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John Bachar Dies Free Soloing


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I just got this in email...I thought it to be a touch odd...but whatever.


Dear Fellow Climber,


On behalf of the climbing community I would like to ask that you go to the White House website and request a letter of condolence from President Obama to Tyrus, John Bachar's son. Please also send this message out to everyone you can think of. If enough of us ask, we might see the letter, which would be great.


Contacting the President is easy. Here is how:


Go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact


For subject, click "other."


Then write in the request.


As an example, here is what I wrote:


"Mr. President,


I write to ask that you offer a letter of condolence to Tyrus Bachar, the 12-year-old son of John Bachar. John Bachar died in an unroped rock-climbing accident on Sunday, July 5, outside his home of Mammoth Lakes, CA. Bachar, 52, was the leading climber of his generation, and perhaps of all time. He was an inspiration and iconic figure. It is fair to say that he was the Muhammad Ali of rock climbing. Bacar’s iron-clad ethics and firm stance on the environment exemplified America’s core values. A note from you would mean a lot to his son, and to the climbing community."


Thank you for pitching in.


Duane Raleigh



from Rock and Ice newsletter


Tyrus doesn't need more messages from distant grown-ups. He needs a loving adult to be right there with him. I've skimmed the threads over at supertopo and I keep wondering who he has right there. It's just weird for a 12-year-old kid to be engaging in a long distance relationship with hundreds of adults that he doesn't know. I pray that there is somebody close who is helping him.


Bingo Lowell....wise words

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Kid's got the whole climbing community as his dad now.


It takes a village, sure. But a village is not the same as a real father.


I wasn't asserting that it would be a proxy for having a real father - I think that was rather obvious. But I think its a lot better than not having any support system.


Many of the well wishers on the Taco were from friends of John who probably knew Tyrus. If my dad died when I was 12 I would have wanted his climbing buddies to reach out to me as well. I think your criticism is off the mark.

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I met John at Owens River Gorge (post car accident) and kicked myself for not getting an autograph or picture. He was very friendly and free solo'd up to 5.10d. Even though he has solo'd thousands of routes, it was freaky to watch, especially since you have to top out on tricky slabs above the anchors.


I also met Dave Yerian at Smith and should have gotten a picture there as well.


John lived life large and came close to buying it in the auto accident. At least he died doing something close to his heart instead.


When I am getting stressed climbing and don't know what to do, I say to myself "What would Bachar do". He climbed effortlessly and with great style and obviously had tremendous mental control.


It is a tremendous loss to the climbing community.

Edited by matt_warfield
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we should be seriously considering (a la John Long) whether climbing is nothing but pointless folly...


If climbing is pointless folly, then life is pointless folly.


and they may very well be.


dying sucks cuz life is already too short but it is small consolation he died doing what he loved

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I really believe John played out his destiny, his role in life...it's dust to dust for everyone, bottom line. I surely feel for Tyrus and cannot even begin to imagine how he feels about all this, but I believe Bachar would have been denying his heart had he not been soloing for the many years he did. If anyone ever should have climbed without a rope, it was him. I will always think of LIFE to the full, not DEATH when I think of Bachar...thank you for the inspiration John. RIP.

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