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Subaru Repairs & My Buddy Fred

For years I kept a detailed records on my 1986 Subaru GL wagon. By "complete", I mean every gasoline purchase, every filter, every repair. I fixed a lot of stuff on that car, often along the roadside or in some random parking lot located between one mountain range and another. Below are a few excerpts from my car repair notebook.

Tucked in between lists of fill-ups and filter changes are a number of non-car related comments. One such example is from May 2002. I met Fred Beckey for a beer at Skagit River Brewery in Mount Vernon, WA. He was traveling around the West promoting his books and attempting to raise money for an expedition to China. I was climbing regularly in the North Cascades back then and had just returned from an ascent of Mount Baker via a north face route. He was very interested in the current snow conditions above 5000'. I recall that Fred, despite his age - nearly 80 at the time - was confident and clear eyed. He held the room with his stories and listened to those told by others gathered at the table. A remarkable evening captured in this brief note in my humble little car repair notebook. Thanks for the memory, Fred.

Fred Beckey, 1923-2017

Fred Beckey made more alpine first ascents of mountain summits than anyone in history. Its not even close. He was one of a kind. Simple, driven, cerebral, weathered. He took notes, he planned, he wrote books, he climbed. A great life.

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