John Bachar: 1957 – 2009
John Bachar © Karl Baba
The Dike Wall, Mammoth Lakes, Sarah Schneider climbing. © Mick Ryan
UKC Articles, Jul 2009
© various authors
John Bachar fell whilst soloing at the Dike Wall, Mammoth Lakes, California yesterday (5th July) and was found at the base of the cliff. Some nearby climbers came to his aid, he was transported by Mono Search and Rescue to the local hospital in Mammoth Lakes where he later died. He leaves a son, Tyrus. John was 52.
The Dike Wall is a beautiful cliff of pristine granite situated at 9,000ft above Mammoth Lakes where John lived with his son. John was climbing by himself and was found at the base of the 80ft North Wall.
You can offer your condolences at this Supertopo forum thread: John Bachar - In memory of a great man 1957 – 2009
John Bachar is an American and World climbing legend and was fierce proponent of ground up climbing.
John lived in Mammoth Lakes, California in the heart of the Sierra Nevada and was Director of Design of Acopa International, a rock shoe company, www.acopausa.com
John is legend in world climbing for many things. His 1981 first ascent of the beautiful Bachar-Yerian up the 150 metre (500 ft) main face of Medlicot Dome in Tuolumne Meadows was established from the ground up placing just 13 bolts hanging from hooks.
(photo), they linked up the Nose on El Cap and the Regular Route on Half Dome in 14 hours. Bachar, like Pete Livesey in the UK, was a pioneer in training for climbing and developed his signature, Bachar Ladder which was adopted by climbers such as Jerry Moffat and Wolfgang Gullich.
Long before bouldering was popular John was establishing highballs such as Planet X (V6) and So High (V5) in Joshua Tree without a bouldering mat. The committing crux move of So High is 25 feet off the ground. Many Yosemite boulder problems bear John's signature, including in 1978 with Ron Kauk the first ascents of Midnight Lightning a highball V8 first envisioned through an LSD haze by John "Yabo" Yablonski (Yabo invented the sit down start!).
His solos include New Dimensions (5.11a) and The Nabisco Wall, a three-pitch affair that links Waverly Wafer (5.10c), Butterballs (5.11c) and Butterfingers (5.11a) and an onsight solo of The Moratorium, 5.11b, photographs of which graced the climbing magazines in the 1980's. In 1981 Bachar posted a note in Camp Four promising a "$10,000 reward for anyone who can follow me for one full day." No one took the challenge. He was a fierce and vocal critic of abseil/rap placed bolts to establish sport climbs.
John Bachar's UKClimbing.com profile with more information about the great man can be read here.
"I'm going to climb for the rest of my life"