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Climbing icon John Bachar dies after apparent Mammoth Lakes fall

July 6, 2009 |  1:18 pm

John Bachar climbs Yosemite's Midnight Lightning in a photo that appeared in Climbing magazine. The climbing community mourns the death of free-soloing legend John Bachar, who died Sunday afternoon after an apparent fall at Dike Wall near his home in Mammoth Lakes.

Details are sketchy and Outposts will update this item as more becomes known. Bachar, who was born in 1957, was famous largely for his accomplishments on difficult routes within Yosemite National Park.

He is survived by a young son named Tyrus.

On John's website is this passage:

"A true rock star as a teenager, Bachar soloed 5.11 when 5.12 did not yet exist ... then he did the first 5.12 in Yosemite Valley, bouldered even harder, climbed stronger than anyone. He refused to compromise his strong traditional style 'ground-up' ethics along the way."

Also posted are these respectful accolades:

--John Long: "There has never been anyone like John Bachar, and there never will be again."

--Peter Croft: "Yosemite was THE place, Bachar was THE guy, that makes him more than just a climber."

--Rob Robinson: "John Bachar was unquestionably the greatest climber of our generation."

Below is a vintage video clip of John at work--very dangerous work.

--Pete Thomas

Photo: John Bachar climbs Yosemite's Midnight Lightning in a photo that appeared in Climbing magazine. Credit: Phil Bard


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