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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

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