Rest in Peace Peater Wilkening :-(


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 36 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 17, 2018 - 10:17am PT
This is a sad post.

Here's to honoring Peater . . . he was postin' up here as Peater, for awhile. He has a long history in the climbing/outdoor industry, starting with Wilderness Experience then moving on to Black Diamond.

I was honored to know Peater through Bullwinkle, Hank Levine and Mike Pope. Peater hooked me up with Jim Thomsen of WildEx when I was heading off to instruct for Outward Bound. They sponsored me with killer packs and I've always been grateful for the connection.

It was great to re-connect with him, here on TheTaco.



T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Apr 17, 2018 - 10:19am PT
RIP Peter

You can help here;

I am appealing to all who knew Peater to kick in a few bucks to help cover this cost. Here is a link to the GoFundMe page:

Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2018 - 10:21am PT
Thanks, Tad!

Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Apr 17, 2018 - 11:14am PT
RIP to Peater... he was a good man. Along with Bullwinkle, he showed me the ins and outs of bartacking at the old Gramicci shop... Back when they were cranking out pile goods and the new fangled underwear made from polyprop for Chouinard.

Social climber
Apr 17, 2018 - 11:31am PT
hey there say, dear ekat, Thocking, and russ...

my condolences, to you, to peater's family, and his loved ones, at this
sad time...

thank you for sharing, how very special your friend was...
hugs, to you all...

prayers for his family, as they move on, without him...

Social climber
Apr 17, 2018 - 12:28pm PT
hey there say, Thocking...

just read the link, and the part about no family, etc...

i am sending you an email...

Boulder climber
Apr 17, 2018 - 12:29pm PT
I began climbing with Peater, even gave him the nickname “Peater” He was a good man, and a steady partner on a rope. I want to thank those who donated so we can take care of his body and free his spirit. R.I.P. my friend. . .df

Trad climber
Apr 17, 2018 - 12:44pm PT
Dean, do we know how Peater died? He was always such a nice guy. It was good to reconnect a bit with him here the last year.
Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Apr 17, 2018 - 02:05pm PT
The photo on the other thread finally got me to make the connection to my memories.

Very nice guy, as I recall, and I am sorry to see learn of his death.

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Apr 17, 2018 - 03:04pm PT
Neebee; Done, check your e-mail. :)

Social climber
Apr 17, 2018 - 04:23pm PT
hey there say, Thocking... got it! thank you! hee hee, check yours, now, too...


Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Apr 17, 2018 - 05:28pm PT
RIP Good man .

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 24, 2018 - 12:51pm PT
I started climbing with Peater a loong time ago. He was one of my roommates and taught me the joys of a well made, ice cold martini, served at just the right time of the day.

Some of you may recall his VW van... 1963 full on Westfalia with roof racks- a hatch you could stand up in while driving around the valley and a hand painted Dead- skull and roses- in place of the usual VW logo on the nose.

We made trips all over California and that van got thousands of happy waves from fellow travelers.

Peater loved motorcycles too. When he decided to get one, he spent a long time searching for just the right bike. I remember him calling me up and asking if I could come over to where he was and OKing his selection, find. He had located a very rare Honda 350 four with like 8,000 miles on it and it was all decked out in full JC Whitney regalia... from a old man who didn't know how fast it went. He took it home and we stripped off every last piece of junk on it and then took it out and discovered the top speed of that little gem. Over the years Peater owned a bunch of bikes and I know he tripped cross country a few times. He told me he loved the feeling of going down a old country road just to see where it would lead to.... he also loved the people he would meet along the back roads.

If you were a climber, some of Peaters work should be familiar to you.
The portaledge.... he did not invent it but while he worked at Gramichis he perfected it and helped make those early ledges into the burley tools used all over on the world's biggests walls.
The U shape crotch in climbing pants- or whatever they call it. After he worked at WildX he knew sewing and making sown gear was his calling, he got a job working at "Olga's Bra" factory. He once told me that making Bra's was the most difficult thing you can sew and manufacture. Olga sent him off to school to become a sewing engineer and he was good at it. (I know he loved the homework)
Later he went to work for Black Diamond- in the early days. I know he really loved working for BD and he immersed himself in that place. When he moved to Salt Lake City I stopped climbing and seeing him on a regular basis. I still received post cards from all over the USA and a ocasional phone call.

I was happy when he joined in the Taco Stand and we had more phone calls and we planned to meet up this June in SLC......

Hug your friends, you never know when it will be to late.

Rest in Peace old buddy.

Guy Keesee

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Apr 24, 2018 - 01:35pm PT
Thanks for the history Guy,
sorry for the loss of your friend.

Social climber
great white north
Apr 24, 2018 - 02:21pm PT
Great memorial post Guy and I could not agree more on the difficulties of "foundation garment engineering". If Peater mastered those he was clearly on his game.

right here, right now
Apr 24, 2018 - 03:18pm PT
It's more than a little strange that so many of us are going in our 50s & 60s. WTF: I thought life expectancy would get our crew another 10-20 years together at least. (Okay, so we live hard, I got the memo). Weird not having people like Peater around for the final innings.

Tuolumne, 1981, I was hanging out with Tim Sorensen and Sean Curtis. Tim and I had just done Inverted Staircase, and I was always over motivated. Someone said chill out. So Tim and I took an afternoon off and refurbished one of those old low-slung lawn chairs, using a swami to re-tread the seating surface, created a cupholder using a chalk bag, while Sean took pictures.

Peater definitely knew how to chill out. He was better at it than I, something of a mentor in that regard, if just for a spell or two, and for a little while there, whenever I looked over-amped, the running joke was: get in your chair Roy. The last time I saw Peter, long ago now, back there in the early 80s in the Valley, that's just what he said to me as he handed me a beer. I sat there as Peater stood by, watching over me while I sucked the thing down, like he was some sort of therapist. Or just someone who knew what was best for me.

We so often focus on the great adventures and those who team up with us for these valorous Don Quixote type events. But sometimes it's the person you remember most who takes you aside and says, cool it, chill out, smell the roses why don't ya, have a drink, and get in your chair!

Thanks, Peater.

Apr 24, 2018 - 03:30pm PT
It's more than a little strange that so many of us are going in our 50s & 60s. WTF: I thought life expectancy would get our crew another 10-20 years together at least

This is a misconception I entertained in the early 1950s when I first learned of climbing. I think it may have been a Mountaineers book that had a saying: Climbers were old, when young, and young, when old. I assumed a vigorous climbing life - barring accidents - would add years to your normal duration. Sadly, this does not appear to be true.


right here, right now
Apr 24, 2018 - 03:54pm PT
Climbers were old, when young, and young, when old.
10 four.

That it's strange doesn't necessarily mean it's unexpected. (Where I wrote thought, I should have written hoped, as in fingers crossed)

A lot of us have a pretty short fuse to begin with, and do things to burn it down even quicker! High end athletics all by itself (combined with hard partying, in some cases) isn't necessarily a ticket to longevity. Health and performance don't necessarily equate on a one-to-one basis. Anyhow, yeah, Peater was a drinker, but oddly, his influence on me was one of moderation of athletic output, which I took as a positive. And simply, I wish he were still around!
Alex Baker

Apr 24, 2018 - 07:55pm PT
I met Peater about 6 years ago. I enjoyed listening to him talk of old times. I think he liked that a 'younger' person cared about what he was up to. He ended up giving me his old bolt kit and a few other things. I've enjoyed hearing some of these anecdotes about Peater - thanks.


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 25, 2018 - 05:44am PT
Oh yeah I do remember that bus....condolences and cheers
Messages 1 - 20 of total 36 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta