July 9, 2009

John Bachar had a "vision of purity" in rock climbing.

"Around noon Sunday, he fell from a formation called Dike Wall, not far from his home. He is survived by a son, Tyrus. He also leaves climbing routes bearing his name across the Yosemite Valley."

25 comments:

SteveR said...

Surely he had an insurance policy to reimburse the worse than bankrupt government agencies in California, the cost of scraping up his remains.

That's my "vision of purity" in responsible citizenship.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Someone did something stupid and had to deal with the consequences. Uplifting.

If only we could implement this system in other places.

traditionalguy said...

The purity of Gravity won. As they say, when we try to break the law of gravity, it will break us, especially on Airbus airliners and rock walls.

Big Mike said...

Bachar took that kind of self-reliance to levels that could appear dangerous.

Considering that he died falling from a climb, I think that's sort of an understatement.

But I don't think tha the was "stupid." He seems to have made a living doing what he loved doing, and he died with his (climbing) boots on and not in bed. Plus he was one of the best in the world at what he did.

There are worse ways to live and worse ways to die.

LarsPorsena said...

Kind of crazy yet kind of noble.

mariner said...

Well said, Big Mike.

If he had died in a car that wouldn't have been stupid.

traditionalguy said...

As I read this report, Bachar was not just a great climber as a sport. He was a daredevil who refused any safety measures used by sane people. He chould have also driven race cars with no seat belt harnesses and no fire suppression system, because he "Was Pure" unlike the other drivers. But that took guts, so he has my grudging respect.

CarmelaMotto said...

"At least he died doing what he loves...."

Someone had to say that.

Pogo said...

"Going down the Stoney End,
I never wanted to go down the Stoney End.
Mama, let me start all over.
Cradle me, mama, cradle me again
"

paul a'barge said...

Wow. This is just a huge loss in the climbing community.

John Bachar was a huge, just huge influence, an artist and an inspiration to an entire sport.

What a huge loss. Travel quickly through the Bardos, John.

mariner said...

I remember Stoney End, but I hadn't heard it for years. Thanks, Pogo.

Some part of me knows I'll look like a fool for asking, but what is the referent of "going down the Stoney End"?

Pogo said...

Wish I knew. Given the reference to the 'good book Jesus', it suggests being stoned for heresy for ...what? Being gay? Unbelief?

mariner said...

Well, Laura Nyro was gay and a non-believer, so maybe. But it's been a while since we stoned gays and atheists in North America. ;)

I found it interesting that on Barbra Streisand's album Stoney End three of the 12 songs were written by Laura Nyro.

Interesting also that one of her big hits was "Wedding Bell Blues".

former law student said...

he's no Chuck Chongo.

NKVD said...

Laura Nyro was a good song writer.

Gravity is a bitch.

He died doing what he loved - plummeting off a rock face onto the talus below. Who doesn't love that?

Pogo said...

Loved her voice, too. My sister's cool friend was always blasting her and Janice Joplin and Carole King.

1970s Feminism rocked.

Baron Zemo said...

Perhaps he could no longer face the world because of his son Titus.

That would be reason enough for anyone.

dbp said...

Well, he made it to 51 and that is really ancient for free-climbers. Really the best that could be expected when one mistake is all you get.

Elliott A said...

Spock told Capt. Kirk that he must "become one with the rock" when climbing El Capitan in one of the early Star Trek movies. Looking at the rock, it does not appear to be an easy thing to achieve

bearbee said...

John Bachar Climbing

Original Mike said...

Bachar left his mark across the Yosemite Valley

Lyle said...

Sucks.

Paul said...

What an extraordinary and accomplished human being!

I'd much rather live and die like that than live to be one hundred as one of the no-account pissants who think he was stupid or reckless.

traditionalguy said...

Paul...You are right. Everybody dies of something, so it's wiser to make it count. The reckless thought only applies if dying young leaves loved ones hurting and un-provided for. After my youngest got out of law school, then I amazed myself at how many chances I became willing to take.

Naked Surfer said...

paul a'barge,

Perfect riff.

I’d say Bachar worked the Bardos while alive. One-lifetime way. He's done.

John's “purity” wasn’t quite as pretty as watching German and French women climbers go vertical naked at the Buttermilks.

But, he didn’t care.

Which was coolest of all.

“Off belay,” and love to you, John.