John Bachar, the inventor of the extreme sport of free Rock-climbing, fell to his death on July 5th, 2009. He was climbing at Dike Wall, near Mammoth Lakes, California. It was a location close to his home which he regularly climbed.
John Bachar was well known for climbing stuff that even seasoned climbers using rope gear and belays would not attempt, and he did it all with no gear other than a small bag of chalk powder. Many movies, videos, and photos were taken of him during his climbs, and he very nearly reached "Rock Star" status among climbers. He did much to popularize Rock Climbing into the sport it is today. He was an active climber for 33 years, and was THE first to climb with no rope belay, or "Soloing" as it is known in the sport.
John Bachar was 52.
Note: Photo by John McDonald