A Tribute to Eric Weinstein


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Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 25, 2010 - 11:52am PT
I got schooled by Eric in my first year of climbing back in 76.
He took me to Reed's one day and we climbed Stone Groove and The Lunatic Fringe. I was in awe of this guy and couldn't believe he'd enlisted me. Eric went through a whole ritual of stretching and warming up, tincture and tape, super methodical preparations. Those who knew him can attest to his athletic grace and smoothness when he stepped onto the rock. It was hexes and stoppers back then and one of the biggest lessons he taught me that day was to double up on your pro. I realized why he took me climbing, people hated having to clean his gear, it was so bomber, you had to hang to get it out.

I got to hang with Eric (and of course Daryl) a bunch and he was the master to us and we tried to follow his example and that included trying to imitate his simian gait. He was a dedicated athlete, great free climber and big wall aid climber, bright as hell in a kind of dark way and about as deep as the ocean.
He was taken at 28 I think. That would have been around 80ish.
Big part of our history and culture.

With greatest respect,


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 25, 2010 - 12:07pm PT
Great thread, Perry! Anders has been close to starting one for a while. Major player around Squamish and one of the cast of Canadian characters in the Valley, BITD. Very tragic that he couldn't stick around longer.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 25, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
I never knew the man either, but I do remember a bunch of you Canadians talking about him at Daryl's Memorial. What I remember most was the talk of how he died, and thinking what a noble soul.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 25, 2010 - 04:00pm PT
Here is the Weinstein List including lots of classics!

Xodus 5.11a FFA Eric Weinstein, Gordie Smaill 1976
Sentry Box 5.12a FFA Eric Weinstein 1976
Perspective 5.11a FFA Eric Weinstein 1975
Papoose One 5.10b FFA Eric Weinstein, Anders Ourom 1974
Limbo 5.11a FFA Eric Weinstein, Anders Ourom 1976
Horizontally Prone A3 Daryl Hatten, Eric Weinstein 1974
Caboose 5.10b FFA Eric Weinstein, J. Haeck, W. Hack 1975
Hand Jive 5.10b Eric Weinstein, Carl Austrom 1975
Rainy Day Dream Away 5.10c Eric Weinstein, Dave Vernon 1975
A Pitch in Time 5.10b Eric Weinstein, Dave Vernon 1974
Cerberus FA with aid Daryl Hatten, Eric Weinstein 1976
Cruel Shoes 5.10d (pitch 4 and 5) 1975
Exasperator 5.10c FFA Eric Weinstein, Dave Nicol 1975
North North Arete 5.9 FFA Eric Weinstein, Dave Vernon 1973
Up From the Skies 5.10c A4 Daryl Hatten, Eric Weinstein 1975
Drifter’s Escape 5.9 A3 Eric Weinstein, Bill Thompson, Dave Nicol 1975

A whole lot of climbing in a remarkably short span of years!

Trad climber
quaking has-been
Jul 25, 2010 - 04:36pm PT

Climbed with Eric in The Trench. Hung with him in C4. He was a gentle soul and a GREAT free climber. We did some really (at the time) hard cracks in Yosemite with just hexes and stoppers. He had total control-I never saw him thrash. You could recognize him a mile away by his distinctive walk. Anyone else remember that?

Canada (and the rest of us) lost one of the greats when he died. I never was really sure of the circumstances around his death. I heard he had cancer and, when his time came, he went into the woods, leaned against a tree and died.
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Transporter Room 2
Jul 25, 2010 - 07:38pm PT
That's a stylish way to do it.

The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2010 - 07:57pm PT
Eric did a very early repeat of the Shield (fifth?), sixth ascent of Mescalito and second of the PO. SOLID in the aiders!
For the record Eric and Daryl climbed about one hundred feet (not two pitches) of what is now known as Cruel Shoes during their ascent of Up From The Skies. Eric hooked his way off the finger and out of the arch to the first ledge. From there he did a run out stretch of 5.9 up and right to the first sickle.

The story I heard about Eric's end was that he was living in Arcadia, going to school, got sick with pancreatic cancer and when he knew his time was near, hiked off into the Trinity Alps and passed away by himself in his tent.

Big Jim tells of a time talking to Eric way back and asking him what motivated him to climb the way he did. According to Jim, Eric replied, "to be remembered".
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 25, 2010 - 10:16pm PT
I'll chip in later, when I have more time. Plus ask Dave Vernon and Dave Nicol to help.

The photo above is of Eric on Short but Thin, autumn 1976. We'd done Slack Centre and Sachererer Crackerer, and were rounding out the day.

Eric was born in the US, but his family moved from Seattle to Canada in about 1971. His father got a job as a librarian at Simon Fraser University - as the draft was then still in effect, there was still some risk of Eric's being sent to Vietnam, and I vaguely recall that may have been a factor in the move. (Eric was 18 then.) Eric started climbing at a Seattle Mountaineers program, or something of the sort.

He gave up climbing some time after the PO Wall in 1977, and eventually moved to northern California, where he was attending community college. Eric died of liver cancer in early 1984.

There is a fair bit about Eric on the "Climbing at Squamish in the 1970s" thread.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 25, 2010 - 10:57pm PT
Eric made notes on my topo of the Trip after he did the fifth ascent in 1977. Mason Frichette and I did the sixth in the same season.

Love the "Scarry " in wiggly script on the Headwall! It was with no solid bolt for the entire wildly overhanging pitch and only one at the belay!

Social climber
Jul 25, 2010 - 10:58pm PT
hey there chief.... say, thank you so very kindly for teaching non-climbers like me about another part of your history....

and thanks for sharing, equally, with the climbers...

it takes many "bits and peices" as i always say, to make the "whole",
and each peice is equally special...

in this particular instance, too, he sounds like he'd have been a very good friend, and a special folk to run into as well...

god bless...
hope more folks share, too...

very young, sadly, that he had to face such a bad cancer... :(

Relic Hominid
Jul 25, 2010 - 11:06pm PT
Looking forward to more additions to this thread.

Good one Chief !

Mountain climber
Jackson Hole Wyo.
Jul 25, 2010 - 11:18pm PT
I spent a lot of time climbing with Eric one or two years in the mid 70s in The Valley. A lot of time, and it was all good.
He was intense, focused and driven. I should dig out some slides, but we were very much just doing the short free thing and they weren't what shooting was about, I thought.
He ran out of gear on Sacher once and bitched me out b/c he had to loop a chockstone with the gear sling, mine, homemade, which wouldn't have held a fall.
Looking up, which was my usual point of view, his eyes were unforgettable. They would focus, laserlike, on his feet. This was true in cracks or on the Apron - we went both places often.
I think he introduced me to Daryl, who became a soulmate.
Two great friends from the North, both of them gone now, who taught me things I didn't even know I was learning.
Rest, buddies.
Allen Hill

Social climber
Jul 26, 2010 - 02:05am PT
He did some fine first ascents with Bruce Morris here in Colorado. I've climbed all of them I believe. I never knew him but the two of them had a good eye for a line. Bruce I actually met as he brought me and Pete Thurston deli sandwiches and big cans of beer to the meadow after we spent a long night on Mammoth Terraces and bailed down the fixed lines. A standup guy. I seem to recall we climbed "Sailing Shoes" together on the same trip. Sorry to high jack the thread, memories tend to do that.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 26, 2010 - 02:26am PT
who taught me things I didn't even know I was learning.

I felt that way after doing Half Dome with Daryl.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 26, 2010 - 01:00pm PT
The thread mentioned above is at:

There's a fair amount about Eric scattered within it, particularly the first half or so.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 26, 2010 - 07:29pm PT
If I remember rightly - far from a sure thing - I first met Eric on a BC Mountaineering Club trip to Mountain Lake, in May 1972. Virtually all of us at that time got started by doing things with the BCMC, or perhaps UBC's Varsity Outdoor Club. If I get a chance, I'll check the club's newsletters and such, and see when Eric joined, and the first trip we were on together.

Anyway, I don't think we actually did any climbing together until that autumn. The BCMC had a trip scheduled to go to Marble Canyon for the Remembrance Day long weekend in early November. Somehow I got volunteered to 'organize', being young, energetic, etc. Eric called, as did Dave Nicol. We morphed from a trip to Marble Canyon, in the mysterious interior near Lillooet, to three days in Leavenworth, a known quantity. This involved borrowing two 120' ropes from the BCMC, and an exciting drive in Eric's parents' Valiant. Somewhere east of Everett, Eric pulled over to pass someone, but did so through an intersection. So we got pulled over. Eric urgently asked to borrow my glasses - it turns out that he was supposed to have glasses for driving, but had forgotten them, or maybe just hadn't brought them. But he still got a "Crossing a solid double yellow line in the state of Washington is $25" lecture.

Eric was a rather fast and aggressive driver at times.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Jul 26, 2010 - 10:52pm PT
This is second hand from my old friend Jon Storer. He and Eric had been climbing together down at Arch Rock and the Cookie on a number of consecutive days. This was back in the 70s when the road was under traffic control while they were laying a sewer line under the road.

Anyway they would always meet the same traffic control person when they returned to the valley. One day, while looking at them in their climbing whites and hands covered in chalk, he asked "Excuse me, but are you fellows bakers?"

Hopefully Jon who sometimes appears here can elaborate.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 27, 2010 - 02:18am PT
Anyway, about that Valiant. We had three good days climbing, mostly at Peshastin Pinnacles, but also Midway. Dave had done an Alpine Crafts program at Joffre Lakes, and I'd met him on Thanksgiving weekend, a month before. He was hitch-hiking up to hike into Garibaldi Lake, and we picked him up. Both Eric and Dave were a few years older than me, so on a somewhat different plane in terms of experience and life. As we were all still mountaineers, we had helmets - Dave had brought his motorcycle helmet, which proved a bit of a nuisance. He still reminds me of it.

We did some quite modest climbs, mostly 5.6 - 5.7. It was fairly cool and grey. Eric rescued Dave and me from our inexperience and inability several times. This was pre-Chouinard nuts, so we had SMC hexes, pitons, and maybe some Clogs or something. We stopped at the budding faux ersatz Bavarian metropolis of Leavenworth for something to eat or drink each night, and bivouaced at Eight Mile campground. Maybe we forgot a tent, or were lazy, but we all squeezed into the Valiant. One lucky guy got the front seat, two wedged into the back.

Quite the experience - my first road trip with peers, rather than tagging along with adults.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jul 27, 2010 - 07:29am PT
I think it was on the Salathe in around 1976 when Eric dropped his partner's camera. They found bits and pieces at the base. A very cool, underrated climber.


Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 27, 2010 - 09:37am PT
Met him once or twice. Wished I would have known him better. I remember trying Sentry Box and thinking there is no way I would ever be able to do that thing (and i was right).
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