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walt511


Aug 11, 2004, 8:48 PM
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John Bachar
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What's John Bachar up to these days?

Back in the mid 80's he was "The Man"! Then he kind of dropped off the radar after a few high-profile run-ins about bolting. Always seemed to me too bad that he never seemed to be able to embrace the changes in climbing (and be embraced by the new climbing community).

Anyone know if he is still climing at a high standard, still active in the climbing community, happy, whatever? Does he still live in Foresta?


bobtheboulderer


Aug 11, 2004, 9:01 PM
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He lives in Mammoth Lakes, CA and still gets out and climbs but he does seem to be the modern day Layton Kor, doesn't he?


walt511


Aug 11, 2004, 9:10 PM
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I remember an article in Outside Mag back in the mid 80's. Really inspired me. I remember thinking he seemed like a really cool guy. Then I remember the falling-out with Ron Kauk and the Mark Chapman Incident followed by a bunch of bad press. I never knew what to think. I just assumed he was someone who didn't change with the times. I still think his one day ascent of El Cap and Half Dome with Peter Croft stands as a great day of adventure.


kalcario


Aug 11, 2004, 9:14 PM
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I always regretted that johnnyb, who was indisputably the best rock climber in the world in his day and did things in the 80's that today's big number guys are incapable of, couldn't roll with the changes like his big brother Kauk. It's kind of a lesson to all of us, not to let your self image and self esteem get caught up in climbing ethics to the point where you have so much invested that you can't admit you were wrong, as most of our trad heros from the 80's did once the sport bandwagon got rolling. Bachar also really hurt his own cause by being an intolerant asshole, which did just as much to promote the point of view of those opposed to him as anything else. It's also a little poignant to watch the current generation trying half-heartedly to dust off and pick up the banner of pure ethics that jb carried, seemingly unaware that that battle was fought and lost 20 years ago, and the current high standards they now enjoy are a direct result of that defeat.

I look at him as the Henry Ford of climbing - a great innovator who eventually had his own company taken away from him because he wanted to keep producing the Model T.


billcoe_


Aug 11, 2004, 9:20 PM
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Where is the need to change when you are right?


walt511


Aug 11, 2004, 9:22 PM
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Too bad. I was kind of hoping to hear he'd mellowed over the years and was just having a good time climbing his ass off - and mabe even clipping a few bolts now and then.


curt


Aug 11, 2004, 9:31 PM
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Where is the need to change when you are right?

You'll have to forgive Joe for being a jackass, again. It seems to just be his nature. :roll:

Curt


beth23


Aug 11, 2004, 9:34 PM
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Check your PM.


howlermonkey


Aug 11, 2004, 9:43 PM
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Hey folks, John's got a new climbing shoe out - Acopa. I hear that they're da bomb, but I've only seen the women's shoe at REI. Say what you will about John, but the man knows his shoes.


Partner calamity_chk


Aug 11, 2004, 9:46 PM
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amber_chk moved this thread [In reply to]
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amber_chk moved this thread from General to Climbing History & Trivia.


hugepedro


Aug 11, 2004, 11:26 PM
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As if sport climbing were the apex. Laughable.


gumbobob


Aug 11, 2004, 11:40 PM
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a couple of the acopa shoes are allright...though the rubber leaves a lot to be admired...they need to take some lessons from 5.10 and Stealth...though i really do like the ?chameleon? which is their supposed sport-climbing/gym bouldering shoe--i've found it works great on hard trad--perfect give...
all in all, johnny bachar makes an allright shoe for the price ($80 for two pair--sweet.)


bvb


Aug 11, 2004, 11:43 PM
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there is not a single one of us worthy to say word one about bachar. pretentious idiots. it's like a bunch of berkely school of music piano students weighing in on mozart's techniques, attitudes, and body of work. get a clue.

in my book, the only thing i'll say about the man is that i give him huge respect for not "changing with the times".

pfffffft. there isn't a single climber posting to this site who has even the slightest fraction of the cred required to say word one about the guy, with the sole exception of vivalargo, and in a pinch, fredbob.

go back to your triple padded 20' V6's and your overbolted 13a's, n00bs. Just understand that JB was way ahead of his time --as was Kauk -- and leave it at that.

1983. free-solos baby apes. i've seen today's top-shelf media whore climbers get their asses kicked on it and call it 5.13. ten years laer, solos father figure. maybe you had to see the guy at work on the stone around thelate 70's to the mid 80's to fathom what i'm trying to say here.

give it a rest.


alpnclmbr1


Aug 12, 2004, 12:35 AM
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Bachar has alienated a lot of people with his strongly held views. As far as I am concerned, he has always been fighting the good fight.


In reality, he was really one of the less pretentious climbers of the era. He has always treated me with respect and often went out of his way to be helpful and inspiring. This was when I was relatively a gumbie.

Watching him run laps on Sport Challenge Rock and later the Dilithium crystal with a Cheshire grin on his face is still the most impressive climbing feat that I have ever seen.

Freesoloing the Gift. Onsight, freesolo, first ascent of a 12d in spain.


jcshaggy


Aug 12, 2004, 4:29 AM
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Hey, I don't think most of us can fathom how hard the guy can climb or what he is about.I respect anybody who is will to stand up for their views, even if I might disagree.We are not qualified to judge him.

Today we face many problems in climbing in S.A. as a result of sports climbing, bolting etc.
I hope the guy is happy doing what he does.
Respect to all the hardmen who paved the way for the rest of us!


billcoe_


Aug 12, 2004, 7:14 AM
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yup, short version: what Bvb and alpincmber say.


Long version:

JB could free-solo DOWNCLIMB harder stuff than most everyone else could get up ROPED on a good day. I never saw that pretentious crap which is often discussed, and I'm not trying to say the guy was perfect, when you're that friggan good and that friggan young.....well...ya have to remember that he was really just a kid when he hit to top of the pile, no easy thing to deal with from anyones psycic point of view. Give him some credit. He was on a whole 'nother level, which probably has not been seen since. Like Royal Robbins, when you get that good and stick your strong opinions out there, you attract critisim. Nobdy is right all the time either, and being an amazing climber doesn't translate to having correct or good views, but of course all the fawning syncophants who follow you around will treat the dingle-balls that fall off your ass like its the Holy Grail. That causes problems too, the "I heard somebody heard somebody else was in line and they knew somebody who was on the Yos bus who said that their cousin heard JB say...(fill in something)".

I think it was Climbing which recently had a full page sized pic of him in an Acopa ad. Looks different, but glad to see he's not getting fat like me!

I'm done talking, hope his life is good these days.




Edited to fix speling.


areyoumydude


Aug 12, 2004, 10:15 AM
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John Bachar the greatest climber of his generation. He was so good everyone else had to start cheating. The birth of sport climbing.


Partner j_ung


Aug 12, 2004, 10:22 AM
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John Bachar the greatest climber of his generation. He was so good everyone else had to start cheating. The birth of sport climbing.

T5! :P


dingus


Aug 12, 2004, 10:27 AM
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amber_chk moved this thread from General to Climbing History & Trivia.

Amber, have you ever seen Spinal Tap?

If not, it is a spoof, a "Mock-U-Mentary" about a washed up 70's big hair rock band on their final tour.

Anyway, they are in the dressing room before a show and they're all sitting around. In the other room, their latest drummer (sort of like the Who) is listening to the radio and hear's an old song of the band's. He comes in and says, "a bit of your history is on the radio.'

So they all crowd around the radio to hear a song from their flower power days in the late 60's. The song finishes and they are all smiling nostalgically at one another. And then the radio announcer comes on,

"That's Spinal Tap, currently residing in the "where are they now" file.

Their faces just DROP. This is on the radio station that is supposed to be promoting their show that night! Hehe. Its a funny scene, as it is seeing Bachar's name moved to the Historical Trivia forum. Sad too, for those of us who are his age contempories.

So jb comes along and finds himself in the 'where are they now?' forum.

Does the worm ever turn...

Cheers
DMT


dingus


Aug 12, 2004, 10:29 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Where is the need to change when you are right?

You'll have to forgive Joe for being a jackass, again. It seems to just be his nature. :roll:

Curt

Pat Ament used nicer words but was hardly kinder to Bachar in his free climbing book. He calls him uncharitable. And some of the Bachar quotes demonstrate that trait quite well frankly.

DMT


dingus


Aug 12, 2004, 10:33 AM
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there is not a single one of us worthy to say word one about bachar. pretentious idiots.

RC.com makes burgers out of sacred cows.

DMT


curt


Aug 12, 2004, 10:39 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Where is the need to change when you are right?

You'll have to forgive Joe for being a jackass, again. It seems to just be his nature. :roll:

Curt

Pat Ament used nicer words but was hardly kinder to Bachar in his free climbing book. He calls him uncharitable. And some of the Bachar quotes demonstrate that trait quite well frankly.

DMT

Just so we are clear here, my comment was about Joe and not John.

Curt


curt


Aug 12, 2004, 10:46 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
John Bachar the greatest climber of his generation. He was so good everyone else had to start cheating. The birth of sport climbing.

T5! :P

The thing I admire most about JB was his attempt to maintain some sort of ethics in climbing. As others have pointed out, he lost in that effort but he never gave in.

Curt


youreup


Aug 12, 2004, 11:17 AM
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The community chose not to accept climbing as JB saw it. As a result, more people were able to climb harder grades and push the boundaries. Are we really better off because of this?

The price for one who chose to value ethics above friendship was his eventual alienation, but it was the community who lost a great figure.


dingus


Aug 12, 2004, 11:41 AM
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In reply to:
Just so we are clear here, my comment was about Joe and not John.

Curt

Right. Joe's comments are harsh and disrespectful. The same tone in fact, that Bachar's generation applied toward Royal Robbins. Ironic, don't you think? And like Robbins too, Bachar is but a man, made of flesh and blood.

Now you know how people like TM Herbert felt seeing THEIR pal dissed by a generation that couldn't appreciate what he did if they wanted.

Time rolls on. "Where are they now?" Bachar is no more sacred (and still out climbs us all), and no more ethically pure and closer to sainthood, than Robbins, that's for sure.

And the criticisms of both men are a reflection of the hard and unyielding attitudes both men held in their prime.

Remember Chris Jones' disrespect toward Robbins with things like the pushup story? Bachar has them too, I'm guessing both earned and unearned just like with Robbins.

But my point was that Ament praises Bachar's abilities. But he isn't particularly generous to Bachar in terms of character stories. Joe just has an ability to present things like this in the most grating fashion. I attribute that to 15 years in the Valley... Joe on the one extreme and Karl Baba on the other.

I'm not trying to troll a Bachar fight. I'm pointing out that the generation that would revere Bachar in turn dissed Robbins for largely the same things. Goes around. Comes around.

Cheers
DMT


billcoe_


Aug 12, 2004, 12:14 PM
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Dingus:

Nice Troll. Bacher dissed Robbins for ethics? Oh just Bachers generation, so Bacher must have supported it? You sure?

I'm of that Generation and I don't remember dissing Robbins. Nor did I ever hear anyone diss him. The man was freaking amazing.

The push up story, while interesting, is more of a side note on how driven the guy was to be at the top of the pile, it was not a diss IMO.

Ya gotta work on those Troll skills sir! :lol:


PS, I don't think Larry (areyoumydude) is kidding, he probably remembers JB's phenomenol skills as a climber is all.


dingus


Aug 12, 2004, 12:19 PM
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In reply to:
Dingus:

I'm of that Generation and I don't remember dissing Robbins.
Ya gotta work on the Troll skills sir! :lol:

OK, let's see, were you in on the FA of Free Blast? Who chopped Robbins bolts? Why? To whom were they given? Does this equate to respect?

Cheers
DMT


jv


Aug 12, 2004, 12:26 PM
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In reply to:
Dingus:

I'm of that Generation and I don't remember dissing Robbins.
Ya gotta work on the Troll skills sir! :lol:

OK, let's see, were you in on the FA of Free Blast? Who chopped Robbins bolts? Why? To whom were they given? Does this equate to respect?

Cheers
DMT

A few individuals does not a generation make. But if your point is that Bachar and Robbins were men, and men are flawed, I'll buy that. Still, it doesn't diminish what they accomplished.

JV


dingus


Aug 12, 2004, 12:34 PM
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A few individuals does not a generation make. But if your point is that Bachar and Robbins were men, and men are flawed, I'll buy that. Still, it doesn't diminish what they accomplished.

JV

You're right of course. Both are 'heros' of a sort to me personally.

But more to my point, is that great climbers are going to be both praised and dissed, its generational and to think Bachar et al... (hehe) are immune is unrealistic.

I've read some of the quotes and Bachar IS uncharitable to some of his former climbing friends and partners.

Cheers
DMT


jv


Aug 12, 2004, 12:49 PM
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Here's my theory. Many of us worship heroes and we get a little goofy when we're in the presence. We defer to them, and when they are not gracious to us, or downright rude, we take it hard---harder than we would if it was just another climber. Of course no one is always one way or another, but my feeling is that JB was not as friendly or gracious as many of his contemporaries, and it made him stand out. In other words, he did not suffer fools gladly. He held strong opinions and he wasn't diplomatic about stating them. The same could be said about Robbins.

JV


curt


Aug 12, 2004, 1:04 PM
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.....But my point was that Ament praises Bachar's abilities. But he isn't particularly generous to Bachar in terms of character stories. Joe just has an ability to present things like this in the most grating fashion. I attribute that to 15 years in the Valley... Joe on the one extreme and Karl Baba on the other.

Cheers
DMT

Not surprising I suppose--or any different from some kid finding out that Babe Ruth was drunk a lot, or that Pete Rose had a gambling problem. Or, for that matter that your favorite politician has some skeletons in the closet. That is the problem with putting people up on pedestals in the first place. They are then expected to be perfect in all regards.

Curt


billcoe_


Aug 12, 2004, 1:05 PM
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Exactly JV, I always wondered why Robbins didn't take that amazing drive and accomplish what Chouinard did in business after he slowed down as a climber.


joe


Aug 12, 2004, 1:07 PM
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i usually don't get starstruck, but i bumped into jb at the PCA comp and bummed a ciggie off him. i told him about the after party and he's was like "can i get a ride dude?". i drove him and his friend downtown and the whole time i'm like some little schoolgirl, thinking to myself "oh my god bachar's sitting in my peice of shit truck! holy crap this is sooo cool!" he's telling me about the old valley days, the plane wreck, the whole burrito. guy talks a mile a minute. "man, largo was f*cking crazy!"

his "buddy" kept bugging him with stupid questions. "what's the hardest thing you've soloed? did you ever almost die? blah blah." i could tell he was getting irritated so i started chatting with him about jazz and hip hop. he just lit up. "oh man that guy rips! man, i only listen to the old school stuff. oh, you're a drummer? man you guys are nuts. i got this band..."

really cool guy, at least to me he was. way nicer than most of the new school Vrad way-too-cool cover models. just calls it like he sees it, which some people mistake for being a dick. mad respect for the man.


jv


Aug 12, 2004, 1:51 PM
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Just a quick observation about how JB's influence continues to be felt by modern climbers all over the world: Astroman, 5/75; Bachar-Yerian, 8/81.

JV


chouca


Aug 12, 2004, 3:12 PM
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John Bachar was a climbing god to my generation. Other guys could climb harder sport routes, but John was the top dog in every other apsect of climbing for about a decade.

I used to run into him in the Valley back in the 80's, while he was hiking between solos, and we were trying to rack up as many roped Cookie Cliff routes as we could in a day. He was always helpful with directions and route info. He seemed almost shy, so I never bugged him with more than a hi or a quick question. But trust me, he was the closest thing to a rockstar the climbing world has ever had. I respect his lack of willingness to compromise. When you are correct, you don't have to.

Marc B.


bvb


Aug 12, 2004, 4:20 PM
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That is the problem with putting people up on pedestals in the first place. They are then expected to be perfect in all regards.

boy curt, you got that one right. i can't possibly live up to the expectations that have been placed upon me by strangers who know of me only through the wild stories of my extraordinary climbing prowess.

i am just a man, flesh and blood. and please, no more autographs.


iamthewallress


Aug 12, 2004, 4:31 PM
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i am just a man, flesh and blood. and please, no more autographs.

Someone asked my boyfriend for an autograph last week.

They thought he was Timmy O'Neil.

He's not.


curt


Aug 12, 2004, 5:06 PM
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That is the problem with putting people up on pedestals in the first place. They are then expected to be perfect in all regards.

boy curt, you got that one right. i can't possibly live up to the expectations that have been placed upon me by strangers who know of me only through the wild stories of my extraordinary climbing prowess.

i am just a man, flesh and blood. and please, no more autographs.

OK, I'll take my little statue of you off my dashboard then.

Curt


mattmax45


Aug 12, 2004, 5:29 PM
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We all should remember one thing,


Even if we are qualified to judge the man, the same elemental thoughts pass through my mind.... Who cares... It doesn't matter what anyone thinks, not you, me or anyone, and the sooner we remember this, the easier it will be to except the way things are, for instance John Bachar. He'll never change nor will I, and thats self respect and honor. Food for thought my friends.


mungeclimber


Aug 12, 2004, 5:58 PM
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That is the problem with putting people up on pedestals in the first place. They are then expected to be perfect in all regards.

placed upon me by strangers who know of me only through the wild stories of my extraordinary climbing prowess.


don't forget expeditions to the drug and scotch induced world of inebriation.
"dood, so what's the highest you've ever been?"


dingus


Aug 13, 2004, 7:20 AM
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You guys make some good points.

And bvb, flesh and blood is hard to accept. I had you pegged as wires and curcuits!

DMT


rockitjeff


Aug 13, 2004, 8:17 AM
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nah, dingus..... BVB is closer to stems, seeds and leaf.

J Elvis did a good job illustrating Bacher's impact and attitudes in his book Rock Jocks, Wall Rats, and Hang Dogs.


bestbefore


Aug 16, 2004, 1:11 PM
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I saw an interesting quote today from the British thinker Bertrand Russell that made me think of this Bachar thread:

"Good qualities are easier to destroy than bad ones, and therefore uniformity is most easily achieved by lowering all standards."

I had the pleasure once, many years back in J-Tree, of running into JB while he was out for a mellow afternoon of soloing stuff I couldn't have hoped to climb roped. We talked about many things, including rap bolting and his strong objections to it. Up in the Canadian Rockies at the time, my friends and I were using rap bolting to establish some new routes (albeit with bolts placed at somewhat sporty intervals).

John B. wasn't at all aggressive in his position, and even acknowledged that rap bolting might very well result in better quality bolts being placed. What he was wrestling with was how to avoid sliding ever farther down the "slippery slope" that rap bolting seemed to represent. I said I thought rap bolting was alright if the end result preserved the spirit of adventure that is the essence of climbing. Very politely, and almost sadly, JB disagreed...fundementally he didn't believe that one could open Pandoras Box just a little.

Anyway, for what it is worth, my experience of JB doesn't jibe with the stories of him as angry and intolerant. Maybe i caught him on a good day.

I must admit, sometimes I can't help but wonder if he wasn't right after all. I am told several of our old routes sport extra "improved" protection these days (and they were never really ballsy to begin with). Not that long ago, skiing in Chamonix, I stopped under a cliff with what looked like a gorgeous finger crack - with a line of bolts running about a foot beside it. Pure vandalism, and truly sad!


jeffstephan


Aug 16, 2004, 1:27 PM
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there is not a single one of us worthy to say word one about bachar. pretentious idiots. it's like a bunch of berkely school of music piano students weighing in on mozart's techniques, attitudes, and body of work. get a clue.
BVB holds my same opinion except for the analogy using berkely school of music students...That's giving too much credit to these people. Perhaps woodshop students from a community college evaluating Mozart would be more appropriate. :wink:


darth_gaydar


Aug 16, 2004, 2:51 PM
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We all should remember one thing,


Even if we are qualified to judge the man, the same elemental thoughts pass through my mind.... Who cares... It doesn't matter what anyone thinks, not you, me or anyone, and the sooner we remember this, the easier it will be to except the way things are, for instance John Bachar. He'll never change nor will I, and thats self respect and honor. Food for thought my friends.



If it does not matter what anyone thinks, why did you post?


Hmmmmm?


mreardon


Aug 16, 2004, 4:37 PM
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I talk with Bachar almost every day. As a film director/producer, I'm finishing a documentary about him that will debut at the Taos Film Festival this October and release in the spring. As an athlete, I'm the team leader of his shoe company, Acopa. As a friend, we find ourselves enjoying a drink or two and sharing war stories of our past/present on a regular basis and just plain having fun hanging out.

I had a lot more to say when this topic first came up and I noticed a couple morons who regularly post under anonymous names so they can continue to pretend they were anyone of significance in the climbing world, but then discovered something unique this weekend.

I was hanging at the Outdoor Retailer (largest trade show for the outdoor industry) to promote the film and help Acopa with demonstrations and such. I stopped by a couple booths to gossip about climbing and goals, meet up with friends, etc. and by the third day, realized something special.

Every major climber back in the day (except Kauk) and modern ones as well stop by and talk with the man regularly. I watched as Alex Huber, Lynn Hill, Dave Graham, Obe Carrion, Chris Sharma, Kurt Smith and anyone else who has ever been a player in the history of climbing stop by to ask about training, or just say hello. That speaks higher than anything else.

In short, he's designing shoes and helping run his company. He goes out and climbs every now and then in between snowboard season, usually soloing easy 5.10s and 5.11s as well as bouldering and laughing when the kids wonder who the "old man" is that just sent their project without a crashpad. He's playing his sax, has a great house in the hills, and generally speaking, knows more about this sport than anyone else I've ever met.

As for the rap bolting controversy - he predicted rap bolting easier routes than those that were put up on lead (5.13a at the time) would lead to gluing and chipping. Guess what....

Those that hold the same ethics he did and have not compromised them are currently the strongest climbers. I don't see Sharma, Caldwell, Keil and the rest of the gang pulling on chipped holds, gluing in pockets, or hangdogging routes that are above their abilities. Those ethic-based climbing accomplishments speak higher than anything else.

He's still out there, reminding everyone with his silence that ethics are an important aspect to the sport. And just maybe, he was right about his....


vivalargo


Aug 16, 2004, 4:49 PM
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Bachar helped develop a certain way of climbing -- bold, free solo if possible, run the rope always, go for the hardest routes every time, and never cheat yourself out of a Herculean effort. He was dedicated to that way, a way that others came to reject. And things changed. Pretty simple, really.

If you think Bachar is jealous or bitter about what folks are doing these days, you're wrong. To all his distractos, he'd simply lend them an old pair of EBs, direct them to the Moratorium or Butterballs or New Dimensions, and have them report back after freesoloing same. Then they'd have something in common to talk about. Unless you had these kinds of experiences (and who does these days), you've got no idea about Bachar's world, and you'll judge him simply on his sometimes thorny personality.

But make no mistake about it -- this guy was bad ass in a way the world sees but few times in a century. And so far as the new guys, few if any one them are better crack climbers than John. His talent on thin cracks was nearly peerless.

Ultimately, John was a shy guy who loved what he did but was not a really social person. He put all of himself into his work, and we should all be proud of what he did because it redirects our gaze right up to the stars.

JL


jt512


Aug 16, 2004, 5:06 PM
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I don't see Sharma, Caldwell, Keil and the rest of the gang ... hangdogging routes that are above their abilities.

What, they don't work projects?

-Jay


mreardon


Aug 17, 2004, 7:30 AM
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If you think Bachar is jealous or bitter about what folks are doing these days, you're wrong. To all his distractos, he'd simply lend them an old pair of EBs, direct them to the Moratorium or Butterballs or New Dimensions, and have them report back after freesoloing same. Then they'd have something in common to talk about. Unless you had these kinds of experiences (and who does these days), you've got no idea about Bachar's world, and you'll judge him simply on his sometimes thorny personality.

As always, you nailed it.

In reply to:
In reply to:
I don't see Sharma, Caldwell, Keil and the rest of the gang ... hangdogging routes that are above their abilities.

What, they don't work projects?

-Jay

You didn't. Notice the "above their abilities" part.


jt512


Aug 17, 2004, 8:58 AM
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I don't see Sharma, Caldwell, Keil and the rest of the gang ... hangdogging routes that are above their abilities.

What, they don't work projects?

-Jay

You didn't. Notice the "above their abilities" part.

I noticed it. Caldwell has had multi-year projects that he eventually sent. I just don't get your point. Does the fact that he evenutally sent them mean that they weren't "above his abilities" even though he worked on them for several seasons? How does this differ from an ordinary climber like me working a multi-year project?

-Jay


slablizard


Aug 17, 2004, 9:47 AM
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What are you guys? Dumb? :P

Of course when you do it is not above your abilities, WHEN YOU DO IT!
Until you're there working out the move IT IS above your abilities.

Capish? :lol:


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Caldwell has had multi-year projects that he eventually sent. Does the fact that he evenutally sent them mean that they weren't "above his abilities"-Jay


If you do a route than it is not above your ability. Duh


Where's a toolfile button when you need one.


jt512


Aug 17, 2004, 10:15 AM
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Caldwell has had multi-year projects that he eventually sent. Does the fact that he evenutally sent them mean that they weren't "above his abilities"-Jay


If you do a route than it is not above your ability. Duh

"Duh" seems to be the more intelligent part of your statement.

-Jay


jt512


Aug 17, 2004, 10:23 AM
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What are you guys? Dumb? :P

Of course when you do it is not above your abilities, WHEN YOU DO IT!
Until you're there working out the move IT IS above your abilities.

Tell it to Reardon.

-Jay


mreardon


Aug 17, 2004, 2:14 PM
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Tell it to Reardon.

-Jay

Nothing to tell, you don't understand and never will.

[quote="dbyte"]

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Do you need any help picking up all those names you just dropped?!? :lol:

I was waiting for someone to comment, but the point was simple, Bachar's the man regardless of who you are in climbing and every one of them pay their respects. :D


jt512


Aug 17, 2004, 2:17 PM
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Tell it to Reardon.

-Jay

Nothing to tell, you don't understand and never will.

Easy for you to say, Mike. Try me. I'm actually quite bright.

-Jay


fredbob


Aug 17, 2004, 3:17 PM
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Bachar helped develop a certain way of climbing --

.......He put all of himself into his work, and we should all be proud of what he did because it redirects our gaze right up to the stars.

Watching this thread develop, it is somewhat interesting to observe how Bachar's sometimes abrasive personality has been utilized to critique his stature as a climber. Without a doubt, John was one of the most pivotal and influential figures in rock climbing during the last 30 years. His climbing reputation doesn't really need defending, though JL and others (and I guess now me) have bothered, in a sense, to do so.

John's influence on the world of rock climbing was all pervasive by 1980. The world's top climbers flocked to places like Joshua Tree and Yosemite to repeat Bachar testpieces.

John was serious about training, rightly sensing that compared to athletic endeavors such as gymnastics, few climbers were developing specific strengths and skills necessary to climb harder routes. Influenced by the likes of John Gill, Bachar (as well as others; e.g.: Tony Yaniro) brought a new level of dedication and innovation to training for climbing, long before anyone conceived of an artificial climbing wall.

But lets not forget, John was supremely talented, the best of his generation. The fact that the mention of his name today can evoke so many opinions (informed and otherwise) says plenty. I look forward to seeing Mike Reardon's documentary, maybe today's climbers can get a perspective on a man whose accomplishments are still both influential and inspirational.


bobd1953


Aug 17, 2004, 3:27 PM
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Those that hold the same ethics he did and have not compromised them are currently the strongest climbers. I don't see Sharma, Caldwell, Keil and the rest of the gang pulling on chipped holds, gluing in pockets, or hangdogging routes that are above their abilities. Those ethic-based climbing accomplishments speak higher than anything else.

I think that at one time or another Caldwell, Keil and Sharma has pulled on a chipped or glued holds. Doesn't make chipping right! All of them have climbed in France, Smith and Rifle.

Hangdogging starts once you weight the rope and try the move without lowering to a ledge or the ground. I would also bet that they have done that. I would also believe that "Realization" was a little above Sharma ability went he first started that project.

Bachar has very little to prove to the current climbing world. What he did/done will stand through the ages. The same way Kauk's climbing will, Gill's climbing will, Watt's climbing will and so on...

Hanging on a rope is not bad ethics.


jt512


Aug 17, 2004, 3:29 PM
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Hanging on a rope is not bad ethics.

Thank you.

-Jay


curt


Aug 17, 2004, 3:32 PM
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Hanging on a rope is not bad ethics.

Thank you.

-Jay

Well, hanging on a rope certainly doesn't exemplify good ethics.

Curt


bobd1953


Aug 17, 2004, 3:42 PM
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Well, hanging on a rope certainly doesn't exemplify good ethics.

Don't confuse style with ethics.

That means that Wunsch, Bragg, Erickson, Dunn, Kauk and so on lacked good ethics. They at one time or another hung on the rope and try moves while hanging from the ropes.


hasbeen


Aug 17, 2004, 3:51 PM
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Just to add a bit of fuel to the fire, Bachar is/was against chipping, glueing, and hangdogging for the most part. However, he did do all three at various times. I could probably even dig up pics.

This, in no way means a lack of respect because Bachar was, in my opinion, the best climber in the world at one point. Not many people can say that--or have it said about them. He, like Kauk, are beautiful to watch climb.

And, while abrasive, perhaps, he's also quite funny in a most sarcatic manner. So maybe he's not abrasive. Maybe he's just takin' the piss and many don't get it.

"Every day the dancer goes out and works on his dance. He may have some goals or some pieces he would like to perform but the main point is to work on his dance. Both he and I are interested in the same thing. It's the dance that counts (sic)" - JB


iamthewallress


Aug 17, 2004, 3:56 PM
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Well, hanging on a rope certainly doesn't exemplify good ethics.

It doesn't exemplify ethics of any sort, IMO, unless it's wrapped around someone's neck.

Style and aesthetics on the other hand...


rockvoyager


Aug 17, 2004, 5:03 PM
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Just a quick observation about how JB's influence continues to be felt by modern climbers all over the world: Astroman, 5/75; Bachar-Yerian, 8/81.

JV

Yeowzer

Crap shoes, bunk gear. Does anything else really need to be said??

Brad


curt


Aug 17, 2004, 5:27 PM
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Well, hanging on a rope certainly doesn't exemplify good ethics.

It doesn't exemplify ethics of any sort, IMO, unless it's wrapped around someone's neck.

Style and aesthetics on the other hand...

Indeed, hanging on a rope is more a stylistic issue than it is an ethical one. However, it can sometimes be an ethical issue.

For example - two climbers are both trying to get the first ascent of a difficult new line. One always lowers to the ground after each fall, while the other "hangdogs" at the crux and bags the "FA" before the other guy.

Stealing a FA by cheating, IMO, then transcends stylistics and becomes an ethical issue.

Curt


bobd1953


Aug 17, 2004, 5:43 PM
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For example - two climbers are both trying to get the first ascent of a difficult new line. One always lowers to the ground after each fall, while the other "hangdogs" at the crux and bags the "FA" before the other guy.

No that just means he (hangdogger) was smarter and more efficent. :)

Let's get back to Bachar


bishopclimber


Aug 18, 2004, 9:47 AM
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I'm not going to get into the style vs ethics issue.
Bachar, and Largo were my heroes when I started climbing(1979). The things they did back then were amazing. Used to see them at Stony quite a few times.
There is no doubt that JB was cutting edge. Saw him freesolo the left Watercrack on Lembert when 5.8 was harder than it is now.
Just curious, how many sport climbers would have the vision to fa the Bachar-Yerian?

Largo, a mutual friend once told me that you thought that Bachar was the best face climber in the world, and Yaniro the best crack climber. true?


hasbeen


Aug 18, 2004, 10:05 AM
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Just curious, how many sport climbers would have the vision to fa the Bachar-Yerian?
_________________

Many of the top guys do. It's pretty common now for climbers to push standards on the lead in the mountains. Okay, not common but there are many people out there doing it. Especially in Europe, where you have huge walls of limestone. Pop in a bolt and then cast off with a bunch of hooks in search of your next placement. Guys like Kammerlander and Huber(s), and many more, have established loads of routes in this style into the 5.14 range. It's identical, really, to what Bachar did back then. It's not like he was a one of a kind athlete and nobody will ever equal those feats. He was a visionary but there will be new visionaries with each generation who will continue to become better and better at climbing.

If you are suggesting the climbing standards aren't what they once were, you are out of your friggin' mind. And if you want an example, just look at El Cap. Even when Skinner/Piana freed the sucker at the end of the Bachar era it was thought to be "impossible" and they were accused by a large part of the "in-the-know" crowd as liers and cheaters. Now you've got weekend warriors freeing the thing. Times have changed but today climbers are just as strong, just as bold, and just as visionary as ever.


vivalargo


Aug 18, 2004, 10:30 AM
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Largo, a mutual friend once told me that you thought that Bachar was the best face climber in the world, and Yaniro the best crack climber. true?

Can't remember ever making any "best" appraisals. And anyhow, both Bachar and Yaniro are both from the "trad" era, which is considerably different than sport climbing, so the appraisals don't really translate in a way easily understandable today since folks are not doing that sort of climbing much anymore. Also, I was based in California, and though I traveled around quite a bit, I didn't see everyone so my opinion is biased.

That much said, here are a few guys who really impressed me over the years (on trad). Both Darrel Hensel and Rick Accomazzo were awesome on slabs and thin hold climbing, especially on first ascents featuring mamouth runouts. Bachar was wonderful on the boulders and cracks as well. He could basically do anything. Bill Price was physically weak but could do any crack (like Phoenix) because his technique was so good. Dale Bard could climb offwidth cracks like a champ because he was strong, bold, thin, and always in shape--and he had great technique. Bridwell was a total master of climbing flares, as was Mark Klemens. Kauk and Billy Westbay were tremendous at everythng, and Ron Fawcett (English -- we climbed El Cap together as teenagers) was the lyback king.
On long, really bold adventure first ascents, Richard Harrison was my partner of choice because he had a great head, was solid on every technique and was easy to get along with.

Thee were plenty of others as well . . .

JL


Partner cracklover


Aug 18, 2004, 1:57 PM
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For example - two climbers are both trying to get the first ascent of a difficult new line. One always lowers to the ground after each fall, while the other "hangdogs" at the crux and bags the "FA" before the other guy.

Stealing a FA by cheating, IMO, then transcends stylistics and becomes an ethical issue.

Absolutely. I think where people are missing your point (and perhaps you are missing their's) is this: When the accepted style changes, so does the definition of "cheating", and the ethical dillemma vanishes except in the mind of the person who retains the anachronistic style.

Those of us young'uns who weren't there should try to see the comments of those folks who were in the appropriate light. They (especially those in the highest echelons like Bachar and Robbins) were fighting battles within the context of their own times. After a "generally accepted" style has moved on, it's easy to take someone's position out of context and portray them as ridiculous, unrealistic, or even wrong. But best to keep in mind that they were dealing with a dynamic situation which might (at least theoretically) have gone differently than it did!

GO


rocloco


Aug 19, 2004, 8:26 AM
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days of our lives


dingus


Aug 19, 2004, 9:24 AM
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Well, to sort of bring this thing back around again, Old Dogs, perhaps some of you would care to take a crack at Pat Ament's characterizations of Bachar? Each of you, in your own way, seem to have in the course of defending your friend confirmed what Ament said.

It is interesting that Ament seems to have afforded himself at least as much space in that book as he did Bachar, and more I suspect!

DMT


curt


Aug 19, 2004, 10:31 AM
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Well, to sort of bring this thing back around again, Old Dogs, perhaps some of you would care to take a crack at Pat Ament's characterizations of Bachar? Each of you, in your own way, seem to have in the course of defending your friend confirmed what Ament said.

What's the point? I don't see how personal characterizations of Bachar reflect on his climbing resume in any way.

In reply to:
It is interesting that Ament seems to have afforded himself at least as much space in that book as he did Bachar, and more I suspect!

DMT

Author's prerogitive there, I suppose. Ament also chose to include me in his book. What can I say? The guy obviously has a lack of proper perspective. :lol:

Curt


dingus


Aug 19, 2004, 11:11 AM
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What's the point? I don't see how personal characterizations of Bachar reflect on his climbing resume in any way.

Right on Bro. Um, who said this thread was about John Bachar's climbing resume?

In reply to:
What's John Bachar up to these days?

Back in the mid 80's he was "The Man"! Then he kind of dropped off the radar after a few high-profile run-ins about bolting. Always seemed to me too bad that he never seemed to be able to embrace the changes in climbing (and be embraced by the new climbing community).

Anyone know if he is still climing at a high standard, still active in the climbing community, happy, whatever? Does he still live in Foresta?

That is a fairly broad opening, wouldn't you say? This IS the History Channel, right? And Ament, he sort of specializes in climbing history I think. And one of the subjects of his free climbing history book is John Bachar, the one and same guy we are discussing right now.

Robbins, to abuse an overused example, behaved in dickheaded ways from time to time, same as the rest of us. Calling attention to those dickheaded things doesn't detract from the greatness of the man, nor does it lessen his contributions to the sport. In fact, it could be argued that his dickheadedness was PART of that contribution, such as chopping the first 4 of the Dawn Wall or nabbing the Direct NW Face of HD from Cooper and Rowell. This is part of the fabric of the history of our sport, as was the subsequent chopping of Robbins' bolts on Free Blast.

I believe Bachar's personality traits certainly played a major role in his contribution to the sport and the history that goes with it. I don't believe it is necessary to shy away from the truth of a man, any man. He is what he is and to suggest that his personality is off bounds because his climbing skills are so peerless is, well, ridiculous.

All that said, it is good to see his friends stick up for him to this day, even the ones mentioned in the book.

It is in fact undeniable that some of the heat Bachar took was due in part to his personality. That personality is woven into the ethics and bolt wars of the day.

What did you say about your partners in your various interviews with Ament, Curt?

DMT


curt


Aug 19, 2004, 11:20 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
What's the point? I don't see how personal characterizations of Bachar reflect on his climbing resume in any way.

Right on Bro. Um, who said this thread was about John Bachar's climbing resume?

Well, this isn't People magazine, or even RC.com community, so the assumption is that this thread is somehow about climbing.

In reply to:
What did you say about your partners in your various interviews with Ament, Curt?

DMT

Go read it. I was totally honest about what I said--or at least about the way I recalled things.

Curt


dingus


Aug 19, 2004, 11:42 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
What's the point? I don't see how personal characterizations of Bachar reflect on his climbing resume in any way.

Right on Bro. Um, who said this thread was about John Bachar's climbing resume?

Well, this isn't People magazine, or even RC.com community, so the assumption is that this thread is somehow about climbing.

This isn't the Climbing Resume Forum either. This is the history channel. Are you suggesting that discussions about the personalities of historical climbers don't belong on a climbing history forum? Are you suggesting that Bachar's personality has nothing to do with his climbing?

It's totally on topic.

DMT


curt


Aug 19, 2004, 12:22 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
What's the point? I don't see how personal characterizations of Bachar reflect on his climbing resume in any way.

Right on Bro. Um, who said this thread was about John Bachar's climbing resume?

Well, this isn't People magazine, or even RC.com community, so the assumption is that this thread is somehow about climbing.

This isn't the Climbing Resume Forum either. This is the history channel. Are you suggesting that discussions about the personalities of historical climbers don't belong on a climbing history forum? Are you suggesting that Bachar's personality has nothing to do with his climbing?

It's totally on topic.

DMT

Oh obviously. That's why you are getting such wonderful responses to the same question you have asked two or three times now.

Curt


billcoe_


Aug 19, 2004, 1:32 PM
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Author's prerogitive there, I suppose. Ament also chose to include me in his book. What can I say? The guy obviously has a lack of proper perspective. :lol:

Curt


Curt thats funny.


BTW: this thread is starting to remind me of 2 dogs barking at each other. Probably nothing anybody can say of any substance to add to what's been said by some real qualified folks.

Lets go climb.


bvb


Aug 19, 2004, 2:23 PM
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jesus, at five pages it's high time this thread went away.

but not before someone tells me why the sage articulations contained in my post were deleted.

furthermore, does one not recieve some sort of PM when one's post is deleted, notifying the user of the deletion, and offering a brief rational for the deletion?

or is this just more of the notorious rc.com control-freak pathology?

speaking of control freaks, how about that bachar on the cookie? smooth as silk. daaaaaaaamn......


holmeslovesguinness


Aug 19, 2004, 3:17 PM
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Stealing a FA by cheating, IMO, then transcends stylistics and becomes an ethical issue.
Curt

Not that I've ever been in a position to make a FA or steal one... But seems like most guidebooks I've looked at that bother to mention who did the FA also usually mention who did the first FFA? I alsways assume a FA implies aid or some such thing, not a clean free ascent.


dee


Sep 2, 2004, 12:32 PM
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I have always had total respect for Bachar, his climbing achievements and his ethics. I will never forget my feeling of chagrin when he asked me if I was still "ground up" and I had to admit I had recently rap-bolted a FA. Over it now, ground up only!


curt


Sep 2, 2004, 12:46 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Stealing a FA by cheating, IMO, then transcends stylistics and becomes an ethical issue.
Curt

Not that I've ever been in a position to make a FA or steal one... But seems like most guidebooks I've looked at that bother to mention who did the FA also usually mention who did the first FFA? I alsways assume a FA implies aid or some such thing, not a clean free ascent.

Unless you are specifically talking about freeing an aid route, "FA" and "FFA" mean the same thing.

Curt


timstich


Sep 2, 2004, 4:21 PM
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I really liked what few stories you guys posted earlier. That's what a history thread should have tons of. Good, detail-packed, non-censored, warts-and-all stories.


superbum


Nov 13, 2005, 11:02 PM
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I always regretted that johnnyb, who was indisputably the best rock climber in the world in his day and did things in the 80's that today's big number guys are incapable of, couldn't roll with the changes like his big brother Kauk. It's kind of a lesson to all of us, not to let your self image and self esteem get caught up in climbing ethics to the point where you have so much invested that you can't admit you were wrong, as most of our trad heros from the 80's did once the sport bandwagon got rolling. Bachar also really hurt his own cause by being an intolerant asshole, which did just as much to promote the point of view of those opposed to him as anything else. It's also a little poignant to watch the current generation trying half-heartedly to dust off and pick up the banner of pure ethics that jb carried, seemingly unaware that that battle was fought and lost 20 years ago, and the current high standards they now enjoy are a direct result of that defeat.

I look at him as the Henry Ford of climbing - a great innovator who eventually had his own company taken away from him because he wanted to keep producing the Model T.

What about the fact that he really fcking BELIEVED in something and refused to compromise his ideals under enormous amounts of pressure? He kicks ass. end of story.


lowerme


Feb 7, 2006, 8:02 PM
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:roll: As a relatively new climber I had just led Toejam at J.T. and was anchoring in at the belay when I look down to see this E.B. heelhook the ledge at my feet, then some fingertips appear, and finally this blond guy pulls over and says "Good Morning". He had just soloed Spiderline 11c/d. A couple years later I'm staring up the finger crack crux of The Direct Northwest Face on Lembert Dome, Touolumne. I'm taking way too much time (must have chalked up 50 times before finally commiting) when suddenly that same blond guy appeared from below, ropeless, and politely asked if he could climb through!


billcoe_


May 31, 2013, 8:14 AM
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dingus wrote:
OK, let's see, were you in on the FA of Free Blast? Who chopped Robbins bolts? Why? To whom were they given? Does this equate to respect?

Cheers
DMT

Sorry for the late response Dingus. I missed your question 8 years ago. Mike Graham (of Gramicci clothing fame although he no longer owns that co.) chopped the bolts on the Salathe during an early ascent with Kevin Worrell. I am guessing that was more along the lines of what was occurring in those days, and not directly a slap at Robbins. Maybe a backhanded slap:-) But you can ask Graham or do some internet research.


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