Frank Sacherer -- 1940 - 1978


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Trad climber
Jan 22, 2009 - 07:05pm PT
A Small Benediction

There is no Frank anymore, and hasn’t been for some time, meaning we are here discussing the memory of Frank. Yes, there’s the Frank in a few books and pictures and a grave in Chamonix holding remains which once held Frank. But really, once I realize (again) Sacherer is gone and Kamps and Pratt to name a few who most influenced me, I realize they all are only in my mind now. Then it dawns on me they were just so when they were alive. These climbers, all climbers, are only our view of them, the intake and processing of the talks, the movement on rock, the laughs, the glory, the bickering, the ranking of feats, the unraveling of how they were and why -- all only fleeting sparks between minds working just as now, here, on this thread, back and forth.

It takes some time to grasp there really are no climbers or even climbs other than our making, naming and assessing of each, our passing along witnessing all to our joy, wonder and sorrow. All is only low voltage firing of neurons between our ears, tiny electronic summaries of the earthly formations we climb upon, of the people with whom we climb, of even our selves moving along as before a mirror, time all the while clicking. A man named Frank we knew and now remember ended at a little square of ground in Chamonix which, Jan said, she and Frank’s family have not yet been able to visit. And yet here we all are making the only visit we ever can make – in our minds.

And so my small benediction: let us be most humbled, thankful and awestruck at the prize of consciousness, the sunny days on what we call rock and mountains with others we call friends, the noble globe itself only a dot in the vast swirl of matter and time, in the great physics of it all Frank pondered, the same which pounds and baffles each of us under a clear night sky. And there, looking up, perhaps I am not alone making a quiet vow to hold more tightly to good friendship and love before sleeping Frank’s sleep.

Tom Higgins

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 22, 2009 - 07:47pm PT
well said

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jan 22, 2009 - 07:49pm PT
Should we all be so loved to have a Tom Higgins to write our benediction.


Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 22, 2009 - 11:46pm PT
In our ever changing consciousness, some people and some memories, are more vivid than others. I believe Frank provokes such intense remembrances 30 years after departing this earth, because he lived life so much more intensely in his short 38 years than the rest of us. The characterization that seems closest to the Frank I knew, was the comment by jstan, “Perhaps Frank kept no reserves for safety in any of the spheres in which he lived”.

As I look back on our time together, the happiest in the conventional sense that he ever appeared to be, was when we were living in our Volkswagen bus and touring Europe, free of both physics and climbing. From this, I think we can conclude that striving always for excellence is a very difficult path in life and to excel in two different fields eventually takes its toll, not only on the person who is excelling but also on their family and friends.

A non climbing example of living on the edge occurred when Frank was told by his thesis advisor that if he took a year off to travel in Europe, his physics career would be ruined, and Frank told him that he would risk it, he was fed up with stress and studying for awhile. I think this is what he meant when he told Dick just after defending his thesis, that he hated physics. As usually happened, Frank’s risk taking paid off in this regard as well. Far from being finished in physics, he was hired at CERN in Geneva the day after he walked in off the street and applied for a job.

As for Pat and John’s comments as to whether or not he was a climbing mentor, he certainly never taught me anything about climbing and resisted the whole effort in Yosemite. But that was only in the Valley. When I climbed on the Saleve with him in Geneva, he was a perfect partner with never an unkind word. Somehow he had very fixed ideas backed with a lot of emotion, about Yosemite compared to other areas. It’s almost as though the past had become a burden for him there. If he could not continue to excel, then he was ready to do something completely different and move on. It also strikes me that most of the stories of Frank’s temper and impatience come from his big climbing year of 1964. I think he already knew that it would be his last chance to make a name for himself as grad school was pressing in.

Many people relax a bit as they get older, but this does not seem to have happened to Frank as he was publishing important work to the end, and climbing harder and harder routes on ice, a new medium. At least one person who knew Frank in Geneva has written that he thought excessive risk taking was related to the final fatal accident.

Meanwhile, I will post some of his physics achievements in the next contribution. To be mentioned in the acceptance speech of a Nobel prize winner is no small thing, and something I only recently discovered about him.


Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 22, 2009 - 11:48pm PT
Frank’s Physics Contributions

The 1984 Nobel prize in physics was shared by two men who worked at CERN, Simon van der Meer and Carlo Rubbia.

In van der Meer’s autobiography published by the Nobel Foundation, in the 8th paragraph down, van der Meer notes:

“The successful experiments in this ring and the work by Sacherer on theory and by Thorndahl on filter cooling showed that p accumulation by stochastic stacking was feasible”.

According to the Nobel Foundation statutes, the Nobel Laureates are also required to give a lecture on a subject connected with the work for which the prize has been awarded. In his lecture to the Nobel academy on Dec. 8 of that year, van der Meer also acknowledged Frank’s theoretical contributions on pg. 307. See:

For a complete list of Frank’s publications at CERN, see:

For those of us who are not physicists, the titles are practically unintelligible, but impressive for the very fact that they convey such a different world view than most of us know. Note he published under three slightly different versions of his name, Sacherer, Frank James, F.J., and F. (his actual given name was Franklin James) so there are yet more of them listed if you click on those variations at the bottom of the page. His latest publication was 1979, which means it was published posthumously and that he was working at a high level right up to the end.

Finally, if you would like to try to understand some of this from a non-mathematical laymen’s point of view, see the Quantum Diaries and the blogs of the individual physicists featured there. In particular, I was interested in physicist John Ellis, because he married Maria Mercedes Martinez, the woman from Columbia that Frank lived with after I left Geneva. They were still together at the time of his death and Maria was very helpful to Frank’s father when he arrived in Geneva to make final arrangements. John Ellis met Maria at Frank’s funeral and they were married shortly after. You can see a small photo of Maria at the bottom of John’s blog.

I have written to Maria through John asking her if she would like to make a contribution to this forum but have not heard back yet.


Social climber
West Linn OR
Jan 22, 2009 - 11:55pm PT
The benediction was a nice, gentle touch. After I left the valley in 1962 I knew almost nothing of what happened in the years following. As I told Guido, when I became a man I put away the things of a boy.

In 1995 one of my daughters said, "Hey Dad, did you know a guy named Roper? You're in his book." So she gave it to me for Christmas and while reading it I was stunned by Frank's death. And Baldwin's, too.

Now I'm old, or getting there pretty fast, and I like to think a task of the elder is to record the history of important events and to honor those who did special things. That is why I resurrected the thread in November, to honor Frank. I think this thread has to be one of the best reads of a "people's history" you will find anywhere, and I thank everyone who has contributed to it. Both text and photos (love those Alps shots). And thanks Ed Hartouni for starting it.

Bill Amborn
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 23, 2009 - 12:15am PT
Thanks to everyone, particularly Jan, and her and Frank's friends, for their heartfelt posts.

A good friend who enjoys watching SuperTopo has sent me the following story, thoughts, and picture. I can say that he's Canadian, in his 60s, and climbed at both Squamish and Yosemite in the 1960s. And that he's still climbing and mountaineering.

"One afternoon in 1964, Bridwell and I were climbing the Right Side of The Slack, on the El Cap apron. He was leading, and I was doing my best to follow. When we were up a couple of pitches, Frank and a partner, whose name I have forgotten, showed up to check out the Left Side, which was unclimbed at the time. We finished our climb, and rapped off. I reached the ground first, and snapped this rather poor quality composite photo."

"While it does not show Frank leading, it does show him belaying, after leading a pitch which had never been done before - almost as good. If you knew Frank, you can tell it is him. He is at the end of the first pitch, on the ledge above the bay tree. His partner is partly visible below him, while Jim can be seen two thirds of the way down on the right, getting ready for the last rappel. It's a lot steeper than it looks! It was getting late, so the others also rapped off, and gave us a ride back to Camp 4. The FA of the Left Side was done the next spring by Pratt and Robbins, who rated it as 5.10."

"I knew Frank reasonably well, but was not a close friend. Reading this thread has been interesting, although it has also been a bittersweet experience. I had heard, incorrectly, that Frank died from hypothermia on his descent from The Shroud, which seemed like a terrible fate for someone from sunny California. While death in the mountains is always tragic, at least Frank's was fast, either from a lightning strike or from falling. It is difficult to imagine the suffering which his partner experienced, roped to a dead friend, and waiting to die himself."

"As far as the 'shut up' story goes, I also heard that Frank was making a traverse. According to Bridwell the full quotation was, 'Shut up you chicken-shit bastard'. That's how I have always told the story, and it has a better ring to it! We still say that occasionally, but only as a joke, and a tribute."

"I never climbed with Frank, as I was not nearly good enough, and he was never that desperate for a partner! That is probably why I didn't see any of his darker side which others have alluded to. But those are things I do not know, as I always found him to be positive, cheerful and friendly. I suppose that there were two Franks, one of whom was too frank for some. When I think of him, I smile."

(The friend is working on a higher quality scan/composite.)
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 23, 2009 - 12:54am PT
There is a fairly accessible description of the project Frank Sacherer was working on in the 70s at CERN at:

Achievements with Antimatter

from the CERN Courier, November 1983

From AA to Z

The conditions for proton-antiproton physics were attained thanks to a remarkable sequence of developments in accelerator physics.

In 1974, tests led by A. N. Skrinsky in a small storage ring, NAP-1VI, at Novosibirsk demonstrated that cooling was being achieved. These results were confirmed later at CERN and at Fermilab. However the alternative idea of stochastic cooling ('The discovery of 'heavy light') from Simon van der Meer proved so successful that in the final schemes for proton-antiproton colliding beams at both CERN and Fermilab, electron cooling was dropped.

The first successful tests on stochastic cooling took place on 21 October 1974 on proton beams in the Intersecting Storage Rings. This followed the development of electronics sufficiently fast (GHz range) to allow the beam to be monitored in an intersection region on the machine (using two directional loop pick-ups connected to a differencing transformer) and to transmit the appropriately amplified signal to kicker magnets in the next intersection region. Thus the signal bypassed an arc of one eighth of the machine, racing the beam around the ring so that the same slice of beam could be acted upon. Over seven hours, a cooling rate of 2 per cent per hour was achieved.

This modest success gave encouragement to those who were working on the better understanding of the theory and on improving the hardware - people like Hugh Hereward, Dieter Möhl, Bob Palmer, Frank Sacherer, Peter Brarnham, George Carron, Leo Faltin, Kurt Habner, Wolfgang Schnell and Lars Thorndahl. The initial tests were concerned only with reducing the vertical spread of the beam. In 1976 the horizontal spread received the same treatment in the ISR and the results were again in excellent agreement with theory. With low intensity beams (around 5 mA), cooling rates went as high as 10 per cent per hour.

Also, he is not forgotten by the physicists:

"The Frank Sacherer prize for an individual in the early part of his or her career, having made a recent, significant, original contribution to the accelerator field, is awarded to Viatcheslav Danilov, ORNL/SNS

“for numerous contributions to accelerator physics, in particular for the proposal, calculation, design, construction, and demonstration of efficient laser H- stripping.”

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 23, 2009 - 01:14am PT

Do you know anything about the history of the Frank Sacherer physics prize? I'm wondering who organized and funded it?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 23, 2009 - 10:39am PT
Frank's European climbing history seems to go something like this: arriving at CERN and becoming established he starts climbing some of the "classical" routes in the Alps, and cragging at the local limestone cliffs of the Saleve, very close to CERN. He did these activities with various other CERN workers, including Jack Steinberger, an American physicist doing a work at CERN. Jack was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1988 for his contributions to an experiment he did with collaborators in 1961. Jack remembers climbing with Frank, but not much else, though he says "I was much much below his class" regarding climbing. John Cardy, a British theoretical physicist, who has posted some of his recollections above, also remembers meeting Frank in 1971, and climbing with him through 1973. Jean-Claude Bourigault was another partner, and we have some wonderful pictures of Frank on their outings. John Rander was an American physics graduate student who began climbing with Frank sometime in 1974.

It seems that Frank had a group of people at CERN, though his work seemed to keep him from training hard for climbs. John Rander returned to the States to complete his thesis and returned in 1976 to work with Steinberger. He says that he found Frank out of shape and not having been climbing much. Rander's return re-energized Frank as they started climbing in the Saleve.

Frank catches the climbing bug again in 1977 and begins to climb some of the more serious routes of the day. It was mentioned that Frank was very fast in the Alps, taking the "speed is safety" paradigm "to it's logical limit." This may have been an over reaction on Frank's part to being in a distinctly non-Californian environment. He rarely wanted to stop for pictures, lunch, or anything.

John Rander, who has written a book on climbing safety in French, and began his climbing career at Tahquitz and Suicide with Bud Couch and bouldering with Bob Kamps. He observed that Franks approach to climbing really centered on what we would call the adventuresome aspects of a climb, that is, facing a climb without the outcome being predetermined by technology or excessive knowledge of the climb prior to its climbing, accepting the risk. John thought that Frank's "gifts included a memory which allowed him to replay all the moves onsight, a quick insight to resolve the technical issues, and a mind which could switch off the 'alternatives' once a solution was clear to him."

John is an echo of the Yosemite days, "climbing with Frank was never without stress. He enjoyed taking risks, often pushing his limits..." which seems so similar to the early days. However, his work at CERN consumed much of his time and attention which added the observation "...without really being in shape."

Joe Weis was another American physicist and an accomplished ice climber from Washington. He and John Rander had planned to climb K7, they were doing a lot of mixed climbing together. Joe was better in this alpine medium than Frank was, though younger and fitter than Frank. The three of them had done an FA of an ice couloir on the Chardonnet earlier in the summer of 78. John was invited on the Shroud climb but declined.

Added details of that climb were John's impression that they were moving slowly, that they reached the summit the next day after a bivouac and descended a ridge instead of the "normal" descent where the weather closed in on them. Frank apparently fell with all the gear and was killed. Joe could not continue the descent effectively and died of hypothermia.

After writing this it seems so pointless, given the early brilliance that Frank showed in Yosemite. Yet we overlook the risks he took there, and the price he paid through the falls he took finding the limits. Somehow, he was willing to not just find the limits, but try to move beyond them. Often he succeeded, but sometimes he did not, and paid the price of his minimalist style. That attitude of pushing the limits probably worked against him in the Alps, a much more complex environment to explore climbing limits. Frank didn't make it back from that last climb, but the story is an old one to climbers, and not much is gained from its retelling in this case.

John Long wrote in another thread titled "Humility" recently that "the higher you might have one day gotten, you'll be humbled to a corresponding level once your skills start to erode or the injuries start to mount. Gracefully becoming a hack and a 'plunker' as they say, seems as crucial as any other skill." To someone who is young it might seem like a surrender, and they may declare, as we all did when we were young, that they will never surrender. But as you get older, you begin to see the truth in those words. Perhaps the most difficult technique to accomplish as a climber is the grace of aging, a coming to terms with what you have become.

Frank was 39 when he died, his golden years were in his early 20's. I cannot pretend to know much about him, but the urge to climb at ever more difficult levels is something that any climber holds inside them. It is an engine that propels them. At some point in life you do find real limits. We all cope with those limits differently.

Many thanks to Jannice Sacherer Turner for her excellent recall of the people she and Frank climbed with at CERN. Jack Steinberger, who apologized for his bad memory but pointed me to John Rander. Ray Sherwood also remembered a set of companions from those days as did Flemming Pedersen. John Cardy and Jean-Claude Bourigault added to the history, and have posted some of their recollections above. Frank is often characterized as being shy, but he seems to have climbed with a large number of people, both in Yosemite and in Europe.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 23, 2009 - 11:27am PT
I think a final way of understanding Frank comes from his classical education where the students were encouraged to emulate a hero from ancient history. Frank’s choice was Achilles the hero of The Illiad.

Achilles was famous for his temper, which often brought danger upon his friends. Primarily though, he was known as an exponent of the Greek concept of arete which is often translated as a reputation for excellence. In the Iliad, it also meant honor, strength, courage, and wit. To have arete meant that your reputation would live on after you.

As Frank was fond of quoting from the Iliad, “It is better to have lived a short and glorious life than a long and undistinguished one”.

In this regard, I think he more than managed to succeed at his self-chosen ideal. In both rock climbing and physics, there is a narrow period of time in one’s youth in which to excel and establish one’s reputation. Knowing that his reputation was secure in both fields, I don’t think living a long life was all that important to Frank. Nor do I think being happy in the conventional sense held much meaning for him either. I think he lived his life for just what this forum has accomplished 30 years after his death, a remembrance of his past excellence.

In the Illiad, the demise of a Greek warrior was celebrated with athletic games. In a sense, I think that has been done here also, with all of our climbing stories about Frank. His own funeral was not attended by any of his blood relatives, but 30 years after his death, his much larger climbing family has gathered to remember him.


Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 23, 2009 - 12:20pm PT

Frank with John Cardy and Jean-Claude Bourigault who have both contributed their remembrances to this blog.


Trad climber
Jan 23, 2009 - 12:27pm PT
Jan-- That's a great photo!

Eating Campbell's soup in the French Alps!

Jan 23, 2009 - 12:53pm PT
Last night, proceeding by deduction, I wrote something similar to Jan's post above,
including the classical references. So I won't repeat. While considering Frank
however, I did come to a realization that may be worth describing.

We all are much more affected by childhood experiences than we realize. Children
are absolutely ferocious learning machines. A million years ago if you did not learn
quickly enough you became dinner for wild beasts. Two things happen. First you
accept your circumstance as the norm, because you know of nothing different.
Second, you make judgments. If there is something in that experience you do not
like you determine to change it. When a person has exceptional talent, as did Frank,
you may even succeed.

A person currently much in the news, like Frank, is an excellent example. Both of
Obama's parents left him and he knew even his grandmother who was keeping him
alive, would have preferred he be different from what he was. If that had been all,
he would have taken away just resentment and anger and would be using that as a
tool. But there was more.

He saw that she was rising above herself and was committed to him. So he took
away that. That it is possible for people to rise above themselves.

Lincoln's better angels of our nature.

And it is this which is now being expressed.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jan 23, 2009 - 01:01pm PT
I woke up at about three thirty in the morning with some thoughts about how I knew Frank. Of course there was the time we spent together in Boulder, with Jan, but that wasn't how I came to know him. And of course I was keen on what went on during the golden age and kept up on what people climbed, who did what, and when. We all knew Frank by reputation. But that was not how I knew him really. My best understanding of Frank came through several people who had climbed with him.

I remember speaking with Kamps about their ascent of the Right Side of the Hourglass, and that impressive climb seemed to paint a picture for me of how deep Frank was. It was clear Kamps admired Sacherer, and that meant a lot to me in and of itself.

I felt something of Frank's spirit in both Kamps and Royal. I'm not completely sure, but it seemed Royal got a little more serious when Frank's name came up, or as we stood before one of his climbs.

I was given the comic rendition of Frank through TM Herbert, who more than once hypnotically went into one of his routines, where he became someone else, in this case Frank, and started to instruct me, as though I was the belayer, "Now watch me, I'm not going to be able to stop to get any protection in, so feed out the rope..." And you know how funny that was and how much TM could make your stomach hurt with laughter. But he knew Frank in a special way, and I got that sense.

When I climbed Sentinel one day with Pratt, Chuck spoke openly and warmly to me about Frank. I think I asked one of those questions an immature kid asks, such as, "What were your best climbs?" Chuck was not offended and listed, in order, the Lost Arrow Chimney, with Frank, the Sentinel route we were on, and the Salathe Wall of El Capitan. I was always rather amazed he would list these three climbs, especially Sentinel. He spoke in part about the beauty of these climbs. He had undoubtedly done pitches more difficult than were to be found on any of these three climbs. Anyway, Chuck carried some of the spirit of Frank, and I felt it. Also, though, I think I could feel in my partner that day on Sentinel some of the love Frank had for him, Frank's love for Chuck. As I climbed within Pratt's aura, if you want to call it that, I became acquainted with both sides of that coin, Pratt's respect for Sacherer and Sacherer's respect for Pratt. Of course I also felt, had a sense for, a whole lot of individuals alive in Chuck's soul. All of us, I think, are made up in great part of those friends who have touched us and who have shared precious experiences.

Kor told me of a couple of climbs he did with Frank, and in my mind the legend grew. I really could see Frank through Layton's animated eyes. Layton portrayed Frank as a great climber but also a bit of a madman. That struck me a little as the pot calling the kettle black, or however the phrase goes. It was through Layton I sensed Frank's determined, short-fused side.

Chris Fredericks spoke to me about Frank, and when I climbed Sentinel with Fredericks I saw a little of Frank in action. I think Chris patterned his climbing after Frank, almost more than any other example he had, although Chris climbed at about a fouth the speed -- however competently.

Bridwell and I were usually anxious to climb together as soon as I returned to the Valley (almost every season back then), and right around 1971 or so he grabbed me just as I arrived in Yosemite, and we did the Left Side of the Slack. It usually took me a few days to get my mind and body in shape for the Yosemite cracks, and Bridwell had been there already for weeks and was in the best shape of his life. He spoke of Frank several times during the course of that climb, although this was a climb Chuck had led free. There is a ten-foot section that is really tough, a strange off-width, but of course perfect for Chuck. I watched Bridwell lead this in great style, unhesitating. It was as though I might also have been watching Frank or Chuck, because Jim carried their spirits up every climb he did, I believe, but especially Frank's. I really began to know Frank, through Jim. All of the big names in the Valley played some kind of mentor role in Jim's life, but perhaps he was too competitive with the likes of Royal, for example, to view him as a mentor. There was something more father-son-like with Sacherer and Bridwell.

I climbed a route one day with Dick Erb in Clear Creek Canyon, and I felt again connected to Frank through a kind of intermediary or spiritual brother of Frank. I studied Dick's facial comportment, the calm intensity, how he reacted when he came to about ten bugaboos of differening size I had nested all together by their tips into one single shallow hole about a half inch wide and half inch deep. It was an A5 placement, and Dick's eyes widened a little when he caught side of that mess, but somehow, he calmly put his weight on it, the way I imagined Frank would have. To make my point, I connected with Frank through Dick. Of course Dick told me first-hand the story he has again related about falling, and Frank letting him slide down all that way.

When I climbed a route on Twin Owls, above Estes Park, with Eric Beck many years ago I felt as though his presence kept switching in and out with Frank's, or at least something like that was happening in my imagination, that they were interchangeable. I sensed those two were deeply related, and as I got to know Eric a little I seemed to get to know Frank somehow also. Eric, by the way, was one of the best of his day and is one of the truly undersung masters of that golden era.

It's all mysterious, how we are indeed connected. There is much more to it than meets the eye.

Incidentally -- I think if I were to have known Frank much more up close and personal and done a lot of climbs with him I likewise would have better come to know Kamps, Kor, Pratt, Herbert, Bridwell, Fredericks, Beck, Erb, and the rest.

Finally I have come to better know Frank now through Jan and all those who have some inkling of or actual experience with Frank and have shared it here. And in answer to my good friend Higgins, I think we are much more alive than death tells us we are. All of my departed friends live in me and remain every bit as real as when they were "clothed in flesh."
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 23, 2009 - 04:47pm PT

> Do you know anything about the history of the Frank Sacherer physics prize? I'm wondering who organized and funded it?

Two prizes have been given out by the EPS-AG (European Physical Society - Accelerator Group) at their conferences every two years since 1994:

(page does not include 2008 yet).

It appears the prizes did not have titles until 2008, when they were named for Frank Sacherer and Gersh Budker:

I don't know why the names were added. Gersh Budker died in 1977 (and Frank Sacherer in 1978), so perhaps it is related to a 30-year anniversary of their passing.

You could ask:

Trad climber
Jan 23, 2009 - 05:20pm PT
Jan said,

"In the Illiad, the demise of a Greek warrior was celebrated with athletic games. In a sense, I think that has been done here also, with all of our climbing stories about Frank. His own funeral was not attended by any of his blood relatives, but 30 years after his death, his much larger climbing family has gathered to remember him."


Tom Higgins
Dick Erb

June Lake, CA
Jan 24, 2009 - 12:55pm PT
Since you asked, your memory about the fall I took on Middle was pretty good considering how long ago it was, but it was as I said a piton that Frank told me not to grab. Also it was not a controlled slide. He let go with his braking hand while doing a hip belay. When the rope took off he grabbed it with both hands in front of his body but could not control it. To me it felt like a free fall.

Social climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 24, 2009 - 03:17pm PT
Cool thread.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Jan 24, 2009 - 06:13pm PT
Frank once said that he liked to think he improved every climb he did. His FFAs were the obvious examples, but others included just finding a superior line through a particular section or doing the route faster. This is a more elusive idea for us today, doing the 900th ascent of a route.

Frank also noted that when he was in shape, he felt "light". I also have felt this, although not in quite a while. I have read that for John Gill, this was an important aspect of his bouldering; indeed, that if he didn't taste the feeling of lightness on an ascent, the ascent was somewhat blemished.

One more: "The day you do the Arrow Chimney free in a day is the day you do more work than any other day of your life".
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