Peter Beril, Petar Berilazic Gone, in Aprl 2016. RIP


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 4, 2018 - 10:24am PT
Peter was my friend, a man I absolutely adored, who most of you have never met, but certainly some have. I only just found out that he died in a fall back in April, 2016, in Serbia, his home country.
GT Ledge between pitches on the first day out climbing with Peter.
GT Ledge between pitches on the first day out climbing with Peter.
Credit: Happiegrrrl2

He was a traveller, and I met hm one day at Camp Slime in the Gunks, when he walked past my campsite and said hello. The next day, when I saw him walking toward me, coming around the bend on UnderCliff Road, I had about 15 seconds to make a plan as to how I would get him to stop.... The only thing I could come up with was to ask if he would help me get a tick off of my dog, Teddy.

The next year, he showed up as a climbing partner for a visiting friend who, when she said she'd have to check with me to have him join us, said "Oh, Terrie won't mind. We know each other." She told me this while we were waiting for him and I was like ?Peter.... I don't know who that is, but there's only a few people I wouldn't want to climb with, and none of them are named Peter, so I'm sure it's fine."

Soon, he showed up and got out of his car, parked a ways away. My friend pointed and said "That's him," and...well, yes, I recognized him. "Uhhh, yeah, that's Peter...I'll arm wrestle you for him."

That was the first of many days climbing with him over the span of a few years, and the picture I posted was from that day.

He was made up of contradictions. One of the most kind people I have ever met, who insisted he could be outright cruel. He offered several stories to back himslff up, in case I was inclined to denial. Down to earth, with his head in the clouds. Serious, serious, serious, with a sense of humor that was sublime. Focused on the facts all the while his mind fluttered and flirted with fantasy. Sexy and sensual, and completely hand's off.

He was the best climbing partner I have ever had. He climbed harder enough than me that I struggled to follow him on his better leads, and that helped me climb harder. He insisted I lead, and often suggested routes I didn't think I could do without falling, but I knew he would not put me in an unsafe position, and I led my best and hardest leads with him holding the rope.

On the best of those best leads, he came through the crux barefoot with a smirk on his face. Maybe I would have felt diminished, but when I came to the crux, and chose to climb above the piece instead of placing another above me, he yelled out with the most enthusiasm I have ever heard "YES! NOW you're CLIMBING!!!" I paid him back with my standard sketched out "STFU!!!!!"

Later he said, "You know, you're very rude when you lead." Well, it did happen to be true.

Peter hung out with me in the Gunks for about a year, and we road tripped simultaneously(in our own vehicles, meeting up here and there in between his jaunts back home to visit family or friends) on my first cross country trip. I was puppy dog in love with him, and he pretended he didn't seem to notice, until the times when he was forced to remind me that he didn't want a romantic relationship with me. He cooked our dinner most nights, and did the dishes on the dinners I made. He was patient with my financial foibles, even as he insisted they made him irate. He just could not stand the idea of living with, not a safety net with so many holes, but none whatsoever, yet the morning when my van was truly broken down and not going anywhere, and I took him aside and told him to go on without me, he smiled at me with a kindness I have never seen before or since, and then demanded I make a plan of action of waited the days it took for me to get it done. He was not my sugar daddy; insisted on our paying equally. Thank god he lived frugally. Later I found out he was apparently wealthy. Except for his debonair ways, a sign of having grown up in a genteel household, and ability to get on an international flight whenever he wanted to, I wouldn't have guessed.

He kept his personal life very walled off, and though I knew a little, there was a lot I knew I would never know. I have guesses, but no answers and now he is gone, and it's likely I will never know much more than I already do. I will miss him, even though the last time I communicated him was four months before his death, and I went nearly two years before discovering he had died. I thought about him often, and asked the universe to help him with the struggles he had voiced to me.

He apparently fell on an easy route. Nobody saw, and though the images show him in helmet and harness, there is no mention of a climbing partner. The route was wet, and usually avoided at the time of year, according to a person familiar. More questions, that don't seem to have been answered. He died as he lived.
Peter came back to NY for a visit in 2014, and spent a day or so. This...
Peter came back to NY for a visit in 2014, and spent a day or so. This image taken just before he headed away.
Credit: Happiegrrrl2


Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Mar 4, 2018 - 10:40am PT
Sorry about your friends passing Happi...
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Mar 4, 2018 - 10:47am PT
So sorry, he sounds like a good man, thanks for sharing.

Trad climber
Mar 4, 2018 - 12:34pm PT
So sorry to hear this.

The Good Places
Mar 4, 2018 - 12:35pm PT
it sounds like you two had some good fun.

sorry to hear of this. it is always worse to learn of it far away, in the temporal sense. know that you will bear his remembrance farther for your later learning of the sad fact.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 4, 2018 - 12:49pm PT
Sorry for the loss of your friend Happie.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 4, 2018 - 01:02pm PT
a wonderful remembrance, thanks for the post.

Peter looks familiar, but I can't quite think of where I might have run into him.


A long way from where I started
Mar 4, 2018 - 08:06pm PT
Be thankful for the wonderful time you were able to spend with him.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 5, 2018 - 05:35am PT
He does look familiar... Wonderful tribute Happi! Condolences, sorry for your & the world's loss.

Mar 5, 2018 - 05:45am PT
wow Happie... that was really beautiful...

sorry for your loss, but thanks so much for the share...

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 5, 2018 - 12:09pm PT
He climbed in CA, AZ, UT and other places. Ed maybe met him at a Facelift, as he was out there a few times and climbed the Nose with another Serb during Facelift 2011, I think. He climbed at Indian Creek, and no doubt he spent some time in Moab during his travels.

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Mar 6, 2018 - 08:32am PT
What a BUMMER.
Peter was a GREAT Guy.
I was wondering why I hadn't got any emails from him in the last couple of years.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Mar 6, 2018 - 11:40am PT
My Condolences Terrie,
He sounds like a great friend and climbing partner.

Social climber
Mar 8, 2018 - 11:05am PT
Dear Terrie,

My name is Maja Berilazic and I'm the sister and the only sibling of late Petar Berilazic, aka Peter Beril.

Yesterday, a friend of my brother's from NY, sent the link of your beautiful story/eulogy/tribute to my beloved , affectionate & lovable brother Petar. Reading your story I'm again & again moved with effects my brother had on people and your, a pretty spot on, description of his qualities...

Thank you very much for your story.

Here is my email and please contact me if you would like me to give you more answers of this tragic accident but as you have commented, there are some questions, which stay unanswered...

Now, I'll give you two answers regarding a tragic fall. Petar was with two more Serbian rock climbers, Vukan Hadžić & Tatjana Andrijanić that day (1st April 2016, Borski Stol 1155m, Serbia). After climbing three routes, as the last route/climb that day(the fourth), Tatjana & Petar decided to climb 'Borko's' route, grade V (5). They were climbing with two thin half ropes. Vukan stayed on the side and he didnt participate in their formation. Rock climbing was aborted after a huge rockfall and fall of stones and Petar's fall on the ground and his instant death.

The photo of rescuing you saw in the newspaper's article is a prank (of the newspaper/author) as that is a generic photo of some drill of the Mountain Rescue Service Serbia. (2nd slide of 35)
it took me a while to question it and I got the answer from the secretary of Alpine section of Belgrade Mountain Association, Stevan Obradovic, a Mountaineering instructor, that the photo (besides my brother's photo in the top left corner) didnt relate to the actual event.

All the best

Maja Berilazic

p.s. Profile photo is Petar & I in Sydney, 2007

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2018 - 11:42am PT
Thank you, Maja.

I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, lost a brother in an accident, although it was not climbing-related, and so know how painful it is. Especially at a young age. I keep hearing myself say to Petar in my head "You weren't supposed to die at that age!" I guess it is just the shock that comes from an unexpected accident.

I did send you an email just now. It is on a Gmail account and my "name" is Happiegrrrl.

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