Gil Weiss, 1983-2012
Gil Weiss died with Ben Horne in July while descending from Paclaraju Oeste in the Cordillera Blanca, after establishing a new route. Gil was a key member of the informal, San Diego–based Pullharder Alpine Club. Originally hailing from Queens, New York, Gil attended college at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., majoring in English. After finishing college, Gil moved to San Diego where he began climbing. His first alpine route was the Swiss Arete on Mt. Sill in 2007. Climbing became his passion, and when he moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 2008 he continued to document his adventures via the Pullharder.org blog. His adventures included three seasons in the Cordillera Blanca, big-wall climbs such as the Shield on El Capitan, Half Dome in a day, long free routes such as Bienvenidos a mi Insomnio in Cochamó, Chile, and numerous alpine climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park, including a new line on Arrowhead which he named after his mother, Deborah, who passed away following a battle with cancer in 2009.
More important than his climbing resume was Gil's wit, generosity, free spirit and open heart, which won him loyal friends all around the world. While Gil's physical presence may be gone, his spirit lives on, and we will be reminded of him every time we swing a tool, embark on a runout, or strike the "Pullharder" pose for a photograph.