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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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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:
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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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.

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

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