Dr. Paul Auerbach, a professor of emergency medicine at Stanford University, and Dr. York Miller, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, were recent medical school grads when they decided to take a backpacking trip high into the San Juan Mountains. Above 11,000 feet, they experienced abdominal discomfort, bloating and premonitory belching. Wilderness medicine had no term for these combined symptoms. They dubbed it high-altitude flatus expulsion (HAFE), and their findings were published in The Western Journal of Medicine, evoking a surprising response. This film is for anyone who has ever gone camping and eaten too many beans.
Fred Beckey is a towering figure whose innumerable first ascents cemented his legacy as one of the greatest climbers of all time. Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey looks back at this singular life, following the nonagenarian climber over the last decade as he’s slowed but never stopped doing what he loves most. Beckey, like so many people of great accomplishment, is a controversial figure, having alienated fellow climbers by stealing their routes (and even their girlfriends). While the film delves into those peccadilloes, it is ultimately an affectionate portrait of a remarkable man in the sunset of his career. This Mountainfilm Commitment Grant recipient required great persistence and endurance from director and Telluride local Dave O’Leske, who pursued the story for the last 10 years.