well, the emails from my rock climbing brother and sisterhood are streaming in…
i understand my my old friend from my era of American rock climbing has hit the deck during a free solo near Bishop, CA and is now free soloing – as we all must – his Bardo Entry and Navigation….on behalf of myself and my Sangha, ilg offers my deepest condolences to the family and friends of this amazing pioneering spirit and force of free soloing, John Bachar.

Just like so many of my friends from that Golden Era of rock climbing, John’s presence and absolute obsession with rock climbing – and particularly free soloing (climbing without a rope) – was as solid as the granite spires which he danced up and down so beautifully for so long. eventually, like all obsessives, the obsession finally took priority.

I could tell you a number of heart thumping and heart warming about John, as could any number of Colorado climbers that hung out with John around the crags and campfires of America throughout the eighties. John’s attitude toward training inspired the dangling torture chamber known as “the Bachar ladder” which destroyed legions of our ligaments and hung from nearly every outdoor athletes backyard tree in Boulder, Colorado during those years. His free-solo ascents inspired my own and his spirit shall monument the line of all those who put their flesh to rock.

I suppose what i am saying is,
“Johnbro, your Mountain Spirit will live on, my friend.”

I’m going mountain biking now…i’ll crank a few kilometers on this day of days for you and run the Mantra for your protection in the Bardo…though, i can hear you already; “Protection? My only protection is confidence in my training!”

JB, thank you for living and sharing so fully that which you love to do and be…
which is
being Free (solo).

Om Mani Padme Hung,
your ol’ bro from back in the day


photo 1) Jeff Smoot captures a young Bachar in 1982, Joshua Tree, CA as John began his free solo career.

photo 2) a local Boulder, Colorado ad from the same era when i was a sponsored rock,ice, and high mountain athlete. i kept a promise to myself to stop high level climbing and work on other sports, disciplines, and internal arts if i did manage to live to 30, which, we you free soloed difficult routes everyday which i did throughout the eighties, you just never think you’d live to see 30 years of age. i did. and i kept that promise to myself. that is why i am sure i am still alive. Sport specificity – the imbalanced Nature of it – inevitably catches up with you.

Especially if you are a world class mountaineer.

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