Frank Sacherer -- 1940 - 1978

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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 14, 2009 - 02:30pm PT
Jan,

To post your photo, you need to first upload it onto some website, and then use the [ img ] and [/ img ] to bracket its URL, as Roger has described.
For a website to hold your photo, the most popular one people here use is
http://photobucket.com/
You can get a free account there, upload it from your computer to their site, and then display it here.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 14, 2009 - 08:01pm PT
Jan

Thanks for the contribution and insight into the life and times of Sacherer. One day in Oakland, while passing a Mothers Cookie delivery truck, Frank launched into a lengthy discourse on said occupation. It was both hilarious and sad and even today, If I forget the actual facts I vividly recall the intensity.

The following are some more photos from a trip on Dana Glacier that Denny, Sacherer and I made in the summer of 1960. For Frank and I it was our first time, and we had a blast.








scuffy b

climber
On the dock in the dark
Jan 14, 2009 - 08:52pm PT
The Cookies in the Passionate Purple Package!
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jan 14, 2009 - 09:09pm PT
It's intriguing to read about the guy we never met (back in the 70s) but whose legacy we chased from the Dihardral to flanks of Middle C.

True or made up, the famous Sacherer quote, "Don't grab that pin you chickensh#t," used to ring through my mind when I wanted to do just that. Now that's influence.

And looking over that Valley ledger, Frank had quite a year in '64, one for the ages.

JL
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 15, 2009 - 09:53am PT
This photo was taken in Marble, Colorado in 1967 and shows what an 80 ft.leader fall on a swami belt does to your ribs.


Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 15, 2009 - 09:57am PT
Domestic bliss on our first Christmas in 1965. Taken at Frank's parent's place in San Francisco.


Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 15, 2009 - 10:00am PT
Loveland Pass on top of the Continental Divide, Colorado 1968. The kitten was being transported from Glenwood to Boulder for my sister and husband, Judi and John Morton.




Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 15, 2009 - 11:43am PT
This photo was taken on the Mer de Glace Glacier in Chamonix- 1971. The ladder walker is a man named Ray Sherwood who also worked at Cern.


Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jan 15, 2009 - 01:27pm PT
Your last picture of you and Frank and the ladder walker roped together is a classic. What a great scene.

It sort of looks like it might be a re-enactment of the first ascent. Is the ladder walker anyone any of us would know?

And, if I may ask, what is your life now?
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jan 15, 2009 - 01:51pm PT
Jan--

Thanks so much for the comments and the photos. That shot with the kitten is simply amazing.

Too often, climbers remain entirely one-dimensional. We hear about this or that climb, this or that move, and see one hero shot after another of someone on the rock, but seldom get much sense of the social context.

Most climbers think of climbing as the only worthwhile public aspect of their lives, in some cases because climbing takes them out of whatever hardship or stress they face elsewhere.

Your remarks about the stress of moving out of the Catholic working-class of San Francisco and into the still very waspy culture of 1960s Berkeley and beyond are especially compelling.

Frank was pressing to excel in two very different but equally intense activities, and he was in the cultural capitol for each of them: Yosemite and Berkeley in the '60s. Toss in the fact that he was living at the very end of the era in which it remained possible for amateur climbers to dramatically impact the sport--
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 15, 2009 - 04:25pm PT
Cute photos! Thanks for sharing.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 16, 2009 - 05:55am PT
Roger-

There are many such ladders over the crevasses on the major routes across the ice in Chamonix, and it is not uncommon to see even elderly people crossing them on their way to some of the alpine huts. The ladder walker was a guy from new Zealand named Ray (Sherwood?) who also worked at Cern.

My own life after I left Geneva in early 1972, consisted of finishing my B.A. and M.A. at San Francisco State. I then taught the summer of 1973 for Colorado Outward Bound and traveled alone afterwards through S.E. Asia and India. After that I spent a year with the Sherpas of the Rolwaling Valley, just west of Mt. Everest - 8 days' walk from the nearest road, doctor, post office, and electricity. I wrote my Ph.D. in Anthropology at the Sorbonne and then rushed back to Nepal for a 6 month project where I walked 500 miles across the Himalayas west to east, surveying all the major Sherpa villages from just north of Kathmandu almost to the Sikkimese border. After that I got a job with the Swiss government on a foreign aid project with a Hindu population, and it was at the end of that contract that Frank was killed. By that time I was exhausted at every level, and came to the subtropical island of Okinawa where I've been ever since. I teach Anthropology and Asian Studies to a mixture of Americans and Japanese through the University of Maryland.

My climbing since I went to Nepal has been big snow mountains (20,200 ft) and crossing mountain passes with my Sherpa friends who sleep out in the open and cook on wood fires up to 18,000 feet. I haven't rock climbed in 35 years though that may change this May when I go to visit Layton Kor in Arizona. He's had a hard time this winter health-wise, but if he's up to it, we're going to do some easy climbs together again for old time's sake. After that I might come to the Valley for a week or so.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 16, 2009 - 06:00am PT
KLK-

I was very struck by your comment "Your remarks about the stress of moving out of the Catholic working-class of San Francisco and into the still very waspy culture of 1960s Berkeley and beyond are especially compelling. Frank was pressing to excel in two very different but equally intense activities, and he was in the cultural capitol for each of them: Yosemite and Berkeley in the '60s".

I suddenly had the revelation (hindsight is perfect) that the source of our trouble was that he perceived me always as one more source of stress because I never fit into his ideal wife mode of someone with no ambitions of her own, who would devote 100% of her time to him (his temper and personality quirks were never the real problem from my point of view). Before your comment I never could understand why he saw me as a threat when he was so much smarter than me and so accomplished. I can see now that in admiring his success, I failed to understand his own level of stress. A sobering insight though I'm afraid it would not have changed anything.

Meanwhile Ed has told me about a book that I've ordered entitled "Beamtimes and Lifetimes". It is written by an anthropologist also married to a physicist, and is a kind of ethnography of the culture of particle physicists.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jan 16, 2009 - 09:59am PT
Thanks for the personal introduction, Jan.

It is a small world, I think. When I decided that I wanted to return college--I quit to climb full time in 1969--I ended up getting my degree in music from SFSU in the late 70s.

There was a general shift in what young folks thought about the respective roles of men as husbands and women as wives that started in the 60s. I know that several 60s climbers that I was close to had very conflicted views about the role that they expected their wives to play in their marriages: they viewed themselves as cool and modern, but they were mostly grounded in a "Leave it to Beaver" view of domestic bliss (maybe with a little pot and weekend climbing thrown in) but could see that something was changing. Those of us who were in our 20s in the 1970s had a view that was based on some vague idea of a partnership, but still usually acted the same way our parents did (maybe with a little pot and weekend climbing thrown in).

As best I can tell—my kids are in their 20s with professional careers--it is still a struggle for younger folks to find a workable balance.

Although I don't make it back to the Valley much--so far I am up to a rate of once a century--I think that you would find ST campers who would be happy to meet you in the Valley for some climbing.

BTW, how did you find SuperTopo?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 16, 2009 - 10:23am PT
Roger-

You are quite right about the difficulties the '60's generation faced over changing gender roles. I think both men and women suffered greatly. Now with my own students in their 20's, I sense the problem is more of finding enough time and energy to "do it all", but that the major issues have been solved. Then again, maybe this is just a woman's perspective since it was my generation that was so driven to prove what women could do.

Well do I remember, Frank and Chuck Pratt shaking their heads in Camp 4 when a woman climbed the first 5.9 crack and both of them solemnly predicting that 5.9 might happen once in a while, but no woman would ever climb a 5.10 crack. Then Frank went into a funk for several days when we got word in Europe that Bev Johnson had climbed the Crack of Doom!

Meanwhile, I found supertopo during a web search on Layton, trying to find out what he had been doing since I last saw him. I wanted to read a bit about him before I started writing my piece for the bio Cam Burns is doing. While I was at it, I decided to type in Frank's name and see what I could bring up.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Jan 16, 2009 - 11:31am PT
I have to say that all of you old fart '60's climbers are pretty damn good writers
Jan: thanks so much for sharing your stories-I admire your ability to express the emotion
Thanks again you guys. It was 30 below last night and that qualifies as PFC- too cold to ski if your a piton grabbing chickenshit like me and so I am really enjoy this read
murf
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Jan 16, 2009 - 12:12pm PT
Jan- welcome to the Taco Stand!

It's pretty cool that we sometimes have one foot firmly planted forward, and one foot planted in the Back in the Day.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jan 16, 2009 - 12:55pm PT
So Jan, have you ever heard Bev's great oneliner to Ken Wilson, the editor of Mountain Magazine, on 5.10 climber(s)?

In an otherwise serious discussion on Valley climbing advancements, Ken brought up the subject of women climbing hard. I am guessing it was in 1972 or so, when Ken had travelled to the Valley for a first hand looksee.

Bev, in a serious tone, told Ken, "It is not about how many 5.10 climbs you have done; it is about how many 5.10 climbers you have made.

Then she smiled, sweetly, and turned her head just a bit.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 16, 2009 - 02:06pm PT
Jan,

> both of them solemnly predicting that 5.9 might happen once in a while, but no woman would ever climb a 5.10 crack. Then Frank went into a funk for several days when we got word in Europe that Bev Johnson had climbed the Crack of Doom!

Haha, too funny! Us guys have such fragile egos sometimes! :-)

Later, Bridwell considered Bev Johnson his "5.11 detector" - if she could climb it, it was 5.10, if not, it was 5.11. Of course, better climbing shoes (EBs) helped in the advancements of climbing grades. But the Kronhofers that Frank used were good enough for doing hard 5.10s and sometimes a bit more.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 17, 2009 - 09:33am PT
Great stories of Bev and great cartoon!

Sheridan drew a cartoon of Frank and I once. He was climbing up an overhanging cliff with his rope hanging straight down to the ground. I am belaying him though this is useless since he hasn't clipped in to anything. I am looking up and saying, "Frank, Frank, don't you think you should put some protection in"?
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