Frank Sacherer -- 1940 - 1978

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 561 - 580 of total 592 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Mar 30, 2013 - 11:03pm PT
This thread went off the rails around 20 posts ago. There was some strange criticism that Frank, an established Valley veteran who was studying for a doctorate in physics, had ignored one or two 'new to the Valley' teenagers. It has since wandered further afield, with an analysis of who climbed with whom, spray about soloing accomplishments, and finally some speculation about Bev Johnson's sex life. This material is more suited to a "Soloing and Sex in the Sixties" thread, not in one intended to pay tribute to Frank. If you didn't like Frank, or he didn't like you, well, too bad. There's not much we can do about that now. As has been stated several times already, he was SHY SHY SHY and not easy to approach. For what it's worth, I knew Frank, and I liked him, a lot. Let's get this thread back on track.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 30, 2013 - 11:23pm PT
You tell ‘em Hamie. For you this six and a half year old thread is a memoriam. And as you say, “there is not much we can do about that now”.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2013 - 01:11am PT
I have received advice that this thread be "frozen" much farther back than 20 posts... of course that cannot be done without eliminating the opening post. And while I am the author of the thread and retain (I think) the ability to kill off the thread (thus fixing it in time) it wouldn't serve any purpose to do so.

When I started it 6 and a half years ago I was seeking information on Sacherer from those who knew him and climbed with him, there was relatively little known, and mostly the same stories. After hashing that around climbers who had climbed with Sacherer in the Valley posted up a number of recollections, stories and pictures which certainly started to put a more complete picture of him together.

About 3 years into the thread Jan Turner, Sacherer's wife, started to participate. Jan provided me with enough information about their European climbing partners, many of whom were physicists at CERN, that I was able to contact them and get the story of his Alpine exploits, as well as the absolutely stunning story of the last climb, along with images (since removed) from Sacherer and Weis' camera.

That was not the end as more people with stories found the thread and posted.

My original goal having been met, there was the wonderful occasion of being able to celebrate the memory Sacherer in Yosemite Valley May 2010 and meeting a number of climbers that I would probably never have had the honor of meeting.

The thread is relatively short, and the posts are not too off topic. One can't help by speculate on all nature of the bits and pieces of the story, and I suspect that will continue. But it is a great story and told here by all the voices it is still a wonderful read.

Thank you all for your contributions.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 31, 2013 - 06:38am PT
Speaking of which, I'm wondering if anyone managed to download the photos from Frank and Joe's last climb? I had downloaded the whole thread and then lost it in a computer crash when both hard drive and backup system failed. When I went to download it again, I discovered those photos were missing.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2013 - 08:52am PT
I had intentionally not downloaded the images, I felt that if they were needed for a book or article that it would be proper to ask the authors of those images permission for their use.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 31, 2013 - 09:13am PT
Don't freeze anything...it won't be as tasty later on!

Jan- Contact the poster about re posting the shots you are after.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Mar 31, 2013 - 10:02am PT
Jan asked for my recollections of relating to the previous generation, Robbins et al and the next, Bridwell and his boys, and my sense of intergenerational competition. My interactions with Royal were actually very limited and he was always cordial. While I may have wanted to compete, it felt utterly futile; that Royal was an order of magnitude bolder than I was or ever would be.

We only climbed together twice. He invited me to do Coon~ard. I had the first (crux) pitch. Luckily for me I had just done it a few weeks before and went up it with no difficulty. I think that I had been expecting Royal to be a wild man, racing up with little or no protection. Rather, he moved methodially, placed lots of pro and when I arrived at his belay, he had put in three pitons for the anchor, perhaps out of concern for what I might do. Two years later, Royal and Tom Frost invited me to the east face of Lower Spire.

Bridwell appeared one winter and announced that he and his team were headed to the NE Buttress of Higher Cathedral Rock. At this time the approach was in feet of snow and giant icicles were dangling from the summit overhangs. They didn't get up, but did manage six pitches including some of the harder ones. We were quite impressed. They became the "Higher Rock Boys", Bridwell, Craig Little and I believe Phil and/or Dave Bircheff.
rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
Mar 31, 2013 - 10:08am PT
Supertopo is cool because of the climbing mechanics which are latent in its threads.

There is an author who creates the thread; puts up a line of thought for others to follow.

The author can chose to feel responsible for the thread’s development. Or not.

Some threads become like classic mega routes.

Some threads are much like a bouldering competition.

Just like on the actual stone, there is a certain universal freedom granted to each participant, as well as a certain general aesthetic which is managed or modified according to a unique system of half anarchy, and half consensus. When climbers write here, we often are unconsciously climbing and competing, although in a different arena.

This thread has a very important original line, that led to great development of the surrounding history.
BBA

climber
OF
Mar 31, 2013 - 10:52am PT
Frank was a conventional person. In my experience he was never loud, never did things to call attention to himself and never a dirt bag. Perhaps the behavior, appearance and/or cleanliness of some of the younger crew put him off. Perhaps Jan can speak to Frank's conventionality.

I wouldn't freeze this thread because you never know when someone might decide to spend the effort to put a recollection in writing.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 31, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
I was just looking for the photos for myself, not publication. Hopefully John Rander has the same email address as before.

As for Frank being conventional, he was and he wasn't. His mother was second generation Irish American on her maternal side and his father's family third and fourth generation, yet somehow they still felt like recent Americans trying hard to blend in. I was amazed to discover that Frank's maternal grandfather was descended from early Kentucky pioneers who hunted with Daniel Boone and that another ancestor died at the Alamo. If Frank's parents had known this, I think it would have changed their self image quite a lot. They were also working class who had pulled themselves up to the middle class only recently and so were concerned with middle class appearances as well. So yes, Frank was conventional outwardly and to my despair, inwardly as well when it came to gender roles.

However, Frank was intelligent and educated enough to ask a lot of questions about society, and we lived through the 60's in Berkeley, when every institution and belief was being questioned. There was no antagonism toward younger climbers, certainly not Bridwell whom Frank recognized as the leader of the next generation. They in fact had many extended conversations. Our attitude rather, was one of bemusement to realize that there was a generational gap between us and our parents which everyone felt keenly during the Vietnam War, but also between us and people who were just a few years younger. Frank would have had a grudging admiration for the dirtbag survival techniques of the younger generation even if shocked by their behavior at times. Keep in mind however, that we left at the beginning of 1969, before the younger generation had really established themselves and their life style on the scene.

Once away from America, Frank reveled in the cultural diversity of Europe. We lived a modified dirt bag life out of a Volkswagen shell, not even a camper, for 9 months. Afterward in Geneva, Frank was eager to learn French culture and take advantage of all the new experiences open to us. One bit of ethnocentrism that he had and overcame, which I particularly enjoyed, was his prejudice against women drivers. When we got to Europe, particularly Greece, Spain and Italy, where only men drove and were very inexperienced new drivers with lots of macho, he was infuriated time after time by their antics. By the time we got to Switzerland where things were more staid, I never heard him mention women drivers again.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 31, 2013 - 07:16pm PT
Nice recollections Jan. I never met Frank, i was a year or two late getting to the Valley, but i was well versed in stories of his accomplishments which were very inspirational for me
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 31, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
I missed it all. I grew up hearing and reading stories about Frank, and the gist was that he was really strong and really intense. I suppose we could add really smart to the mix.

That book, "Climbing In North America," used to quietly lay open on top of my textbooks in high school classes, and I read the stories over and over until the book fell to pieces. So that age became my heroes.

I didn't know that he had died on the Shroud. I walked right by it several times and had a good look.

Chamonix has a way of taking lives without any regard to ability.

Jan, I'm sorry that he isn't over arguing physics with Ed and Largo and Stannard and Gill. You seem to have lived a rich life yourself.

It is hard to imagine that the teenager is now older than the life of an old master.

So, were he and Pratt the best free climbers? All I grew up hearing was Royal, Royal, Royal.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 31, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
Royal was in Europe during the years I was in California with Frank so based on proximity alone, the free climbing scene was dominated by Chuck and Frank at that time.

And yes, if he were still alive, he would enjoy that discussion immensely and be dictating to me how to respond in his name since he had such trouble writing (talk about right brain).
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 31, 2013 - 09:45pm PT
There is one cool thing about climbing. If you know a little history, you will know that you are pulling on the same holds as the earlier master, and when they were doing these first or early ascents, they were cutting edge and that you are pulling or jamming your way through history.

So we are all connected in a way. All the way back. It is cool for a hack like me to occupy the same XYZ space that those before me had.

That is why it is important to keep history.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2013 - 10:53am PT
Where, exactly, is the account of Frank's last climb (The Shroud, correct?). If I can avoid trowling through this whole thread, great. Frank was one of my early hero's and our little band of punk Stonemasters avidly ticked off all of Frank's FFAs. For my money, Lost Arrow Chimney, Sachar-Fredricks and the DNB on Middle, and the Dihardral on Slap Happy pinncale were Frank's best work. Very much futuristic at the time.

JL
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2013 - 11:00am PT
you're so high maintenance, Largo...

look at John Rander's account

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=268647&msg=776482#msg776482

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=268647&msg=788259#msg788259

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=268647&msg=796052#msg796052

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=268647&msg=872019#msg872019
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
Thanks, Ed. I'm supposed to be working and wanted the short cut to the goods.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
I'm off today, happy to be of some help
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Apr 1, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
Any speculation of what Frank would be climbing if he were alive and 25 years old in the present day? All the stories suggest he was THE MAN in his day
DrDeeg

Mountain climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 15, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
Peter Haan - I was born in 1944. Morton & Thompson I think in the same year. Dick Erb a year earlier. Yep, back then, I was a lot older than you, but not so much now.

Hard for me to say what Frank would be climbing today, since I know today's hardest climbs only from the photos & videos. He was keen on eliminating aid, and his early free climbing of the Stovelegs possibly provided part of the inspiration to free-climb the Nose. He liked bold lines, and cracks of any width.
Messages 561 - 580 of total 592 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews