers and explorers. Throughout his exceptional life, Beckey kept meticulous personal journals where he mused on everything from arcane geology to his dalliances with many beautiful women to the myriad sunrises he witnessed. An environmentalist before there was such a word, Beckey used these journals as the basis for authoring 13 essential books that help connect aspiring climbers to the mountains.

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