Meet Your Neighbor: Eric Perlman |

Meet Your Neighbor: Eric Perlman

Kara FoxSierra Sun
Ryan Salm/Sierra Sun

writer, photographer, filmmaker, design and build homes, mountain explorer, dad

Tahoe Donner

I made my first film in 1972 or 73. It was on consciousness transformation. My love of the mountains led me to photograph ski mountaineers. I was taking pictures and writing stories for magazines. I would alternate between writing stories, taking photographs, and film; and television opportunities would fall my way. In photos, I am the guy with 100 pounds of camera gear. I won an Emmy for camera work for a TV show on base jumping.

We were climbing and skiing big mountains. In 75 we skied Mt. Rainier, Hood, Shasta and Lassen. It was hardly ever done and at the time it was groundbreaking.We went down to South America and made the first descent from the highest point in Ecuador: Chimborazo. We also did Huascaran, the highest peak in Peru. I did the first ski descent of Half Dome in 1980. It was finally repeated a few years ago by a snowboarder. The word extreme was basically started by me from my Skiing Extreme videos. It was fairly new back then. The idea of testing oneself and discovering ones abilities within a life or death arena was always part of this game. This has led to the Skiing Extreme series, which was shot a lot locally.

I was the first American to climb the six classic north faces of the Alps. It has been 20 years since I did that. I spent a whole season almost dying: you remember that. If my life means anything, it is about maximizing experience. It is about making the most with what you got. You have to manage your fear. It is about a lifetime of managing fear and being cool under pressure. It is harder to be cool with no pressure. I am designed to be cool under pressure.

Donner Summit. It is fabulous climbing. Incredible high quality in such a small space. I just came back from the Owens River Gorge rock climbing. I climb a lot. I climb a lot locally. Since I am a dad, I tend to take the extra step to stay alive.

My grandmother was a noted artist in San Francisco. She was personal friend of Ansel Adams. I grew up around a lot of art. I got my first camera when I was 8 and started taking pictures. At 88, my father is still the science editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He co-founded the Squaw Valley Community of Writers with Oakley Hall. My mother was a well-known poet. This family does a lot of communicating. I got into publishing quite early. I rose to editor and co-publisher of a small publishing company. I wrote on sports, travel and science, which is what led to the green building. Buckminster Fuller was a huge influence on me. He is one of the true geniuses of the 20th century. He was a man with a great world view. He developed the concept of synergy. He was really the pioneer of mapping synergetic systems.

I looked out at the world and saw the sun was shining. I designed and built a solar log home in the 80s and I live there today. I was living in Squaw Valley, but it got too busy. I went out to the furthest reaches of Truckee. All my friends thought I was nuts moving out to the boondocks of Truckee. I think living here is a good fit for what I do.

I will be showing clips from the Masters of Stone video series. This is my video series on rock climbing, both in America and around the world. It is cutting edge of the sport. I havent quite decided what I am going to show yet. I have done Masters of Stone 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. I am currently working on 6. I will pay tribute to Dan Osman and go over what he did. He was arguably the most creative, boldest adventure stunt man. No one has come even close to what he did. He would climb crazy routes with no ropes and would climb waterfalls. The presentation will be at Bar One in Squaw at 7 p.m. It is part of the Patagonia Adventure Series. The Sierra Suns Kara Fox interviewed Perlman for this weeks Meet Your Neighbor. Please send suggestions for Meet Your Neighbor to

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