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In Memory of John Bachar – 1957-2009

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In Memory of John Bachar - 1957-2009

John on the first lead of Acid Crack (5.12d) in 1983, Joshua Tree Nat. Park. Photo: Randy Vogel.

Photo by Bill Serniuk

Photo by Bill Serniuk

Bachar on the Yosemite classic Midnight Lightning (V8). Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Bachar on the Yosemite classic Midnight Lightning (V8). Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

John Bachar, Mike Graham and Ron Kauk after the fifth ascent of the Shield, El Cap. From the book \

John Bachar, Mike Graham and Ron Kauk after the fifth ascent of the Shield, El Cap. From the book “The Stonemasters” California Rock Climbers of the Seventies. Photo courtesy of Mike Graham

Photo courtesy Werner Braun Collection

Photo courtesy Werner Braun Collection

Bachar in the mid 1970s at Lost Canyon in Southern Colorado. Photo by John Gill / www.johngill.net

Bachar in the mid 1970s at Lost Canyon in Southern Colorado. Photo by John Gill / www.johngill.net

Photo courtesy Werner Braun Collection.

Photo courtesy Werner Braun Collection.

Bachar's Revenge(5.9). Photo by Christian Pondella

Bachar’s Revenge(5.9). Photo by Christian Pondella

A rare roped image, Bombs Over Tokyo on Daff Dome. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

A rare roped image, Bombs Over Tokyo on Daff Dome. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Clarence Cashner (Cash), Bachar and Jobee. Photo by Bill Serniuk

Clarence Cashner (Cash), Bachar and Jobee. Photo by Bill Serniuk

Climbing Magazine Issue No. 192. Photo by John McDonald

Climbing Magazine Issue No. 192. Photo by John McDonald

Climbing Magazine Issue No. 84. Photo by Lanny Johnson

Climbing Magazine Issue No. 84. Photo by Lanny Johnson

John Bachar soloing Crack-a-go-go (5.11c). Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

John Bachar soloing Crack-a-go-go (5.11c). Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

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“I have spent the better part of today staring at a file containing most of the 3000+ images I took of John over the years, thinking at times that it summed up a large part of his life. I’m wrong probably, but at least for me there are many moments of sheer amazement in those images. Moments that certainly define John to some degree. His finesse and grace. His near perfection of the craft. A feeling, on my part, of great honor at getting to be there. ” —Phil BardBachar in Dexter Canyon in 1988. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

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“I always liked the way John looked like a phantom in this image. Fingertips 1986” —Phil BardPhoto by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Five+Dime, 1982. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Five+Dime, 1982. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

John on the last pitch of Gripper. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

John on the last pitch of Gripper. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

John leading a new route right of \

John leading a new route right of “The Midas Touch” at Bee Rocks, Chattanooga Tennessee. November, 2008. Photo by Rob Robinson

John leading \

John leading “The Parsifal Mosaic,” Bee Rocks, Chattanooga, TN November, 2008. Photo by Rob Robinson

John leading \

John leading “A Good Place To Come” at the Tennessee Wall, Chattanooga, Tennessee. November, 2008. Photo by Rob Robinson

John leading \

John leading “Open Boat Whalers” at the Tennessee Wall, Chattanooga, TN November, 2008. Photo by Rob Robinson

Bachar at the Owens River Gorge, January 2009. Photo by Bruce Willey / BruceWilley.com

Bachar at the Owens River Gorge, January 2009. Photo by Bruce Willey / BruceWilley.com

New Dimensions, 1982. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

New Dimensions, 1982. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

On the Lamb. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

On the Lamb. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

On an early shoot of On the Lamb, with Fire prototypes that were never put in production. Alongside his chalk bag is a toothbrush and his car key.…

On an early shoot of On the Lamb, with Fire prototypes that were never put in production. Alongside his chalk bag is a toothbrush and his car key. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Bachar on the speed bag. Photo by Bill Serniuk

Bachar on the speed bag. Photo by Bill Serniuk

An evening jaunt up Rawl Drive. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

An evening jaunt up Rawl Drive. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Reed's Direct. Photo by Bill Serniuk

Reed’s Direct. Photo by Bill Serniuk

Reed's Direct,  1982. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Reed’s Direct, 1982. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

John loved the reverb effect in the tunnel near his house in Foresta. 1985 for Outside Magazine. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

John loved the reverb effect in the tunnel near his house in Foresta. 1985 for Outside Magazine. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Thank God Ledge, with Peter Croft, just after the rainstorm on the first El Cap/Half Dome one-day, 1986. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Thank God Ledge, with Peter Croft, just after the rainstorm on the first El Cap/Half Dome one-day, 1986. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Training at his place in Foresta, 1985. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

Training at his place in Foresta, 1985. Photo by Phil Bard / www.philbard.com

In Memory of John Bachar – 1957-2009

Photos by Phil Bard, Rob Robinson, Randy Vogel, Mike Graham, Bill Serniuk, John Gill, Bruce Willey and Werner Braun – On July 5, the climbing world lost one of its greatest icons: John Bachar. The free-spirited Californian was a symbol of American free climbing and free soloing, with a strong traditional climbing ethic. The blonde-haired, surfer-esque and charismatic Bachar will be remembered for many of his earlier achievements, including his daring 1980s free solos of Yosemite routes like Outer Limits (5.10c), New Dimensions (5.11a), Butterfingers (5.11a), Butterballs (5.11c), and later, the sport routes Enterprise (5.12b), in the Owens River Gorge, and The Gift (5.12c), at Red Rocks. Read more.