Frank Sacherer -- 1940 - 1978


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john hansen

Apr 15, 2013 - 09:36pm PT

Just a small thing but I did see Bridwell free solo a few routes one time.

Some friends and I were messing around at 90 ft wall in maybe 80 or 81 just a few years outta high school. Of course every one knows 90 ft wall is only 40 or 50 ft at most, but still would be a bad fall.

These three older hippie looking dudes came up the trail and started free soloing the 5.7s and 8's. They were not carring a rope.

One or more of them soloed Ice Nine,, 5.9. Not positive, but pretty sure Bridwell was one of them. he even gave us some beta on the 5.11 route on the arete by the 5.1. His advice,, "that aint tennis shoe territory". We did not figure out who he was till the next day.

Sorry for any thread drift.

Apr 15, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
I can't say what Frank would be doing were he a youngster today. I was climbing while getting my degree about the same time as was Frank. And freeing aid routes. If I were a youngster today, I would not be climbing at all. Then what climbing offered was a chance to develop your abilities on million year old natural challenges. Other people were not involved in any way. It was just you and the rock.

That is no longer the case. Climbing has been thoroughly anthropologized. It is not pretty. Blake Wood’s solo run, now that is exciting. Enough to get the blood moving. When too tired to run, you lie down on a rock. When too cold to sleep, you go back to running.

Perfect simplicity. And the edge is wherever you are able to push it.


Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 16, 2013 - 02:47pm PT
I haven't been posting much lately, but I want to thank Ed for starting this conversation among friends. This is the thread that brought me to SuperTopo in the first place, allowed me to reconnect with Jan and Patrick Oliver, in addition to meeting and making friends with many new partners in this life of climbing. I also thank Ed for his gracious assistance when I was returning to the rock after a major mishap that's actually laid me low longer than I supposed it would.

So, guys, let's quit sniping, hijacking, and turning this thread into something the OP never wanted!

Kudos to Ed!!

Social climber
Apr 16, 2013 - 03:23pm PT
hey there say, brokendownclimber...

very nice post... thanks for sharing... :)

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Apr 17, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
Hey Guido-pass me the gorp, I'm tired of this tuna shit!
Sacherer-Dana Glacier early 60s
Sacherer-Dana Glacier early 60s
Credit: guido

Trad climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:39pm PT

Many thanks for starting the thread. I think it is one of the best ever on Supertopo, not that I have followed each and every, but it is stand out among those I have followed. You brought out good reflections and memories, some on target, some a little off, some way off, but most from heartfelt places. And, the thread helped connect far flung climbers unconnected previously or only long ago, and did so both in cyberspace and face to face. That makes for the best of Supertopo in my book.


Right on. I have made the same point elsewhere. Unlike the snow slope climbed or skied or wave surfed or many other actions in sports and human endeavors, rock stays relatively fixed so your movements over it make for a nearly identical dance to those going before. We get to praise or protest the first ascent parties for their skill or blunders as if they were there with us. Add the written word in inspiring tales of the dances and we have powerful shared history. Agreed, we should honor and preserve that history as we share experiences and memories as truthfully and respectfully as we can.

Tom Higgins

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jun 5, 2013 - 05:13pm PT

Mountain climber
Feb 14, 2014 - 10:49am PT
A somewhat late bump but I'd like to add my bit here.

So I know of Frank Sacherer from the other end of his fame - I've been working at CERN for 4 years know and know the name well from calculating tune shifts via the Sacherer formula and using the Nassibian-Sacherer model of beam coupling impedance for kicker magnets; that is to say his legacy in accelerator physics is still strong today.

I first heard about his climbing activities from one of the papers he co-authored (here for those interested, sadly behind a paywall but it shows he was at the cutting edge until the end) where a short note was given simply stating "Dr. J.F. Sacherer died in a mountain climbing accident on 31st August 1978." Curiousity and a lot of googling later led me here. Reading the stories of his early days as a physicist and climber have been very entertaining and have really brought the image of him alive as someone more than just name on paper. The stories I've heard of him here are rather different from what I've heard from those here that have worked with him (admittedly very few that are still here), the nature of the two worlds I guess.

That aside, mostly thanks to all who posted pictures and stories of his life - the pictures of him climbing on Saleve are very nice - the routes and rock are still there today.

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 14, 2014 - 01:01pm PT
^^ Now that's cool!


Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Mar 26, 2014 - 07:16pm PT
With all the strife here on Supertopo as of late, I just had to bump something of high quality back to the favorite thread.

I wonder what Frank would think of the division amongst us today. : /

This thread is pure GOLD!

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Mar 26, 2014 - 07:55pm PT


Thanks Dean!

Rodger (no avatar needed)

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Mar 26, 2014 - 09:25pm PT
Thanks, Rodger....I'm SO jealous of you lucky few who had the priviledge to share a rope with Frank.

All the stories you've all contributed here are a treasure trove....and a reminder of what drove me to pursue this sport nearly 40 years ago.

These histories are priceless.

Best to you, my friend.


Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
May 28, 2014 - 01:45pm PT
I'd like to note that Duane Raleigh has just published an online article for Rock and Ice about Frank, which uses a lot of info from this thread.

"Forgotten hero Frank Sacherer 1940-1978"

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
May 28, 2014 - 01:52pm PT
Guido, that picture is priceless.

You win the weekly Survival photo award bump, again.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 28, 2014 - 03:22pm PT
I realize the Sacherer photo I retouched a few years ago for Joe is off. Here is another try for people interested.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 29, 2014 - 02:05am PT
great article by Duane in R&I
thanks for posting the link Jan

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Mar 9, 2015 - 10:37pm PT
Lets not forget this thread

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, California....via the Damascus Road
Aug 25, 2015 - 10:25am PT
Was just doling out some beta on the DNB on Middle to a friend here in Mammoth...and got me to thinking about Frank, and this wonderful thread.

Time for a bump of ST GOLD!

Social climber
Oct 1, 2016 - 05:47pm PT
A bump for Frank's memory.
curt wohlgemuth

Social climber
Bay Area, California
Oct 1, 2016 - 06:31pm PT
Thank you for the bump, this fellow was amazing. We need more Sacherer threads and fewer on the Donald.
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