Jose Pereyra dies on Potrero Chico.


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Miguel F.

Intermediate climber
Monterrey, N.L./México
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 6, 2003 - 12:36pm PT
On January 3 while trying to get the second ascent of "Las Auras" on the Central Pilar of Potrero Chico México, just when he was a few meters from the top Jose Pereyra Fell down to his death.

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 03:54pm PT
is there any more info on this?
I just met Jose before doin the Nose this fall.
He was real nice.

anyone know any details?

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 04:13pm PT
The Valley will not be the same without you.

I saw Jose many times over the years. He seemed to love just hanging out, though I know he was very active as a climber. Rumor had it that he climbed very slowly, yet he had all these amazing speed records.
I remember this summer in Tuolummne when he aked to check out my GB. That was the first time that we actually hung out. He had such positive energy. I was happy to be able to share what I had with him.
I remember last summer racking up for a wall with Ammon in camp 4. Jose came up and walked over the rack, including the cams. Ammon told him that he missed a few, and so Jose came back on made sure to stomp on the remaining units. This wasn't rude or insulting, it was kind of his way of saying good luck, I guess. We all laughed about it.
I will miss you Jose.


Intermediate climber
hood river, or
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 04:33pm PT
we arrived in potrero a few days ago. I dont have any specific details about the incident, but we woke up our first morning here to the sounds of a chopper rescue. the route he was climbing was apparently closed due to rock fall, and we heard that rock fall was actually the cause of the accident/fall. very sad.

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 07:17pm PT
Translated through SYSTRAN, so sorry for the wording.

Fatal accident in the Potrero
Sent by: webmaster.
Saturday 4 of January of 2003, Jose Luis Pereyra died when
trying to scale the wall of the Toro in the Small Potrero, near
Monterrey. Jose Luis is of Venezuelan origin and he was in Mexico from
December principles opening routes in the area of Monterrey. Of 40
years of age, the rock was killed when coming off itself which it
subjected. Apparently, the cordada one conformed by the Venezuelan and
Emiliano Fernandez ("the Chamán") was to 200 meters of the top, after
scaling 600, when a loosening broke the bomb safety line to which he
was subject. The accident happened in the route of the Dawns (Auras), opened
by Jose Bermejo and Jorge Wingartz. The controversial route has been
scaled in very few occasions and is famous by its loosenings, little
protections and by being of the only ones in arriving at the summit of
the wall of the Toro.

Near the 8 in the morning of that day, they were had reunited to
Emiliano Stolen Fernandez (22 years), and Emiliano Villanueva
Rabotnikov (28), with the Venezuelan to initiate the ascent. Emiliano
Fernandez, who comprised of the cordada one was 20 meters of him back
and saw fall to their companion to an emptiness of 400 meters of
depth. Apparently the cord was cut or broken in the caida one.

"it commented to Me that it wanted to make an ascent of high risk, an
adventure ascent and we decided to go by a route that in 10 years six
ascents have only made", commented Stolen Fernandez.

Domingo 5 in the morning, personnel of Civil defense of the State,
with the help of a helicopter, made the rescue of the body of the
Venezuelan who was taken to the amphitheatre of the University
Hospital. Her family is already in Monterrey and confirm that the body
of Pereyra will be cremated.

Pereyra Crossbowmen arrived from Salt Lake City (Utah) at Nuevo Leo'n,
where it scaled with the premises and visitors of the Small Potrero
and the Huasteco Tube. Hardly days ago, it had opened a new route in
the Tube of San Judas in the Huasteca, with Paul Side. This route,
still without name, is of 10 lengths, degree I SAW, 5,11 Run-out (very

Jose Luis Pereyra was an experienced climber very and made numerous
scalings of high difficulty and commitment. At the moment he conserves
the record of ascent in 4 routes of Yosemite:

13:25 Grape Race, Chris McNamara, Jose Luis Pereyra, 1999 23:28
Mescalito, Poter Dean, Jose Luis Pereyra, Russ Mitrovich, 1998 26:25
Zenyatta Mondatta, Brian McCray, Jose Luis Pereyra 2001 19:58 Lunar
Eclipse, Ammon McNeely, Jose Luis Pereyra, 2001

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 07:27pm PT
I did not know Jose, but what I do know of him is positive. It hurts any time I hear of someone injured or killed climbing. You will be missed Jose.
miss you

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 09:03pm PT
this is an unbelievable loss for the climbing community, for everyone who knew Jose and for all those who never got the chance to know him. in addition to being an great climber he was truly one of the most beautiful people i have ever known. brilliant in mind and spirit, he will be missed deeply and often. who will we go to for explanation on physics, enlightenment, and the meaning of existence? we will miss spoting him walking through the parking lot, slightly hunched over, lost in thought. we will miss his stylin sunglasses and hats. his hillarious accounts of adventure. him dancing to techno in the meadow.
he was an amazing talent. one of those rare individuals born to climb. and rarer still was his modesty and relaxed appraoch. i don't think there is anyone who could meet him without walking away with learning some deep truth. he believed in the intrinsic beauty of everyone, and would stand by his friends thorugh anything.
i remember a conversation i had with Jose about technology. he explained that it was yin and yang. he drew a circle in the sand and said that everything is circular with a gravitational center and pull. that as our knowledge expands, people are pulled closer to each other through technology. so true today.
we will miss much about Jose. but i will miss most all of the drawings in the dirt.

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 09:14pm PT
I will remember Jose's ridiculously chapped lips. One time, I saw him at the Buttermilks and I tried to look him at his face to follow our conversation but his lips were so chapped it was painful to even look! So I had to stare at the ground and listen to some sort of discourse about physics, landcapes and climbing. I assumed he was so bad-ass, he didn't feel his white-cracked, bleeding lips. What a inspiring climber, I will miss him.

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 09:18pm PT

I too left more than one conversation with Jose having learned something meaningful. This is truly tragic news.

re: fan

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 10:09pm PT
i'm sure he could feel his lips. but for him, the interaction with you was more important at the time. that's how he was.

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2003 - 10:53pm PT
Yup- that's for sure how Jose was. Only met him a couple of times, but one of those times I sat at a picnic table for nearly an hour while he explained his views on Venezualan history and politics. I was amazed at how well he had thought out every angle of his argument/ discussion. I had to laugh when this hot chick came by and pretty soon she and Jose were off to climb the John Muir tree. Glad I got to meet you Jose, you will be missed...

Advanced climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2003 - 01:34am PT

Jose is a genius.

I think he could actually hear the beating heart of Mother Nature.

His mind was so complex, yet simple at the sime time. He loved to go against the ordinary..... to make people think about why they choose to do the things they do.

Jose is a rock star.

One time I asked where he got such stylin' sunglasses and he replied:

"I got on the internet and typed in, I then sent them a picture of me... and they told me exactly what to wear... to be good looking.... this hat.... these sunglasses......"

Jose is a comedian.

I remember one time when I was going to solo Lunar Eclipse in a push. He helped me carry loads to the base. The next morning while climbing the first pitch... I got a huge core-shot in my rope. I went down to get another rope and ran into Jose. He said:

"Ammon we should climb this route together.... We should really challenge ourselves.... We should take Chongo with us."

I thought he was out his mind. He wasn't. It was one of the best ascents ever. Somewhere around the fifteen hour mark he would say:

"Hey Ammon, necesito algunas hondas y carabiners"

"What? Carabiners... what do you want, Jose? I don't speak spanish"

"Oh sorry, Ammon. I need slings and carabiners.

Five minutes later he would slip into spanish once again. Chongo would translate for me once he got to the belay. It was a great day.

Jose is a lover.

He loved life, his friends and family. Jose loved himself. His spirit was shinining, bright.

Jose is an adventurer.

I remember one morning in the Cafe.... It just got done storming like a big dog. Tioga pass had just closed. Dean and Jose were heading to the Eastside.

"The pass is closed", I said.

"Oh, we don't need a car to get us there", Jose said. They hiked all the way there, in deep snow.

Jose will forever give me inspiration. My condolences goes out to freinds and family.

Jose will be missed but not forgotten.



Advanced climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2003 - 01:41am PT

Advanced climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 8, 2003 - 03:26pm PT
Seen the various stuff posted at the usual sites and all the stories reporting seem to be different than what was related at the scene. I was at PC the day of the accident and watched the body recovery the next day. The facts (?) as related were that Jose and his partner (never heard of a third) where near the top of the route when Jose's partner tried to get him to come down due to some apparant danger. Jose related he thought all was ok and then either he fell or some rock gave way. All his gear ripped (heard 3-4 pieces) and he fell and pengied into the wall, breaking his spine. Apparantly there was further rockfall which hit Jose. The partner got down to Jose and determined that he was dead. The partner could not descend without the rope and was forced to cut Jose loose to get off the route.

This all sounds real bad, especially the rope cutting. If there was a third partner, seemingly they would have had two ropes, which mitigates against the rope cutting. But that was what was related the day of and after the accident, which differs from the press' take.

Novice climber
Jan 8, 2003 - 06:13pm PT
returning from climbing the Matthes Crest with Jose and two other freinds we lost a part to our head lamp on a completely moonless night in a talus field. Jose was hilarious he kept makeing us laugh the whole time. He would imitate elk noises. When we got back to the site everyone went to sleep except Jose and I and we stayed up for a long time drinking beers and building a pretty ridiculously large fire. Thanks for the good times Jose.
Miguel F.

Intermediate climber
Monterrey, N.L./México
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 8, 2003 - 07:35pm PT
Yesterday, January 7, Jose's Family and some of his friends took Jose's ashes to a magical place on the Huasteca Canyon "Guitarritas", we gather in Circle to share histories about Jose and his way of being, then his Sister Cristina throw His ashes to the air, now is free to roam wherever the wind might take him.
It was a very touching moment.
I agree with one of Jose's friends, "Funerals are for getting the ones you love together ".
Farewell Jose.

Some Details about the accident:
Jose was climbing with just one partner not two.
He fell down with a bunch of loose rock about 200 feet,100 above the belay, 100 below the belay.
It's hard to know if he break his spine or he died of the multiple injuries caused by the rocks.

Intermediate climber
Jan 8, 2003 - 07:39pm PT
I was there and heard the same story that MW heard. I dont know what the real story is, but either way it is a great loss.
Juniper-beginning climber

Novice climber
the sierra
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2003 - 12:18am PT
Meeting Jose was an honor in itself. Quiet, brilliant, adventurous, kind, loving, gentle, a genuinely good listener, a super person and wonderful spirit. Jose is loved deeply and will be missed greatly. An insightful teacher, a patient mentor, a very generous guy. Jose enriched the lives he touched. I wrote him and Chongo something once and I reget never sharing it with them. There is so much I have to say that quietness says better.
I'll miss you Jose.........

Climb safe.

Novice climber
London, UK
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2003 - 12:56pm PT
I did no know Jose as a climber, but we grew up together in Caracas, went to school together, surfed and skated together, there wasn't a day that we did not talk or see each other.

Every weekend was enjoyed to the max, Jose knew how to live life to the full.

I had not seem him for many years and I always knew that one day we will get together again, go to a nice beach somewhere warm and surf together again just like when we were 14 years old , it's a real shame that this will not happen now...

Reading your messages just confirms what a special person he was.

I will miss my best friend.

moment of silence

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2003 - 01:38pm PT


Novice climber
Minnesota, USA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2003 - 05:31pm PT
I too did not know Jose as a climber, but he was my first friend. I met him the day he was born and spent the next 20 years discovering life together. I remember our weekends together building legos, our trips to the beach, the time he broke his arm, the first day he tried to surf, the first time he flew, and many more. I had not seen him for some years, but knew about his love of climbing. I knew it made him feel free, more connected to nature, and to the real essence of being human. I will miss him.

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2003 - 06:34pm PT
Jose's nickname between ours friends was "El Che".
Because even he had grown in Venezuela he was born in
Argentina. The first image that comes to my mind when
I think about him is the image of Jose jumping into the
water in a big swell (Mar de Leva) in Los Cocos Beach at
La Guaira, Venezuela. He was probably 14 years old
those days. I met Jose that day and started a large
friendship relation until these days. Last time I saw him
was nine months ago, like happens to me, the years had leave
theirs traces on him. But his spirit was younger and
brilliant. We remembered the first time we went together
to climb, those times when we surfed together and the many
friends we missed. We spoke about our common interest on Castaneda's work and we spoke about the Nagual.

Wherever Jose is he is already in a dimension he
wanted to explore. That is why I'm convinced he is
enjoying that new live with the same wonderful spirit
he enjoyed his material live.

We friends from La Guaira, we miss you.
Victor Pereyra

Novice climber
Cupertino, CA USA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2003 - 07:01pm PT
I knew Jose since he was born. I am his father and you have no idea how much we all appreciate this outpour of love and solidarity. It started in the Huasteca, with all the Mexican friends that shared with us setting Jose free to fly in his fifth dimension.

I did not know Jose as much as some of you seem to know him, or as much I would have wanted to know him, but we shared some great moments in recent times, specially the last time I saw him, last summer in Yosemite, when he climbed a 50 ms wall with his two little brothers, Julio (9) and Gabriel (11).

It is very good to hear and confirm what we knew, that Jose was intrinsically a good person that touched many lives in a positive manner. He was also a profound thinker and we will try to bring some of his unpublished writtings out for all to share.

Thank you all and let us continue embracing life to the full, as he would have wanted us to do.

Novice climber
Barcelona Spain
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 11, 2003 - 04:29am PT
Reaching the top of Kukenan Tepui has been one of the most spiritual,magical and fullfiling journeys in my life.
Jose THANK YOU for helping me get there. You are an incredible inspiration to me.
Missing you

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 11, 2003 - 07:03pm PT
Conocimos a José Juis en Bachillerato. Fuimos compañeros de Cristina su hermana. Queremos recordarlo como aquel muchacho más grande, inteligente, estudioso, que era admirado por su personalidad.
Desde adolescente ya tenía claro lo que le gustaba, nunca eran cosas tradicioanles, sin embargo él seguía adelante.
Te recordaremos con el afecto de siempre, estaremos siempre cerca de Cris y Conce.
Juan Vera

Novice climber
Monterrey, NL. Mexico
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 12, 2003 - 05:39pm PT
I live in Monterrey, Mexico. On Christmas Eve, Jose and Paul (my son), came back at home after a 14-day rock climbing adventure in The La Huasteca National Park. They along with their friend Paco, achieved successfully the summit of the San Judas Tadeo Mountain.

They were so excited describing us details of the expedition. They were very hungered, and just when mama Frida (my wife)was taking the roasted turkey out of the oven...., dirty hands picked pieces of turkey up, enjoying tiny delicious turkey's slices.

Life is full of uncertainties, and nobody knew, that this gathering was going to be the last Jose´s Christmas dinner among us.

We remember Jose's positive attitude in life. A deep thinker and we enjoyed the way he taught us his vision on life. Jose will be always in our hearts.

11-days later, after the fatal accident, we met Jose´s family. His parents Victor, Concepcion and his sister Cristina. A wonderful and blessed family having a son like Jose.
We love you all.

Trad climber
Lake district
Jan 13, 2003 - 07:55am PT
Hi Everybody, my name is Leo Houlding. I like to think I knew Jose pretty well. We met in the fall of 98, when I was a complete big wall gumbie. Every valley season since have spent much time lost in each others imagination.

He is the first truely deep friend I've lost. Honestly I'm still a little shocked.

Jose has had such an immense and profound effect on my life I can say with certainty I would not be the man I now am were it not for him.

He was a Burjo. A spiritual teacher. Every time we hung out he would discreetly divuldge and discuss another level of knowledge, then test it. Usually so discreetly it's not until long after that the lessons became clear.

The last time I saw him was in October. We spent 8 days with 4 unexperienced wall climbers, but great friends on the NA wall.

Both Jose and I were injured, he had a swollen knee and I was still recovering from the smashed ankle and gained last winter on Cerro Torre (where jose helped with my rescue).

We got Javier, Blanca, Harry and Louis to lead every pitch whilst jose and I drank cocktails, smoked and discussed the nature of the universe, our place in it, Mescalito and big wall climbing. We took 300kg of stuff, 3 cabana port-a-legdes, a mini keg of grolsh, a huge boom box etc. etc.

Hey if you can't climb in good style, climb "good style"!!!

I set up all the hauls, camps etc. Jose did nothing but watch and release the hauls. With a 200m haul line, we did the whole route in 5 massive hauls.

When we topped out, Jose had the revelationary idea of tying together our vast amount of rope and lowering all 5 haul bags off the top of ZM all the way to the ground. It worked perfectly!

He also said to me that after that experience I could safely call myself a big wall climber, I wonder what he meant?

I could sit here and write about Jose all day. He was not only my hero, mentor, teacher, he was one of my very closest friends, I can not write this without a tear, he taught so much but there is still so much more to learn.

The last e-mail I received from him was 16th Dec. In it he said that Mexico is a very special place, perhaps the place he would like to stay. I think, as ever Jose knows something we don't... but I still miss him from th bottom of my heart.

Jose we love you. I'll see you on the other side.
el escalona

Big Wall climber
Jan 13, 2003 - 09:04am PT
I had the opportunity to share some moments with José...some in La Guairita , some others climbing in Suesca and the last time in Yosemite when was breaking the record in the regular route of the Half Dome. I have in mind only goog memories with him...Always friendly,genteel,gracious,positive, funny,etc.

Viejo Jóse: All the best for you in this journey. You will be always with us ...We will miss you.


Trad climber
Orange County
Jan 13, 2003 - 05:15pm PT
I was on El Cap afew years ago with my wife and a friend. We were cruising along in a multi-day old-school approach and I was gazing into the void below and spotted two climbers starting up after us. It soon became apparent that they were moving WAY faster than us and would catch us before my wife finished her pitch. My initial reaction was one of irritation with the potential cluster f*#k that their passing us would entail. However, after watching their speed ascent style I realized that they could go right by without impacting us negatively. Pretty soon they were right on top of us and as D.P. led through Jose had a few minutes to hang out at our belay. D. was very brusque and all business but Jose was very friendly. It was the only time I ever came in contact with him but as they faded into the distance I remember thinking "That guy was cool" (i.e. not the dick that some climbing celebrities are).
jeff benowitz

Jan 13, 2003 - 05:50pm PT
geologists talk to biologists, biologists talk to chemists, chemists talk to physicsts and physicsts talk to g-d. listen quitely, there are some interesting conversations happening at the deli in the sky.

Jan 13, 2003 - 11:45pm PT
i am eduardo jose's cousin and eventhough i had not seen Jose in many years i always admired and, in a way envied his comitment to what he loved, I read his writings on physics and i was really convinced that he had a real grasp on what life was about. After reading all these mails i am deeply touched by how much all loved him, and in my sadness that bmakes me very happy and proud about Jose. So, Jose wherever you are, gracias por dejarnos ver que se puede vivir a fondo, un abrazo grande
Eduardo Escobar

Jan 15, 2003 - 11:57am PT
I knew very young, surfeamos , we mounted patineta and we are a very good friends. It is very sad to think that a good friend is dead, I hope is making mountain climbing with Jesus Christ in the Sky.

I will remember you for always. You friend Eduardo

Social climber
Jan 16, 2003 - 01:09am PT
Conoci a Jose hace 25 anos, en Caracas - Venezuela y juntos compartimos el mar y el cielo. "El Vegetal" como soliamos llamarlo tiene miles de historias que contar.
El aprendio desde muy joven el valor que tiene cada segundo de vida, aunque teniamos caminos diferentes siempre el destinos nos unia una y otra vez. En los ultimos 3 anos mi casa, era su casa de SLC-Utah. Jose cambio mi vida y la de mi familia.
Conociendo a Jose se que el disfruto cada segundo de ese dia, pero eso no nos quita este terrible dolor, y al igual que El Chuti, nos deja un gran vacio.
Ahora me doy cuenta que la ultima llamada que nos hizo fue para despedirse, pero todavia seguimos esperando oirlo abrir puerta y decir QUE HAY DE COMER!!..... Hola.

Big Wall climber
Caracas, Venezuela
Jan 17, 2003 - 10:16am PT
preculsor e impusador de las actividades al aire libre, que siempre supo como estar en la cresta del alto nivel en la actividad que hiciera
nos sumamos al duelo sus compañeros escaladores, pilotosde vuelo libre, montañista, academicos, surfista y otros.
Hablar de un hombre universal es hablar de Jose
Jose te queremos y te pensamos
gracias por tu ejemplo
tus hermanos....

en la guairita te recordamos en cada boulder en cada ruta y en la travesia.
en las nubes nos haces falta para que nos marques la termal.
en la montaña corremos y fluimos hacia arriba
en la guairita nos dabas tus clases de vida

Tatiana Cartwright

Trad climber
Jan 17, 2003 - 01:04pm PT
Jose. Eres parte de Suesca por siempre. Ojalà estes alucinando en eso que està despuès de esta vida. Fercho y yo te extrañamos mucho. Amor infinito estès donde estès.
Wendy Lagerquist

Sport climber
Price, Utah
Jan 18, 2003 - 02:01pm PT
I met Jose in Utah when he wanted a ride to the ski resort in 1994. He and I quickly became good friends. I was a ski instructor for the University of Utah, and he was new to the area learning how to ski. He quickly surpassed me in skill. He excelled at everything he tried. I will miss our trips to the desert and his fascinating conversations about the metaphysical. I will especially miss his hugs. I will never forget him.

Social climber
moab, utah
Jan 19, 2003 - 10:59pm PT
I first met Jose in Salt Lake City. Suddenly he just kept turning up everywhere, everytime I went climbing. It's impossible to believe that he won't again. I'll never forget the time I was leaving on a little roadtrip to Hueco Tanks, five or six years ago. I was having a rough time right then, and I really wanted a solo roadtrip alone with my dog. But Jose asked if I could drop him off in Tucson ("Tooksan"), where I was stopping to visit my brother anyway, at the bus station. How could I say no? Next thing I knew, we were skipping the bus station and headed to my brother's house. We climbed as a threesome for a week, then Jose just continued on with me to Hueco. I finally booted him out of my car and left him at Pete's. Then I started to miss him! Luckily, not much time ever went by before Jose was around again. In Patagonia last winter, I met him on the trail as I was leaving. He was trying to trick me into meeting up with Dean instead of going back to the States, ever the true friend. He knew what was best.
Last June, we got married in Moab. Two days before the wedding, Jose called to tell us he was driving out and bringing Chongo. Dean was so happy he was almost in tears. Jose had his trademark Farrakhan sunglasses, and this pretty amazing opalescent purple buttondown shirt. For months afterward, my mom kept asking me how Jose makes his living, and when his book will be finished. I guess they had some fascinating conversations at the reception. But perhaps the highlight was waking up the morning after our wedding to find Chongo and Jose already installed in our house, fully at work on the book as we were packing for our honeymoon. It was very romantic. They housesat and helped us out by eating all the leftover wedding food in the fridge all week while we were gone. Jose kept saying to me, "We have to climb something together in the Valley this fall." We never did--he did a route with Dean, but I never did another route with Jose. Here in Moab, we still can't believe that we're not going to see him next season in the Valley. We didn't want to lose Jose, not yet. In our hearts we haven't.

Boulder climber
Montreal, Canada
Jan 20, 2003 - 03:08pm PT
I met Jose 20 years ago when we both started climbing in La Guairita, Venezuela. My best memories of him are not about climbing though, but of the many simple and wonderful moments that we shared traveling, playing, laughing.

Jose and I share the same birth date, May 20. I’ll always remember one day on our birthday when Jose convinced me to skip my biology class and go with him to the “tallest swing in the world”. He then drove me for about an hour to the rolling hills outside Caracas to a wooden swing hanging by a thick rope from the tallest branch of an immense tree. There was a hill by the tree, so we climbed the hill and swung from very, very high. It was exciting and fun. We spent many hours there, swinging like little kids. I never found out who built the swing or how Jose found it. But it was certainly a magical way to spend our birthday’s afternoon.

Other times he would invite me to a river to show me an underwater blue cave, or we would travel to mountainous Merida by bus, or he would offer me an Escher paper puzzle. Whatever it was that he did, it was filled with real intention, true meaning, love and joy for life.

I am now a long-retired climber, mother of a 2-year old with another baby “en route”. I haven’t seen Jose in many, many, many years, but always thought that I would meet him again. I know now that all these great memories will keep him alive in me.


Social climber
caracas, new york
Jan 22, 2003 - 12:13pm PT
I met Jose (accenting on the "o" as we call him) about 10 years ago when I was starting to climb in La Guarita... he didnt climb that day but something about him made it clear that he was in his nich... I think he left for Utah around those days... and later I saw him on one of his first visits... He came to la guarita with no shoes (had to borrow mine); hicimos travesia juntos un par de veces...A few months later I came to the states I came to the US and alled him to see if I could stop by SLC to climb together... I stayed at his house for 3 months, climbing with him and some of the friends he introduced me to.
Well, that house became my house the following winter as a moved to SLC to finish school and live with him for 3 years.
I could probably sit here and write for a week about the memories I have of those days... the high lights may be my first day backcountry skiing to "Gobblers Knob" and our trips to indian creek and other desert areas, and I can't forget numberless burrito or pasta dinners in our kitchen. Jose wasn't one of much talk but was a definite example of a man true to his passions.
I left SLC 3 and a half years ago and saw Jose last that same year on my last visit to the valley; he was walking around barefoot, doing a bigwall about every other day... my last climbing memory of him is probably of trying Midnight Ligthning together... he was pretty close. The day I left the valley I remember looking up to El Cap wondering what pitch he would be up to then.
Although we never ran into eachother again since, tons of our closest friends did; so I guess we had aa idea of how we were doing... I was surprised by a mail from him late november; I replied telling him about me teaching math for the past three years; I did'nt expect a reply, I told him.
The day before his accident I was scared shivering on a runout thinking of how Jose would be laughing at me if he had been there...
well, we ,as steph says, weren't ready for him to go I guess he is enjoying his 5th dimension...

Jose (con acento en la o)...echamele guindas al pavo!

Trad climber
Jan 23, 2003 - 05:30pm PT
Mi muy querido,respetado y apreciado Jóse,mi pana,yo se que nunca te iras realmente!!!...Eres uno de los pocos individuos que realmente llego muy cerca de entender la verdad del universo!! tal vez te la llevaste contigo!!!inolvidables momentos juntos!!en compañia de Alexis,Chongo,Alexandra, todos los escaladores de la Guairita (Venezuela) y por supuesto, del valle de "Yosemite"..nuestro lugar de estudio hacia la inteligencia superior!!!..`Jóse la ultima vez que nos vimos,en Caracas Venezuela(casa de Henry Gonzales) quedamos en hacer unas "arepas" juntos,ahora te dedico todas las que haga!!! vida no termina se transforma en energia..siempre viviras en los que te conocimos de verdad ..te adoro!!! zarithza maria!!


My dearest,respected and,loved Jóse:you will never be dead to me.You are simply the only person i know that got really close to the understanding of the truth of the universe!!,My friend... unforgetable moments we shared alog with Alexis,Chongo,Alexandra,the climbers of our beloved "Guairita" and,off course Yosemite Valley; our place of learning the superior inteligence!..last time i saw you was in Cracas-Venezuela at Henry Gonzales place,we talk about getting together to make AREPAS(our tipical venezuelan meal)..from now on all of the arepas i´ll make will be for you!! doesn´t end it only transforms into energy- now you know it! will live forever in the soul of us "the ones that really know who you are"..I LOVE YOU!!..zarithza maria lionza and bruce lee!!

Mountain climber
Jan 24, 2003 - 10:39am PT
Jose, amigo, companero, maestro, a traves de ti tantos viajes. Sigues haciendo lo que siempre me ensenaste: incluir y trascender... Todo el que te conocio anda muy triste con tu ausencia pero la negra dice que no te has ido, que andas por ahi. Puedo verte claramente riendote a carcajadas y lleno de emocion con todo lo que estas aprendiendo en este vuelo, que es solamente un poco mas lejos y mas largo, asi que hasta pronto. Dale un abrazo a Chuti y dile que al final si aprendiste a bailar!
matt hermann

Social climber
Jan 25, 2003 - 10:28pm PT
This past weekend, I sat down to try to make a list of all things I’d ever done with Jose. It seemed like the proper thing to do; he’d been on my mind a lot. I got out my old datebook calendars and started trying to decipher the fine print scribble: “Gobbler’s w/ Marc, Jose”, “Raymond Glades w/ Craig, Jose,” “Dutch’s w/ Dana, Marc, Jose”. Quickly, I remembered just how much we did do together for a few years. Most people probably think of Jose as a climber, but when I first met him, he was just discovering skiing. Jose got into skiing with the same single-minded focus that he applied to just about everything he became interested in, and he progressed from beginner to advanced in less than a season. His parallel style was unorthodox (Marc called him the “porpoise” and it fit!) and I always thought it looked painful on the knees, but he got down plenty of great shots and had a reliable tele turn to fall back on whenever he wanted. Anyway, the list of tours was long. Standouts are a big day we had on Stairs Gulch (hiked back out the top), then down Bonkers and up the Twin, then down the east face, and also the time we skied Coal Pit Gulch after an adventure descending the backside of the Y coulouir. Jose always wanted to link up every drainage from Monitor to Gobblers (ski them all in one day) and he tried several times but each time he got waylaid by a run that was too good to do only once. I probably learned more about Jose on the skin track than anywhere else. I would get him to try to explain some mathematical theory he was working on, or he would tell me about his attempts to move his “assemblage point.” Jose read Carlos Castaneda like the bible, and I tried hard to understand what he was saying, because I always felt that Jose could quite possibly announce to me one day that he’d learned how to fly and poof! he’d be gone. In this world of so many unknowns, Jose always seemed like he might be perched on the edge of some part of the answer.

Jose picked up kayaking as quickly as he’d learned how to ski. His years as a surfer must have given him a higher understanding of water. At least it let him not fear it the way I always did. There were a few of us in big, round boats who were expecting him to have a few problems in his “little” hurricane on Westwater at 20,000 cfs but he did just fine. Marc told a great story of Jose blowing the class II move into the eddy above Driscoll’s on Bitch Creek and running the whole thing blind, backwards and/or upside down. He had a great roll though, and never swam (until he did). Probably the most fun I ever had with Jose in a boat was our “September-suicide-self-support” Middle Fork Salmon trip. A friend had told Jose that it would be certain death to try the Middle Fork in September and it was snowing as we put on, but we had a great time, warming up in hot springs all the way down. One day the phone rang: “I swam”. I couldn’t put the voice together with those words and had to ask, “Jose?” He’d gone into taco hole on the Snake when it was a little too low and a little too sticky. He struggled with the hydraulic monster for ten minutes by report of several bystanders, rolling and bracing and rolling and bracing, but eventually suffered the heretofore-unknown indignity of having to swim out of a hole. “Welcome to the real world Jose,” I think I said to him.

Of course my Jose list also includes a lot of memorable climbs. I was belaying him at the base of the North side of Castleton tower when a couple of climbers wandered over and commented on his lack of gear placement. I was certainly never worried about him. I’d have trouble following him, but it was only 5.10. “Cracks are good to me” he once said with his amusing and endearing latinized grammatical structuring, although, along with his skiing and kayaking, his English became quite good. There was the time he wouldn’t lower me off “Rebel Yell” and I was forced to dog my way to the chains in the most undignified manner possible. I think that was his sense of humor showing itself, although most of the time his humor was directed at himself. For someone as intense Jose was, he never took himself too seriously. I also never got the impression that he was chasing numbers, or glory, or anything but the perfect fingerlock below the mantle into nirvana, but I do remember how excited he was one day in American Fork when he redpointed his first 5.12d. And I remember thinking how that was only one letter away from 5.13, which had always seemed like something that only happened in magazines. The next thing I knew he was ticking 13’s at Indian Creek.

About the time that Jose seemed to go even deeper into the climbing life, I didn’t see him so much anymore. He moved all his worldly belongings (there weren’t too many of them) into our garage and lived out of his car. I would read about him or he’d suddenly show up at the house and Yngrid would make Venezuelan arepas for him or he’d call and tell Rosbitt about his book. He always said he was going to give me a copy but I never saw it. Several months ago he called me and asked for medical advice for his girlfriend, and he said he was going to drive to Yellowstone to visit me. I actually expected he would come, because that would have been totally in character. Just show up. But he didn’t. For several years, I now realize that I’ve been waiting for that long weekend when I could have him alone on a skin track and really find out where he’d been and what he’d been thinking, hear some big tales of famous climbers and big walls. Have him explain his book. Too late.

Adios amigo. Te espero mucho.

la negra

Social climber
Jan 26, 2003 - 04:09pm PT
Jose! ayer nos reunimos en tu honor en casa de Carla. Buenisimo! El chino trajo una peli del año de la pera, cuando las competencias de vuelo, salimos todos con unas pintas de los 80! Fer, el Ñero, Igor, Julio, carla, cordelia,cesar, el chino y un largo etc de gente y tu con una cara de carajito!! Y henry trajo las fotos de Autana, maravillosas, te ves buenisimo pana! Y hasta Rosbitt e ingrid llamaron de EEUU! para estar presentes. Yo se que no te has ido a ninguna parte que estas como el universo: en cada cosa, en cada ser. Solo dejastes el cuerpo y dejastes en nuestros corazones tu energia maravillosa y eterna. gracias Jose
la negra

Social climber
Jan 26, 2003 - 04:10pm PT
Jose! ayer nos reunimos en tu honor en casa de Carla. Buenisimo! El chino trajo una peli del año de la pera, cuando las competencias de vuelo, salimos todos con unas pintas de los 80! Fer, el Ñero, Igor, Julio, carla, cordelia,cesar, el chino y un largo etc de gente y tu con una cara de carajito!! Y henry trajo las fotos de Autana, maravillosas, te ves buenisimo pana! Y hasta Rosbitt e ingrid llamaron de EEUU! para estar presentes. Yo se que no te has ido a ninguna parte que estas como el universo: en cada cosa, en cada ser. Solo dejastes el cuerpo y dejastes en nuestros corazones tu energia maravillosa y eterna. gracias Jose
la negra

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jan 27, 2003 - 12:18pm PT
I am still numb by Jose's passing, when Ammon told me I was still feeling the loss of Joe and could not even contemplate that another one of our bro's had been taken from us. I will remember all the days spent sitting around the Valley with Jose last summer, listening to him speak of all the subjects in his brilliant mind... philosophy,physics,nature,the planet,his detest of wearing shoes. All while enjoying a fine smoke...he would look up at me in the middle of his describing quantum physics and say "what was I talking about?", to which we would both laugh uproariously (he because he lost his train of thought) I because I got off that train several stations ago (confused and without a schedule)! But this was not a product of altered mental states (at least not for Jose) this was the way his mind worked... so fast he would jump from one subject to the next without skipping a beat, all based on his excitement of the subject matter. Jose will live on in all of us who knew and loved him, and he will always remain in our hearts and in our minds. I know I among many will still expect him to come walking up to us at any moment in the Valley this summer, full of smiles and super positive energy...and he will be there with us in some shape or form I know it.

We miss you Jose, en paz descanses hermano.

Social climber
Montreal, Canada
Jan 28, 2003 - 09:56pm PT
Hola Jose, teniamos como 20 anios sin vernos, y el dia que recibi la noticia de que te fuiste me recorde de los vuelos a la playa de noche, y sobre todo de la escalada del Marahuaka con Ramon y Kike, y senti que no habia pasado tanto tiempo despues de todo. Sin embargo, en otro sentido si ha transcurrido el reloj, hoy tengo mucho menos pelo y tres hijos. Pasa y no pasa el tiempo, se nace y se muere, el tiempo circulo y el tiempo flecha. Algun dia el tiempo circulo seguro nos va a poner de frente. Otro dia sera, pajulin.

Jan 29, 2003 - 10:41am PT
Jose, después de tanto tiempo sin vernos, se que algún día me pasarás buscando en tu carro cuadradito blanco y volveremos a ir al cine (¿por qué íbamos a ver tantas películas polacas?) , volveremos a comer zanahorias en una plaza, a tomar té de hierbabuena y a hablar por horas, volverás a ser mi partero. Un beso grande querido amigo.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Feb 2, 2003 - 12:37am PT
I didn’t know Jose as well as many of you here. I’d say Hi to him in the Valley and I climbed with him only once. But that one time was perhaps the best climbing experience of my life. This was particularly amazing to me because the route we did, Grape Race, is probably the worst route on El Capitan. But as I have found out many times, the quality of route isn’t nearly as important as the qualities of your partner.

The ascent started before dawn with me trying to find Jose, who was sleeping in a cave. He needed me to find him and wake him because he didn’t have a watch. He also didn’t have shoes, although the bottoms of his feet were so black and caloused that it looked as though they had been resoled with sticky rubber. I asked him why he didn’t wear shoes and he said, “I feel closer to the earth.”

We pulled up to El Cap meadow at first light. He put on the rack and I put on the Camelback. We then turned to each other. “You got the rope?” I asked. “No. You got it?” he replied. We both smiled, got into the car and headed back to Camp 4 to find a rope. Not exactly an auspicious start to big day of climbing, but no matter. An hour later Jose was leading up the first pitches in the sticky August heat.

Every speed climber has their own style. Some climb frantically and get a hard competitive look in their eyes. Jose was different. He was relaxed both in his climbing and his attitude. It was as though we were spending a lazy day at the crags. He climbed carefully and fluidly and apparently slowly until you looked at the watch and realized he was ticking off pitches in minutes.

He led the first four pitches of The Nose, I led Grape Race, and then we was going to take us to the top back on The Nose. I remember him calmly leading Pancake Flake with a 100-foot loop of rope under him and then free climbing the last 40 feet of the pitch to the Glowering Spot. This last bit was impressive. Besides Lynn Hill and Yuji, almost no one free climbs ANY part of this 5.12+ pitch. But there was Jose, delicately stemming and liebacking, enjoying the free moves while I belayed in amazement.

At Camp 6, in a selfless move, he said I should lead to the top. He had plenty of juice left but he saw how amped I was. Those last pitches were the best leads of my life. I more or less stopped placing pro because it broke up the fluid movement. This meant that even though we were short fixing, it took about as long to clean as it did to lead each pitch and we moved up the last pitches unison. We had both stripped big wall climbing of all its gear and logistics. What remained was the pure sensation of moving over the rock. It was magic. That’s what I’ll always remember about Jose: he had an amazing ability to shed the clutter and reduce life to its core.

Jose shared that with others, which means that many were touched, and will continue to be touched, by his incredible being.

Big Wall climber
Caracas - Tucson, AZ
Feb 4, 2004 - 01:09pm PT

Jose era increible y especial. Quien no tiene una historia comica sobre el dia que lo conocio? o sobre alguna de sus incontables aventuras?

Nos quedamos sin Jose, co~no!, pero el nos dio mucho para recordar. Nos dio tanta vida, con tanta intensidad... y aunque nosotros no estemos ni remotamente cerca de estar preparados para su partida, no puedo imaginarme una persona mas lista para enfrentar ese viaje que el. Quien mas si no el Maestro y Guru de los Aventureros?

La ultima vez que hable con el, fue en Yosemite el verano de 2002. Yo y Kiki teniamos tiempo sin verlo, pero la pasamos muy bien. El trabajaba en un libro de Fisica con el Chango, y hablamos tanto, especulamos tanto. Ya ha de tener todo ese royo de la Mecanica Cuantica bien resuelto. Uff, que mente que tenia para buscarle un giro unico y personal a las cosas!. Jose ciertamente enfrentaba cualquier aspecto de su vida de la misma manera que se enfrentaba a una tapia... la misma pasion y entrega total, la misma verdad interna...

Ese verano comprendi, gracias a alguna de sus muchas palabras, la importancia de andar descalzo, tocar la tierra. Y ya no puedo subir a un Slag-line sin escuchar sus palabras de aliento...

Jose mi pana, valla con bien, y saludos al otro Jose si lo ves...


Boulder climber
Oakland, CA
Feb 27, 2004 - 12:51pm PT
Jose Luis "El Che" mi friend
What a surprise to hear you have left this world as a body. Because you are still here in spirit.

Dieter was the one who told me about your accident. Still I can't understand what happened, rope bloke? and avalanche? The person in front of you let go? You never had an accident! Except to be born in this crazy Earth. You were extra careful and a slow climber, yet fast!

I will never forget when we were in our tens, and you and I went to visit these girls we met in Puerto Azul, and we had a very metaphysical conversation about the universe, and the fate of it all. We both loved cosmology. You said that the universe repeats itself. And everything pretty much will happen again. In other words we are repeating our life over and over. That was amazing concept. And until today, when I think of you, and can sense you there. I will
see you again my friend. Next time be more careful.

We will go to the ocean, and surf in the middle of the night with a full moon in cuyagua. We will climb in san meron, and jump into the waterfalls and ponds. We'll do that all over again.



Sorry it took me this long to pay honor to you.

Mountain climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 27, 2004 - 04:10pm PT
Thank you for bringing this back up, it is a sobering reminder. I never met Jose, but everyone I talked to had high praise for him.

B loop site 15
Feb 29, 2004 - 01:01pm PT
I sure as f*** miss you Jose. It wasn't the same, I kept smilin' though and thought about you when I was on good routes and truly enjoying myself and my friends. Thanks for leaveing me with that little bit of spirit to remember you by. love you bro. Keep an eye on me.


Big Wall climber
El Cap
Jan 3, 2008 - 06:03pm PT

I’ve been thinking a lot about you today Jose… still missing you sorely.

We will never forget your passion for climbing, dreaming and living life.

Thank you so much for your inspiration.

Lots of love, Ammon

Big Wall climber
El Cap
Jan 3, 2008 - 09:05pm PT

Five years later it's still as painful as if it were yesterday.


Big Wall climber
El Cap
Jan 3, 2008 - 09:53pm PT

Thanks Jody, but it's actually all of our loss. January 3rd has a huge impact on many and just wanted to honor a great person and friend.
mark miller

Social climber
Jan 3, 2008 - 11:21pm PT
I met Jose in the Valley years ago and the world is a worse place without him.


Social climber
Jan 3, 2008 - 11:27pm PT
hey there and a kind hello to the near family, all family, friends and climbers that knew jose pereyra:

may the good lord guide and bless you as you face this very sad loss...

Social climber
Jan 4, 2008 - 12:33am PT
Hey Ammon,

Thanks for the reminder. I saw this while at work and it made me really sad and i had to fight back the tears with much effort, like it had just happened last week, not five years ago. It's good to think about Jose and how much he meant to us and how much he inspired everyone who knew him.

I rented Vertical Frontier a couple of months ago cuz i hadn't seen it before. In the Extras section of the DVD there's a 45 minute video of the Saving Camp 4 Celebration. I wasn't at the Camp 4 party, but Winky was at my house while i was watching the movie and said "Jose went up there and talked like three times, maybe he'll be on the video". Well, not all three times made the cut, but i watched the whole thing and sure enough, towards the end Jose gets up behind the podium and tells a story about running down the Mist Trail barefoot scaring tourists. It was good to hear his voice and see his smile.

To Jose,

I wish i could have shared more times with you friend. I am forever grateful for the times i did share. Thank you.


Big Wall climber
El Cap
Jan 4, 2008 - 02:09am PT

Hi Lori,

Jose wouldn’t want us to be sad, he would want us to celebrate life, thanks for sharing.

Let’s here some more inspiring stories.

Social climber
Jan 4, 2008 - 04:28am PT
Here's one way he inspired me:
I'd been slacklining on and off for a year or two and was good enough to usually walk the distance of a moderate length line. I had to work for it though, every step was a struggle to stay on the line. I had no real control or grace on the line. One day at the Gordon Ranch I went outside to the backyard where a slackline was set up. Jose was on it with his back toward me. I watched him take a step with his left foot and then just stand there, relaxing, bringing his arms down to his sides. He stood on that left foot for while, a long while, then he took a step with his right foot. Again, he exhaled, relaxed, and stood on his right foot for a long time. He continued in this manner for the length of the line. It wasn't very long, maybe thirty feet, but it must have taken him more than ten minutes to get to the end.

I started walking better immediately. Watching Jose be in harmony with the line instead of fighting to stay on it made a fundamental shift in my approach and style. I still think about him when i'm walking and start to lose the rhythm and go back to that recovery position where i exhale, relax, bring my arms down to my sides, and get the feel of the line again. And sometimes, i guess for practice, but to pay tribute to Jose too, i walk the line the whole way like that, taking my time to reach the other side.

Jun 8, 2010 - 10:17am PT
Long story short, I just heard about José's life story a moment ago...


Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Jun 8, 2010 - 12:05pm PT
I still miss Jose. In addition to being a great climber he was also a mathematician, we used to discuss Godel's Theorum and related topics.


fist clamp
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:10pm PT
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