Pete Steres, R.I.P.

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Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 21, 2007 - 12:40am PT
I learned today that Pete Steres died on February 11, 2007 at the age of 54. Pete started climbing at Tahquitz and Suicide in the late 60ís and moved to Boulder around 1980.

Pete is in the middle of this photo, taken at the Joshua Tree party last spring.


He was a quiet, introspective sort, but very warm when you got to know him.
Pete loved climbing and he was incredibly good at it. I remember being awed several times observing his powerful, yet cerebral style on both faces and cracks. In the early 80ís he was in his prime, and had a regular circuit of hard solos in Eldorado Canyon that made me shake my head in wonder.

Pete was a connoisseur of fine wines. I will never forget hiking to a crag in the South Platte, and getting back to the packs after completing the climb. I pulled my approach shoes out of my pack, but Pete pulled out of his a bottle of vintage Cabernet, a corkscrew, and to top it off, two crystal glasses carefully wrapped in white cloth.

Hereís to you, Pete.
Watusi

Social climber
Joshua Tree, CA
Feb 21, 2007 - 12:46am PT
God Bless!! I myself was at that gathering! I recognize him in this shot with Rob Raker and Bob Bolton, and I had the opportunity to meet him myself...What a lovely person, and friend I'd met there to be sure!!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:31am PT
Sorry to hear that Ricky,
What a bummer; all of us tightly woven into this meaningful embrace and another is gone.
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:32am PT
RIP Pete buddy...you were not only one of the best face climbers I've ever seen but a true gentleman. It was good seeing you at Josh...

Condolences to Pete's family - he was a great guy we'll always remember.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:34am PT
Robs & Pete.

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:35am PT
Sad, sad news. I met Pete in the late 70's at Camp fire parties at Joshua Tree, and saw him here and there around So. Cal. I believe he worked at Neptune's in Boulder , and I ran into him in Colorado too. He was always soft spoken, talented as a climber, and his passion for fine wine was well know. When we were all poor climbing bums, I heard stories of prices he paid for certain bottles of wine;....I was impressed with his single-minded drive to get the best and "do it up right." One of Pete's "famous moments" was that he is on the cover of Tim Toula's Rock and Road Book....(cranking down, but ya can't see his face!). Pete was a skinny boy (Although at the Josh reunion, he filled in a bit, didn't he?), and he climbed with power and grace. More Pete trivia;.....he did the first ascent of such Needle's classics as Airy Interlude (1976), Thin Ice (1976), and that awesome chimney The Spell (1976). I didnt' know Pete all that well, but every time I ran into him, I was very happy to see him, visit with him, and I'm sure he will be greatly missed by all his friends who were blessed by his friendship. So sorry to hear this news......
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:38am PT
Ohh man, another goodbye. RIP, Pete.
TYeary

Mountain climber
Calif.
Feb 21, 2007 - 02:55am PT
And the hits just keep on comming.
" No man is an Island"
You're on belay, Pete.
Tony
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 21, 2007 - 03:39am PT
Didn't know Pete, but as another 54 year old, it gives one pause and makes you realize what a gift it all is. Maybe I'll find myself on one of his routes someday and get a taste of it all. Shine on, man...
Crimpergirl

Social climber
St. Looney
Feb 21, 2007 - 08:33am PT
I'm sorry to hear this. But I'm happy we have a forum like this to learn about (for some of us) and remember/honor these wonderful individuals.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Feb 21, 2007 - 09:25am PT
I'm stunned. I saw Pete recently and he seemed fine. Ricky, what took Pete out?

Now there's no doubt in my mind that if Pete had been born thirty years later he'd be doing 5.14 because he was absolutely crazy good at steep face climbing long before it was popular. He was skinny as a rail and moved like water. He also did some very impressive solos at Tahquitz many decades ago. Pete was the Real Deal and almost nobody knew as much.

Most of all Pete was a gentle soul. Pleasnat journeys, my friend.

JL
wbw

climber
'cross the great divide
Feb 21, 2007 - 10:00am PT
I got the call on Saturday and was told Peter died of an aneurism. The last time I saw him was crossing paths at Liquor Mart, and as we always did, we stopped and caught up for 10 minutes or so. I used to see him much more often when he was working at Neptune's.

Peter was experienced in the alpine realm, as well as on hard face climbing. Two stories that he told me, years ago, that make my palms sweat to this day involve a solo of Robson, and an ascent of the Bachar-Yerian in which he just barely avoided the huge whip by lunging and wrapping a finger through a bolt. Apparently the original bolt had just been replaced with a modern bolt a few days earlier, and had that not been the case, he would not have been able to get his finger through the hanger.

I'll miss those chance meetings with Peter, and his always-encouraging words.
426

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Feb 21, 2007 - 10:08am PT
"it's a 5.10 mantle into heaven, brothers"
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:12am PT
Sad...Climb with Pete a fair amount and talked to him even more at Neptune's.

Did Childhood's End with him (5.11+ 10 pitches)about ten years ago. A great face climber...Pete cruise the crux pitch and thought the route was one of the best he ever did.

The night before he drank at least a bottle of wine and felt no pain in the morning.

I have a great picture of Pete on the route and will post it when I can find it.

Really makes me realize how tight the climbing community use (70's) to be...if you didn't climb with someone...you at least knew someone who did.

Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:14am PT
I had heard about this Sunday night but I had no confirmation so I waited to see if it was true. Pete was a great guy and and interesting character. I'd usually see him in Tuolomne Meadows at the Waugh site and catch up with him.

Too many deaths of friends of mine over the last year and a half. I'm stunned!

Levy
G_Gnome

Boulder climber
Sick Midget Land
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:39am PT
Oh man, not Pete! I am gonna miss him a lot. We at least have had lots of quality time during the summer in Tuolumne the last few years. I have known Pete since I started climbing in 73. He was one of my original mentors at Stoney and taught me a lot about climbing. He was so thin and yet climbed so hard, he was a perfect example of technique being more important than power. We are gonna miss you Pete!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:52am PT
Circa late 70's, my best memory of Pete; Joe Hedge and I were starting up an upper pitch of something like Dave's Deviation above lunch ledge and I see Pete coming up off Human Fright or one of those, being at least 5.10 and he'd soloed it, in a pair of Kronies with green dot soles. The jolly footwork master, when I called him on it just said, "Yup, just solo'd that pup, Howdya like them apples?!"
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:54am PT
Pete was a tremendously nice guy, fine climber and kind spirit. It had been a number of years since we last met and it was great to see him at the Josh reunion. As John said, Pete was the real deal, both as a person and climber.
graham

Social climber
Ventura, California
Feb 21, 2007 - 12:01pm PT
Wow really shocking news. We was a great guy, Iím glad I got to see him again last year. My condolences to his family and friends, Rest in piece.

Mike
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Feb 21, 2007 - 02:15pm PT
That's shocking and very sad.......The last time I saw Pete was when a Pike Howard and I helped him move from Boulder to Gun Barrel just over a year ago. He didn't look good and couldn't help much but he could still wisecrack as well as ever. I have many good memories.

The best climb we ever had together was when we did Break Point in Eldorado. Pete steadfastly refused to ever use camming units. Thought they took the thrill and art from climbing so he led the crux pitch on passive nuts. Problem was that the first part of that pitch requires small nuts and Pete had nothing smaller than a #5 Hex which didn't work.
It took him awhile to finish the lead but he did so mostly using his skill and his extensive catalog and use of profane language to get him to the belay. After I finished following the pitch and got to the belay I was rewarded with Pete smiling more widely then I had ever seen him smile before. He knew he was right and that cams were for "wimps". He had an elegant and light style when he climbed which misled you into believeing that the climbing really wasn't that difficult...........UNLIKE his skiing style that made you think the snow must be in horrible condition.....He enjoyed good wine and music and dancing on tables when he had too much of both. He'll be missed.

Jack Roberts
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