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Rich Becheler has passed away RIP
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By Kevin Fons
Nov 10, 2010

Rich Becheler passed away this morning at age 50. I do not have many details but he has been having health problems the last few years. When I have details of the service I will post them. I will miss him, he was a very close friend. My prayers are with him and his family.


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By Tradoholic
Nov 10, 2010

That's absurd. Rich can't die, he proved that many times on the sharp end.


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By Leo Hski
Nov 10, 2010
Bouldering at Ravenheugh.  Simply glorious. <br /> <br />Alistair Donn (climbing) Tim Barnes (spotting?)

He leaves behind so many friends and so many great memories. There's a lifetime of memories and stories from our roadtrip from DL to Arapiles. But that was one brief installment in a a very rich life.

Our thoughts go out to his daughter Heidi.

I'll buy some Hudy Gold (or nearest cheap swill equivalent) and hoist a club salute tonight to you Rich.

Bechler at DL South Shore.  Mid 80s.  Can't remember who brought the surgeon's bone saw to the picnic.
Bechler at DL South Shore. Mid 80s. Can't remember who brought the surgeon's bone saw to the picnic.


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By Burt Lindquist
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Nov 10, 2010
Trying to stay warm up on Brownstone Wall Red Rocks, NV

Kevin. Wow! Worst news in a long time. Rich will be missed. He was too damn young to have passed away. He was a bold climber at one time and had a big personality that I think surpassed his climbing feats. I feel for you and the pain you must be feeling with this sudden loss. My condolences to Rich's family and loved ones and the great amount of friends I am sure will be missing him.


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By David Brown
From Boulder, CO
Nov 10, 2010

Wow. I don't have the words. RIP.


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By pwags
Nov 10, 2010

Rich was a true friend I'm so sad to see leave us. He will be missed greatly. The years we spent climbing, biking and skiing together leave me thankful to have known him. He was quiet but when he spoke it was worth listening to. While his candle burned bright I wish it could have burned longer. I hope we can go climbing with Heidi again in the future.


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By Steve Sangdahl
From eldo sprngs,co
Nov 10, 2010

I cannot beleive this sad news. RICH PRUNES BECHLER was one of the best climbing partners I ever had, we motivated each other to pull down to the best of our abilities .Rich and I did some serious climbing at DL....and some serious fuk-nes clubbing.
Rich we will all miss you and remember you fondly for your climbing abilities{which always exceede mine} ,your excellant sense of humor ,and your extreme freindship.
My condolenses to his family and especially his daughter Heidi who visited us at our house in eldo.
f-nes now and forever. Steve Sangdahl
ps Please see pics of prunes in his prime at the route DLFA on mtn proj.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Nov 10, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

the Club will never be the same again. I'll always picture him as being forever in his 20's, crushing down at DL back in the 80's. He seemed indestructable when on quartzite. Condolences to all family and close friends.


circa 79-80. 'All the Way', with rope wrapped around waist for a tie in.
circa 79-80. 'All the Way', with rope wrapped around waist for a tie in.


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By Dave Groth
Nov 11, 2010

Ever man dies but not all men have really lived! for Rich yes and yes....God speed my good friend and a club salute Oh price of fukness...many memories live on my good man.
Dave Groth


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By bill mcchesney
Nov 11, 2010

Club Salute indeed!
I've known Rich for a loooooong time and actually gave him the name PRUNES, albeit a little mixed up, i meant to say MUMBLES from Dick Tracy! But once i said prunes it was set in stone. I swear i couldn't understand half the shit he was saying sometimes he mumbled so much.

Club Salute my friend!


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By Kris Gorny
Administrator
Nov 11, 2010
Starting 2nd pitch. 11 Dec '11. Photo: Adam Therneau.

Rich -- didn't know you long. But I will remember few parties and our outing to the West Bluff. And I will sincerely miss you. Here's one to you. And here's another one to all you've climbed. Hats off to you ! RIP.


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By Ed Wright
Nov 11, 2010
Magic Ed

Sad news indeed. I have many fond memories of climbing and partying with Rich at The Lake.


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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Plymouth, NH
Nov 11, 2010
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.

Rich is a Devil's Lake legend. This truly terrible news. My condolences to Rich's friends and family.


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By jhn payne
Nov 11, 2010
"Ragin Cajun" 5.12c Jackson Falls, So Il.

I am saddened to hear of Rich's passing, as I posted on Super Topo I knew and hung out with him and Dave Groth when they were establishing some of Jackson Falls hardest routes. He asked me what I thought of the line that became "Emperor of the North" 5.13a. Many have enjoyed "Detox Mountain" 5.12a and rejoiced when they sent it. Still a proud line or "Wild at Heart","The Drifter", "Barbarians at the Gate" and others. My condolences to his family and friends, glad to have known him.


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By Kevin Fons
Nov 11, 2010

Old DLFA CCC lot
Old DLFA CCC lot


Racking up in the New Sandstone area for another heinous lead, not sure why he has more than 2-3 pieces though.
Racking up in the New Sandstone area for another heinous lead, not sure why he has more than 2-3 pieces though.


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By Remo
From Madison, WI
Nov 11, 2010
Leading up Andromeda in cold and snowy conditions.

Rich will always be remembered as a Devils Lake pioneer, hardman and legend. I'm always amazed and inspired by lines that he put up and/or first lead. Any FA from Rich is most likely a classic and very hard, and is something that will inspire climbers for years to come.
RIP and Fukness!


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By bhoran
From Boulder, CO
Nov 11, 2010
Noting Except Dynamics NED

Sad news to here of Rich's passing, Had good times with him, as teenagers, back in the Devil's Lake years. He was one of the Lakes most talented young climbers and very motivated to push his climbing boundaries, both physically and mentally, as he demonstrated with his leads on many of the Lake's marginally protected routes. My condolences to his family.

Rich Bechler, leading Thorough Fare Direct, Devil's Lake, Wisconsin.  Late 1970s.
Rich Bechler, leading Thorough Fare Direct, Devil's Lake, Wisconsin. Late 1970s.


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By Peter Schmitz
Nov 11, 2010

RIP Rich Becheler. My condolences to your family.

I feel blessed I had the opportunity to work with Rich and got to know him and hear his stories. He is a legend and his tales of debauchery will live on.

I too, will raise my glass.


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By DaleMoirDukeyetnotPrince
Nov 11, 2010

Prunes, weíll miss you brother.. there is more to be said for Richís accomplishments, his friendships, and contributions, and all who know him know what I mean. Inside the gruff exterior was his commitment to climbing, community, friends, and his daughter Ö.. he had a heart of gold and will be sorely missed. I donít think we can drink this away, but should surely raise a toast.


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By bhoran
From Boulder, CO
Nov 11, 2010
Noting Except Dynamics NED

Well said Dale, he did have a heart of gold. How are you these days? You and Rich used to be inseparable. Peace Bro.


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By DaleMoirDukeyetnotPrince
Nov 11, 2010

I am still in Madison WI, just rebuilt the frendship with Rich, true we are brothers, although sometimes estranged. When we get to hell I'm going to kick his A#$, noway he gets off this easy!

at his best
at his best


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By Barry Rugo
Nov 11, 2010

End of an era. You guys and that whole jacked time have been on my mind a lot today. Iíd been meaning to give Rich a call post 50th b-day party since I didnít make it out with Leo, but I didnít and now Iím regretting it. Does anyone know why his health had gone so far south in recent times? I will dig through the archives and post some pics. Peace, brother.


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By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 11, 2010
JJ Schlick on first ropeless ascent of Cranium Crack .12 Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ.  1999

I hope you have a smooth flight Rich! Fortunately legends never die... While you can take away the man, you can never take away his brilliant and inspiring routes/ascents at the ever incorruptible Devil's Lake, Necedah, Hillbilly, Jackson Falls, and numerous other areas. Like many burly climbers before him, he sought out not only difficult and challenging climbs, but he also wanted to share that experience with the generations to come... Go find his scary routes at the Lake, and do them! It might not make you a better person, but there is a damn good chance it will make you a better climber if you survive them, and redpoint them! He knew the game, and he played his hand... We should all be so lucky.


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By Steve Sangdahl
From eldo sprngs,co
Nov 12, 2010

It truly is the end of an era Barry. Bill Russell and I had a cheap swill and clubsalute in Prunes honor today.Bill talked of their 2 trips to canada and all the great climbs they did .Bill even commented that Rich wasn,t too out of control on those trips.But I seem to remember when he got back he was having more fun than usual.I wish I could have seen him one more time also.
Rest in peace Rich. Thanks for the memories.


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By Kevin Fons
Nov 12, 2010

We are looking at December 4th at Devils Lake for a get together of Rich's friends and family to Celebrate Rich's life. Probably about 1:00 in the afternoon. More details will follow as they are firmed up.

There is also more traditional Wake planned for November 17th. More details will follow on this also.

Kevin


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By Kevin Fons
Nov 12, 2010

November 17th there will be a visitation at Olbrich Gardens in Madison starting at 2:00 with a service at 3:00 pm.

Kevin


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