Sunday, August 9, 2009

Put Some Bachar Into It

This 30' arete towers over the Roadside Area in Rocklands. It struck me as beautiful from the moment I arrived at Roadside. I ran to check it out before even climbing many of the classic boulder problems the area has to offer. What revealed itself was highly technical arete climbing, some blind hand moves, a 20' valley of trees to land in, and a last move, barndoor crux. Sweet! It had my full attention.

In the thick of it, squeezing between a small crimp sidepull and the arete.

This is the last move. My right foot is on the worst foothold on the climb, a bad smear. To make the foothold work, you really have to keep your heel low, despite your desire to stand up tall to reach the next hold. The solution was a semi-dynamic throw to an accuracy dependet slot. The key is to get your fingers in the hold before your left foot begins to peeeeel away from the rock, bringing you with it. At this point, you are 25' up the climb, but with a good 40' of air under your heels...definitely a no fall situation. With a few solid breaths and a yell, I committed to the move, felt the hold land perfectly under my fingers, and carefully executed the sequential, but easier top out.

It was this evening that I heard the news that John Bachar had fallen to his death. It hit me quite hard, as he always seemed immortal to me in a way, dodging the adage that there are no old, bold climbers. John was an inspirational climber who will never be forgotten. So, I decided to name this climb after John, as you really need to bring your soloing head to it. Thanks for the inspiration John.


  1. Great work Kevin... and a fitting tribute.

  2. Fantastic climb. Great name as well

  3. I agree with the above comments, and am going to add one more: you are freaking nuts dood! Those boulders look terrifying... and inspireing! Too bad you left before nalle took down that other arete... looked top shelf as well. Talk soon.