John Bachar

Help Out John Bachar

Rock Climbing legend John Bachar, 49, of Mammoth Lakes, California, who broke five vertebrae in his neck in an auto accident on August 13, is on the mend after undergoing surgery in mid-September. Bachar reports that he is, “gonna be OK,” but must wear a neck brace for two months, and is under doctors’ orders “not to do anything crazy.”

Bachar, who had catastrophic insurance, still faces a steep and mounting climb of expenses related to the accident. To date, at least six Bachar fundraisers have been held, with, according to Dave Talsky, who headed an effort in Mammoth Lakes, California, some $30,000 raised in contributions. After Bachar’s medical expenses are covered, the remaining funds will go to a Steve Karafa memorial fund. Karafa died in the August auto accident.

Bachar’s climbing exploits and his impact on the sport rank next to those of icons such as Royal Robbins and John Salathe. A free-climbing purist, Bachar pushed free soloing to new heights in the late 1970s and early 1980s, third-classing routes such as Butterballs (5.11c) and Moratorium (5.11b) at a time when few could do them with a rope. In his heyday, Bachar was without peer, and once posted a note in Camp 4 offering $10,000 to anyone who could follow him soloing for a day. No one stepped forward. In 1983, Bachar was the subject of a Rolling Stone article, and gained worldwide attention, appearing in numerous media, a rarity for a climber of that time.

On the boulders, Bachar contributed numerous difficult highballs and made the second ascent of Camp 4’s Midnight Lightning (V8), also the first ascent of that problem after a hold broke off. With a rope, his notable achievements include the first free ascent of Astroman (5.11c) in 1975, the first one-day link up of El Cap and Half Dome, and the first ascent of Tuolumne’s notoriously runout Bachar/Yerian (5.11c R).

To read a note from John Bachar and see how you can help visit the Bachar Benefit Page

Return from John Bachar to Rock Climbing For Life

Check out our Mountain Climbing Gear store for the BEST deals on climbing gear on the net.

Related posts:

  1. Free Solo Climbing
  2. Rock Climbing at Foster Falls
  3. What is the History of the Climbing Rating Scale?

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 5th, 2010 at and is filed under Climbing Accidents, Rock Climbers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>