Jose Pereyra dies on Potrero Chico.


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 41 - 60 of total 63 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

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.
Messages 41 - 60 of total 63 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta