Frank Sacherer -- 1940 - 1978

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Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Aug 8, 2010 - 06:36pm PT
Sacherer bump!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 8, 2010 - 09:26pm PT
No doubt Kalimon, one of the best history threads in the whole place for sure.

Just the cast of characters in this thread is kind of mind boggling.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 9, 2010 - 06:59am PT
Frank’s memorial and the scattering of his ashes in a place overlooking his favorite climb in Yosemite, have come and gone. For those European friends who had earlier bookmarked this page and wondered how it went, here’s the link with the actual photos and some of the talks given. The photos start about half way down the page.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1140305&tn=120

Thank yous to everyone involved in helping bring this to an honorable conclusion, including friends in Europe, are found here.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1140305&msg=1183954#msg1183954


Meanwhile, copies of the program distributed at the memorial have been mailed to Christine Petit-Jean-Genaz at CERN for distribution to people who knew Frank.

Scanned copies are attached below.

Credit: Jan
Credit: Jan
Credit: Jan
Credit: Jan
Credit: Jan
Credit: Jan


Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 9, 2010 - 07:03am PT
Several people at the memorial mentioned Frank’s keen interest in Zen. I had previously noted the influence of his Catholic background, but after hearing the recollections of his close friends, I realized I had neglected the Zen. Neither Frank nor I ever practiced sitting meditation, so it remained an intellectual interest, often in combination with the philosophy of physics.

Here are a couple of comments on the Zen connection made by Eric Beck.


“Frank liked samurai movies because he was fascinated with the idea of maintaining a calm center in the midst of furious activity”.

“Frank was once in a discussion about the nature of freedom. My mom said she thought freedom was not having to do what you don’t want to do. However, Frank came up with a very Zen like definition.

‘Freedom is wanting to do what you have to do’ ”.

Recently also, Paul Kunasz, a friend and early climbing partner of Frank, sent me a copy of a letter he recently sent to the Boulder Daily Camera in response to an article on their sports page.

“I read with interest Jenn Fields' The Partial Zen of Sport because it reminded me of conversations with Frank Sacherer in the years leading up to to 1964, the "summer of Sacherer…….

Frank was interested in pursuing a state of mind while leading which would allow the same calmness and therefore effectiveness in a scary, runout position as one would have when clipped into a couple of good anchors. He was interested in using Zen teachings to explore this state of mind".


Another interesting tidbit from Eric that I had never heard before was that Frank had wanted to study cosmology in grad school and resented being directed into particle physics as were almost all the advanced students at Berkeley. This did not surprise me given his interest in Zen and physics, but was the first I had heard of it.

Ironic too, and indicative of our being attracted to certain types of people, I went on to teach courses in comparative religion and his live in girlfriend after I left, was employed at the World Council of Religions in Geneva and later married a cosmologist.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 9, 2010 - 07:04am PT
Finally, I would like to note that one of the reasons I personally put a lot of effort into the memorial was not only to honor Frank and his great influence on my life, but also as a way of repaying his parents for their many acts of kindness.

Frank’s parents always told me that I was the daughter they never had, and treated me accordingly. I was very moved when they invited me to stay with them after I left Switzerland and moved back to the U.S. In fact, I lived with them for nine months until I had finished my B.A. and been accepted into grad school. Then, after I located my own apartment, Frank’s father did not like the ground floor windows, which he felt were unsafe. As a surprise, he replaced them with new aluminum windows at his own expense and using his own labor. For the following year and a half I had dinner with Frank Sr. and Verna every couple of weeks, and for 15 years after I went overseas, I stayed with them whenever I visited the U.S.

Sixteen months ago when I first learned of Frank’s obligatory exhumation, some of my first thoughts went to his parents and how horrified they would have been to know that he was not buried forever. I also knew that finally, I would be able to repay them for their kindness.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 9, 2010 - 07:05am PT
A Poem by Hope Meek

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1180799/Poem-for-Sacherer



Frank Sacherer
His Last Trip

Loyalty, love and friendship

Carried him on his way

To the heights, they spread him

The seventeenth of May

Returned from the Shroud as powder

Remains in Reddish clay

Now returned to heart’s home

His memory here will stay.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 9, 2010 - 07:10am PT
Home at Last
Home at Last
Credit: Jan
The View
The View
Credit: Jan
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 9, 2010 - 07:38am PT
That's awesome Jan.

Thanks for the links, all your hard work, and most of all for sharing so many of your personal thoughts about all of these things since this thread started.
Bruce
scuffy b

climber
Eastern Salinia
Aug 9, 2010 - 08:49am PT
Thanks, Jan.

I'd been thinking "How could there be more to say" by this time, but
you've produced more touching writing for us.

It's good to know more about this man who was such a great influence,
even to many of us who never met him.
At the memorial, even though I felt myself to be such an outsider, the
little bit of rubbing shoulders I did was very moving for me.
Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Aug 9, 2010 - 08:54am PT
Jan,

You are a very strong and courageous individual! Your willingness to bare all has made this thread something special indeed. Frank was a very fortunate man to have found a woman and partner like yourself.

Thank you for everything!
JerryA

Mountain climber
Sacramento,CA
Aug 9, 2010 - 09:30am PT
Ran into TM at the start of West Crack on Daff Dome one day and he described how nervous FS was on the initial 5.9 move. Try it without sticky rubber and see what you think.
jstan

climber
Aug 9, 2010 - 09:46am PT
Jan:

What you did had to be done. It was wrong for Frank to be in Chamonix. Now it is right. Yosemite has regained a son. Thank you.

I have a nostalgia drawer that needs a copy of your program for the memorial. My copy got bent up on the train ride. If you have any more, could I impose upon you to mail me one?

It is a work of art.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 9, 2010 - 09:54am PT
jstan-

Email me your address and I'll be happy to send you another one. I have plenty left over.
MMCC

climber
New Zealand
Oct 19, 2010 - 03:03pm PT
I still say "wow" to this thread. Good time to punt it back into the public eye.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 19, 2010 - 03:11pm PT
I agree ! Just found some more pics of the event and will try to post them in the next week. Thanks Jan for all you did. Ciao, lynne
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jan 2, 2011 - 07:11pm PT
This is more than a bump...

For me, this thread is the greatest for many very intensely personal reasons.

First,it caught my attention through a Google search that wasn't related and brought me to Super Topo for the first time.

Second, it put me back in touch with two very old friends Jan and Patrick Oliver.

Finally, it brought me back to the climbing community that I'd missed for a long time! Additionally, I'm thankful for all the new friends and companionship of kindred souls and spirits: Ed Hartouni, Fritz, Crimpergirl, Brassnuts, Tarbuster, Philo, SteveW, Eeyonkee, and many more too numerous to mention.

So....thanks Ed, for starting this thread; thanks Jan for continuing the dialogue!!

Rodger
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 2, 2011 - 08:14pm PT
similar experience

thank you all...
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 2, 2011 - 10:30pm PT
I too had been away from the climbing world for decades and knew nothing of Supertopo until I stumbled on this thread by chance. In Asia of course, we call it karma and for me it certainly was that.

Now half a year after the memorial I was just thinking to myself how many unresolved emotional issues I had regarding Frank, that I wasn't even aware of until this thread. Since the memorial, they have disappeared and whenever I think of Frank's final remains resting high above the valley on what Steve Grossman labeled "the final bivy", it brings a smile and a feeling of lightness.

We all did the right thing here as a community and we should all share in the satisfaction.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 2, 2011 - 11:00pm PT
Spring in Yosemite
Spring in Yosemite
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jan 3, 2011 - 10:52am PT
I just heard on NPR a story about CERN and I immediately thought of Frank Sacherer. I have used that chicken sh#t line myself on climbs. I like to yell it at my climbing partners. It sure is a good one. Always makes me laugh. Thanks Ed for a great thread. Sacherer is a legend for me and not so much a myth anymore. Thanks all for sharing.
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