John Bachar timeline 1957-2009


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Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 9, 2009 - 12:36am PT
John had elbow/tendinitis problems at least as early as 1976. When I met him in the Valley that autumn, he was laid up from it, and couldn't go climbing. He wouldn't even do Bishop's Terrace. He played a lot of chess that year.

At the time, I'd never heard of tendinitis, so it stuck in my memory.

Perhaps he had intermittent or chronic tendinitis, like so many climbers?

Social climber
Wisteria Ln.
Jul 9, 2009 - 12:39am PT
666,.12c is a Skip Guerin route.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 9, 2009 - 12:54am PT
Thanks for all the corrections and updates!! Especially the Nose speed record(s), which I finally found on Hans' site after looking earlier. (Hans has it at 15 hours in 1978 for Bachar and Lechlinski; maybe they did it again in 12 hours in 1980/81?) I'm off to the Valley; will return in a few days and hope to find more corrections when I get back (will add Joshua Tree FAs to the list, too). John did a lot! (we knew that, and we also know that a simple list misses a lot of the details, but it's a start) :-)
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 9, 2009 - 01:33am PT
What and when was John's first route in the Valley? That is, climb with a rope?

Edit: Clint, your excerpt doesn't seem to mention John's first Valley climb, but does mention his first at Tahquitz. I wonder who the friend's sister's boyfriend who'd been on Everest was?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 9, 2009 - 01:48am PT

From the "Being Bachar" article linked:

Bachar grew up in Westchester, California, best known as the home of LAX. He read Maurice Herzog's Annapurna and The White Spider by Heinrich Harrer and was instantly sold on climbing despite knowing virtually nothing about the sport. A high-school buddy, Mike Ransom, who pole vaulted on the track team with Bachar, had a sister who was dating a guy who had climbed Everest, elevating him to hero status for Bachar and Ransom.

"We asked to see his gear," says Bachar, "but he wouldn't even talk to us."

Bachar and Ransom bouldered at L.A.'s Stoney Point, then hit Joshua Tree or Tahquitz on weekends. "We did Mike's Books (5.6) with helmets and everything," says Bachar. "Total newbies." At Josh, Bachar met Mike Graham, Tobin Sorenson and Dean "Bullwinkle" Fidelman. "Those guys were way serious about climbing," Bachar recalls, "going to Yosemite during spring break and hanging there all summer."

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jul 9, 2009 - 01:51am PT
From Marty's Owens River Guidebook:

Me So Horny 12 FA Bachar, Cashner 89
Skin Tight 12c FA Bachar 89
Malcolm X 12b FA Erik Eriksson, Bachar, Bill McChesney 92
Stardate 5.9 FA Bachar 91 (I suspect solo FA since bolts were Strassman's?)
Vulcan Jock Itch FA 10a Bachar 92 (same?)
Pick Pocket 11a FA Bachar, Cashner 88 (which, btw, is a stellar route!)

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 9, 2009 - 02:32am PT
Nice work Clint.

You offer so many unique contributions to the community.

Ed too. Thanks for the spheres where you collect and organize important (or merely interesting) data



Trad climber
the end of the world as we know it, & I feel fine.
Jul 9, 2009 - 03:37am PT
Thanks Clint. This provides another perspective and scale to who John was.


Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jul 9, 2009 - 10:34am PT
List I chucked together quickly the other day...

Bachar-Yerian (5.11c). Tuolumne
Ummagumma (V7), Stoney Point
Caliente (12c), Suicide
The Chameleon (12b R), Sentinel, JT
So High (V5 R), JTree
Tips (5.11 A0), Yosemite
Skin Tight (12c), ORG
Malcolm X (12b), ORG
Pumping Monzonite (V7), JTree
Hotline (12a), Yosemite
Astroman (11c), Yosemite
Pick Pocket (11a), ORG
Driving South (11d), Mt. Woodson
Hear My Train A Comin’ (11c/d C1), Mt. Woodson
Flakes of Wrath (10c R), Suicide
Leave It To Beaver (12a), JTree
JBMFP (V5), JTree
All Washed Up (V6 R), JTree
Stem Gem (V4), JTree
Big Moe (11a/b R), JTree
Baby Apes (12c), JTree
More Monkey Than Funky (11b), JTree
Planet X (V6 R), JTree
Slashface (V3), JTree
Hot Rocks (11b), JTree
Desert Song (11b R), JTree
Gunsmoke (V3), JTree
Bebop Tango (11a), JTree
The Wisdom (11d R), Eldorado Canyon
FFA D7 (5.11), Diamond, Long’s Peak
FFA D1 (12a), Diamond, Long’s Peak

North Carolina
Jul 9, 2009 - 10:42am PT
Thanks for the list. Jesus. What a prolific career. I didn't know about JBs historic ascents of the Diamond.

Trad climber
c-ville, virginia
Jul 9, 2009 - 12:42pm PT
when was that iconic solo picture of the gift in red rocks taken?

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jul 9, 2009 - 01:13pm PT
There's a powerful biography to be written here, not just about the climbs but the life that connected them, all the way to the end.

More than one author will try; I hope at least one does it justice.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 9, 2009 - 01:17pm PT
Don't forget:

"Chasin' the Train" and "Gill Swing" in Frankenjura from his 1981 trip there.

Both rated "IX" on the UIAA scale in the current guidebook (and the spelling is correct to boot). About 5.12d.

Can't recall the name of the route in the Verdon Gorge.

Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jul 9, 2009 - 01:33pm PT
I hope Largo will consider writing John's bio. He's got a lot of writing mojo recent years, and he was there for some of the big chapters.

I was feeling grateful the other day for Michael Reardon's nice video about John. Besides the footage you expected, it was intriguing to see his father and what he had to say.

How about a CD of John cranking on the sax? I never got to hear him play...

And: a big thanks to Clint and Ed and Dave for the timelines. Hard to wrap my head around all that John did.
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Jul 9, 2009 - 01:44pm PT
You could probably cut and paste a pretty sweet biography just from this site in a couple of hours time.

Bachar put up classics and when it came to bolts he made a statement. Those routes still speak.
Nate Smith

Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 9, 2009 - 02:21pm PT
John put up 5 climbs in Frankenjura in 1981:

Metamorphose 8+ or 5.12a/b
Strohdach 9- or 5.12b/c (Super popular) Was just out there last month.
Chasin the Trane 9 or 5.12d
Sonderprüfung (Toehook) 8+ or 5.12a/b
Gill Swing 9- or 5.12b/c
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Jul 9, 2009 - 02:49pm PT
I was there when he did the FA of Acid Crack. Simply amazing to me at the time
Scared Silly

Trad climber
Jul 9, 2009 - 03:50pm PT
Swelly, thanks for the link. That was a very descent obit by the writer.

right here, right now
Jul 9, 2009 - 04:24pm PT
Definitely need that Tuolumne FA list as a standalone document.

I have the Reid & Falkenstein book sitting here; but no way I'm going to attempt to feed that information through my voice-activated cheese grater. Ha.

I imagine you guys & gals with the OCR(?)
Or whatever that fancy software is, will stitch that together in a wee bit here...

Monument Manor
Jul 9, 2009 - 04:42pm PT
What an awesome resume - a few notes :

The only route John ever rated 5.13 was Bombs Over Tokyo. Unrepeated !!

Chameleon on The Sentinel in Josh was established by Paul Borne (ground up, onsight of course). John had toproped the route and when Paul asked if he could lead it John said " just do it in good style ". John toproped a lot of new routes but always considered the onsight lead the prouder accomplishment and would defer to aspiring leaders of his topropes - such as Blackout in Tuolumne to Kurt Smith.

John was a master stance driller and many of his FAs such as Johnny Rock and The Believer were testiments to this now dying art. John had the first Bosch Bulldog I had ever seen and used it only from one handed stances. Routes done in this style included Bulldog Arete 12a @ The Lions Den and One Armed Bandit 11c @ The Peanut Gallery In Tuolumne. The latter was the only FA I shared with John... imagine our dismay when this killer route (the first one on the wall)was pronounced " too short " and summarily chopped !
Messages 21 - 40 of total 98 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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