Bachar references in Mountain Magazine


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Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 12, 2012 - 03:05pm PT



Oct 12, 2012 - 10:52am PT

He became the best climber on the planet

You're dreaming a fantasy and projecting that fantasy .....

he worked much harder at it than anyone else.

More fantasy which can be so easily smashed it's not even worth the time.

Werner, will all due respect, I disagree.


Oct 12, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
He became the best climber on the planet

He would never free solo "Separate Reality" although he made the claim I can do it right after Gulich free soled it.

I told him him he'll have to do it since talk is cheap.

He never even tried the Phoenix because he was afaraid he might not do it first try on sight.

Moffet and Croft both did it.

He couldn't do "Thriller" after many attempts over a long period of time.

Kauk did the first ascent.

Then he got angry because they reinforced a crucial hold on "Thriller" with a little glue around it to preserve the hold.

He tries to rip the hold off with a crow bar so no one can do it anymore.

He succeeds only in damaging the hold.

That's not something what the best climber in the world would ever do.

Still he can't do it but Moffet and Kauk still do it with the hold damaged and proceed to do an even harder problem next to it using that damaged hold.

And that's only the tip of the iceberg .....
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Thanks Werner. Your contributions just above are invaluable to picturing not only Bachar but also his whole era as well.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 12, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
It is a cool name, and, it looks like its available for You to use for yourown gnarly cool epic climb Riley!

Send me a topo!

Or maybe we can find it here!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 12, 2012 - 10:50pm PT
I left the errors in the Mountain reportage, which was often correspondence from someone in the Valley to the editors... funny name mix ups, etc...

We now know the history, at the time this was "realtime" reporting, errors and all...

I will post the issue dates too... editing the OP

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Oct 12, 2012 - 11:05pm PT
And that's only the tip of the iceberg .....

He sure was funny
and he sure told
the truth
and he knew
what he was talkin' about

Challenge Herr Braun at your own risk ... dudes!


Poulsbo, WA
Oct 13, 2012 - 04:24pm PT
Thanks for posting, Ed. That one's a keeper and it's going in my bookmarks.

JB in a 1983 Fire ad.
JB in a 1983 Fire ad.
Credit: Phil Bard
(Bonus photo)

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Oct 13, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
^Great Bonus photo. Can't say if it's the best. Does give you pause to wonder how all those rocks were climbed without having any water to drink.


Who was the best Boxer? President? Baseball Player? Swimmer? Climber? Photographer?

These questions never get answered definitively. Are they worth asking? Sure why not?

There's usually a recitation of what it was or wasn't that made someone the best, or didn't.

They're good reading for those of us who were either not there or were, but can't remember.

All that said, I am the greatest (in my mom's eye). You too.


between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
Oct 13, 2012 - 07:55pm PT
John was the best, period; your efforts to discredit him are so very shallow and a disservice to history.
Guyman, who was or was not the best is a matter of opinion. Werner was expressing his.

Trad climber
Oct 13, 2012 - 08:51pm PT
I like and respect all of the opinions of most who post to this site.

I never had the chance to meet any of my heroes in rock climbing except Reardon.

Werner's reasons for saying John wasn't the best gave me this thought.
It is very hard to do extremely hard things on a consistent basis. Especially when people are rooting against you or you think they are rooting against you. From what I have read it sounds like John made a few friends and others into enemies poisoning his climbing environment. This probably had a negative effect him when continueing to climb there. Also some problems are made for some body types, and styles.

I think it is safe to say the John opened everyone's eyes to what was possible and made everyone believe that it could be done with the proper fitness, mental focus and dedication.

Maybe I'm biased but I always thought the best means in their prime. In his prime I think Bachar was the best at that time. As was Osmond and Reardon.

Peace Eric

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 13, 2012 - 09:13pm PT
John had his moments, pretty close to more than the rest of our's put together. But he still had clay feet, like, all of the rest of, which I think is close enough to what Werner was getting at. He'll correct me if I'm way off...

Trad climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 05:22am PT
I wish it was like the debate about who the best to ever play electric guitar is.

ALL THE BEST GUITARISTS JUST SAY "Jimi" the only argument is who is after Jimi. They all trained just as hard and wanted to be just as good as Jimi but they aren't afraid to admit the truth.

Kind of like when Jimi was first "discovered" and a gig was set up to play with Clapton's band. Clapton was prepared to see someone who was good at guitar he wasn't prepared for an unknown to actually be better than him at his own instrument but he handled it with grace and Jimi got his break.


Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 15, 2012 - 05:32pm PT
To say that this person or that person was "the best of his generation" is impossible, as climbing is such a multi-faceted sport. Bachar, to his credit, would occasionally say words to the effect that Kauk was a more talented climber than himself. As Werner pointed out, you can find things Bachar couldn't or wouldn't do, that other people could do. Possibly a more accurate description of Bachar would be "possibly the most dedicated and hard-working climber of his generation."

His reply to MOUNTAIN MAG was so heartfelt and sincere; I don't fully agree with his response to the situation. I would have strongly spoken out against doing rap-bolted routes in the Valley if I felt the way he did, but would not have gone up there and actually chopped the route. Still, the fact that he felt so strongly and spoke up is a testimony to his sincerity. In such a situation, every man needs to speak for himself. If enough of his close friends were to go up to Kauk and say, "I honestly think it is best for Valley climbing if you don't put up any more rap-bolted routes", that is enough, just leave it there.
Jim Pettigrew

Social climber
Crowley Lake, CA
Oct 16, 2012 - 12:36am PT
Great job Ed!
Climbing with John was always an adventure! Especially fun times in the Rockies! Climb in the Rocky Mtn. Nat. Park then pie at the bakery near the Komito's boot shop!

Oct 16, 2012 - 12:45am PT
John was an interesting guy. Including a rare fact that he liked being called Johnny. He didn't understand why folks naturally never did.

Yes, I miss him. I would have liked to see how things would have shaped into if he stayed alive. Paola was good for him.


Oct 16, 2012 - 01:03am PT
John never actually chopped the route.

He just flattened hangers. That was pure bullsh!t.

If you take a stand then go all the way.

I got caught between the two sides, I sincerely thought there's room for everyone.

The Valley really isn't a place that would lend itself to too much rap sport routes to begin with.

There are a few exceptions here and there and they become mixed in for something for everyone.

Instead this stupid paranoia war that developed thru insecurity by certain rigid individuals with their hardline ideas.

Ron asked me what I thought before he ever did a rap route in the Valley.

I told him he has the intelligence to decide and choose. He knew "THEY" were gonna blow a gasket.

Besides everyone is becoming nihilistic to begin with so no one wants to die anymore over a climb.

So bolts and rap will become more and more ....:-)


Trad climber
Oct 16, 2012 - 05:11am PT
What is the story behind Bachar offering $10,000 to anybody who could follow him for a full day of soloing? Nobody came to answer the challenge is all I've read. Can you fill me in Werner (no disrespect intended).

peace Eric
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