Frank Sacherer -- 1940 - 1978


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Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 28, 2009 - 11:48pm PT
Dr. Deeg-

Fun story about Frank sleeping til noon and missing two classes. Also, I was surprised to hear that you guys had cooking rotations. That's the first I've ever heard that Frank even knew how to boil water?! Clearly he had me connned!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 29, 2009 - 12:06am PT

> Did you do that with Photoshop? I have a lot of old photos in worse condition than that (some posted in this forum) and am just now getting them digitized. Would love some advice.

I did it with a free program called Irfanview. I just pressed U which does "Auto adjust colors".

I use Irfanview for:
 ^Y cropping
 R reduction (reduce to 800 x 600 for photobucket)
 S save in different formats (BMP for Paint, JPG for upload)

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2009 - 12:17am PT

Thanks! Probably I would have had better luck with a simpler system. I'm going to give yours a try.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Apr 29, 2009 - 12:26am PT
Here's a bit of non climbing Sacherer trivia. He appeared one evening with some books from the physics library. I was thumbing through them and asked offhandedly "Couldn't you find more current books on this topic?" He replied "You will one day learn that the old books are good." The idea was that the newer books felt like it was an affront to rigor to include any text explaining what they were doing, let alone background or motivation for a derivation.
I found this to be very valuable advice.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 29, 2009 - 05:52am PT
I began to imagine this thread made into a book. It reads along
so well and is so focused, with so much to learn, and so
many spirits involved... Yet it continues to go on... maybe
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 29, 2009 - 10:05am PT
Which lead us, Eric, to your last recorded first ascent: Affront To Rigor II 5.4.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 29, 2009 - 09:09pm PT
DrDeeg posted "Beck would not eat tomatoes, because in the year 1804 a lot of people ate tomatoes and they are all dead now"

It sounds like there's a story behind that. And maybe the name of "Affront to Rigor". Eric?
Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Apr 29, 2009 - 10:11pm PT
In 1970, when I first met Eric in Squaw Valley, the reason that he wouldn’t eat tomatoes was that anyone who had eaten tomatoes in 1804 was now dead.

Seemed like a reasonable observation.

At least that is the way I remember it.

Mountain climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 30, 2009 - 12:25pm PT
About Kronhofers:

The posts about Kronhofer climbing shoes are generally correct. They were our prevailing shoes in the 60s. However, Frank Sacherer climbed in Spiders, at least in the great Summer of '64. In those days, we owned 1 pair of climbing shoes, and we used them for the approach, the climb, the descent, and the walk to Yosemite Lodge in the evening. In a discussion around '63 or '64 about shoes, Wally Reed opined that Spiders were the best because they were most comfortable sitting around the Lodge.

I started using Kronhofers in '66. On Gerughty's advice, I bought a tight pair, stood in the water until they didn't hurt and then bouldered till they were dry. There are advantages to leather.

When I started grad school in '68, I could fit everything I owned into a VW bug. My entire footwear inventory was: Lange ski boots, Le Phoque mountaineering boots, Kronhofers, and sandals. My Hush Puppies had worn out, but they were pretty good for climbing too, viz Dick Erb on Rixon's East.

May 1, 2009 - 12:43am PT
You guys didn't convert to RDs back then? I gave up my Zillertals and Kronhofers by the mid 1960s (if my recollection is correct!).

Social climber
West Linn OR
May 4, 2009 - 09:34am PT
This is general curiosity question about Frank. After I went in the Army in 1962, I wrote to Guido about wondering when Frank and Glen Denny would get sucked up into the big green machine. It sounds like Frank avoided that pleasure. Was it because of national defense or some unknown maladay that he wasn't drafted?

May 4, 2009 - 11:17am PT
Bits and pieces here.
In 1962 I was a grad student in physics working part time on DOD contracts. DOD was funding a big portion of physics research, including the high energy work in which Frank would have been involved.

I had a pair of spiders. Used them on one climb. Wonderful stiff sole that would work only one way. I still have maybe twenty pair of RD's all needing to be resoled. Absolutely great shoe of the day.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2009 - 12:17pm PT
jstan is right. Frank didn't have to worry about the draft because of his job at the Lawrence Radiation Lab.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 4, 2009 - 05:07pm PT
jstan is correct-we could all use a wee bit of "resouling" at times.


Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 5, 2009 - 02:45am PT

This thread has certainly served that purpose for me!

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
May 22, 2009 - 07:57am PT
This is probably the best single climbing history thread I've seen on ST. Just the best.

I have a minor personal reason for bumping it.
John Rander

Trad climber
Paris, France
Jun 2, 2009 - 02:58am PT
At the request of Klara Weis, Joe’s widow, I have scanned my copies of the slides taken by Joe and Frank on the ill fated Shroud climb. Joe’s camera was smashed in the rucksack during the helicopter recovery, but with some care I managed to salvage most of the film later in a darkroom. About 30 photos were taken on the route; only the last images were badly damaged. The photos (and their number) suggest that the climb went normally up to the exit pitch. The first image (#1; Joe’s #4) shows Frank leading the last of the technical pitches at the top of the ice gully on Tuesday afternoon. Since Joe led most of the gully (sections of 80°) it is not surprising to find an absence of photos there. The next image (#2; Joe’s #9) is a view looking down from the small apron above the gully (Frank is removing an ice screw; the slope angle here is about 50°). The next three images (#3, 4, 5; Joe’s #11, 15 & 17) were taken from the chopped-out bivouac ledge below the Shroud’s large ice patch. Photos #4 & 5 were certainly taken on Wednesday morning; the weather on the Italian side is rather thick. The view (#5) looking NE shows the Petites Jorasses and just behind the Aig. de Leschaux; it also shows the true angle of the ramp, not always obvious. The following image (#6; Joe’s #22) was taken while Joe was seconding the first pitch above the bivouac, from this point the climb sweeps upward to the left. The two alternated leads up the ramp, and Frank took the next picture of Joe belaying him (#7; Joe’s #24) on the second (?) of those pitches. The last two photos (#8 & 9; Joe’s #25 & 28) show Frank climbing toward the exit gullies; the weather has definitely started to close in.

Hope this gives a clearer view of that last climb.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 2, 2009 - 03:14am PT
that is stunning John, simply amazing...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 2, 2009 - 03:17am PT
Wow. High up and have to go a lot higher to reach the safest descent. It makes me glad I can simply rap off of climbs in Yosemite. Sometimes we joke that people may only find our cameras, but this is for real.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 2, 2009 - 04:17am PT
These photos are definitely laden with emotion for me! Amazingly, I didn't even know they existed until John wrote to me to ask if it was ok to post them.

Again, I am amazed that Frank who loved sunshine and heat and going shirtless, was up on a climb and bivouac like that. Second thought is that these photos show all too well why it was so tempting to try to retreat down the Hirondelles ridge to Chamonix rather than go further uphill into the storm, with a long descent into Italy and a trip back through the tunnel to Chamonix.

So near and yet so far. What a difference a few hours makes!
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