Tony Yaniro-how come no ones talks about him?

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hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 27, 2009 - 08:41pm PT
Tony Yaniro puts up Grand Illusion- like the hardest route in the world and no one says anything. What gives?
Was he out of the club? Climbing with bad style? Stole someones wife??
Who knows?
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Aug 27, 2009 - 08:42pm PT
"Out of the club" sounds about right.

Curt
Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Aug 27, 2009 - 08:43pm PT
Who???
noshoesnoshirt

climber
Arkansas, I suppose
Aug 27, 2009 - 08:44pm PT
Didn't he invent the semicolon?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 27, 2009 - 08:55pm PT
You guys are too much.

I did a climb with him in '77.
He was a hell of an aid climber.
Can't say much about the rest,...


lol
jstan

climber
Aug 27, 2009 - 09:21pm PT
Apparently PR's wife stole Tony.

Jes guessing.
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Aug 27, 2009 - 09:24pm PT
I was out in Joshua Tree in 82 with some of my fellow Minnesotards and we had a TR set up on a climb called Baby Apes. None of us were getting much anywhere on the thing when this short, kind of muscular guy sits down and starts giving us beta for the climb. Naturally, being young/arrogant/stupid, etc, one of us says, "well maybe you'd like to just tie in and show us how it goes?"

So, Tony ties in and climbs the thing like it's about 5.8--giving us the full running beta the whole way up. When we missed a key part of it--he down climbed past the crux and then went up again, without falling.

Too bad he was apparently only an aid climber.

Curt


ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Aug 27, 2009 - 09:30pm PT
He's smarter than us and has more important things going on, so he doesn't spend all his spare time checking up on the ST! Actually has a career, pretty intellegent, was doing route setting a while back, but don't know what's up with him these days. He was one hell of a climber and knew how to train. He did some great routes both aid and free
Peace
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Aug 27, 2009 - 09:32pm PT
It's "smarter than we..." I know he was down here in Phoenix helping Mike Covington design and construct the new CilmbMax gym a couple of years ago.

Curt
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 27, 2009 - 10:04pm PT
I thought that was Ray Jardine- wait he invented something else.

Not many could flash anything over 5.10 so if you want to climb harder you have to be willing to fall.

I think of Jim Erickson's ethic- how if he fell ever the climb didn't count. Until Half Dome

so pure

mirror mirror on the wall
who's the fairest?
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Aug 27, 2009 - 10:08pm PT
He helped design parts of Spire Climbing Center in Bozeman, as well as their first public artificial boulder, FWIW.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Aug 27, 2009 - 10:51pm PT





Come on now guys and gals...............
Who amoung us has not been inspired by that photo of him at the top of Equinox 5.12c............Yelling............

Totally pumped and with veins purple with pleasure.
And then there is every girls wet dream with him training in his backyard. Equinox, so many great routes. He introduced formal specialized training to rock climbing when no one else was doing it..........
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Aug 27, 2009 - 11:06pm PT
Tony is a great guy, very down to earth, super talented and very motivated. His list of accomplishments is long and impressive.
Greg Barnes

climber
Aug 27, 2009 - 11:13pm PT
Years ago at the Needles, I replaced bolts on Pyrotechnics (5.12 slab traverse to 5.12 face below the much more famous Pyromania) and the anchor for Lost at Sea, which has a Yaniro slab traverse finish option. Both of those are 5.12 slab traverses, and both looked utterly impossible.

Anyone ever repeat those?

How about The Avenger (5.13 left of Wailing Banshees)? Those bolts are probably still the originals (a mix of 1/4" and a few 3/8" buttonheads with homemade hangers).
martygarrison

Trad climber
The Great North these days......
Aug 27, 2009 - 11:55pm PT
In the early days I used to teach climbing at Sonoma State University (college then), Lars Holbeck helped out. We were up on the Bubble cliff at St Helena showing off to the young college coed students when this short little stocky guy shows up. Of course Lars and I paid him no mind until one of the guys in his group said this guy is really good. He proceeded to prove it! I always thought Tony was a nice guy....sure he still is. As a side note, Lars and I were into the first generation downhill skateboarding and after guiding we would wisk down St Helena, sometimes hitting sixty mph! To be young again.
WBraun

climber
Aug 27, 2009 - 11:58pm PT
Last time I saw him was on I-5.

We rolled down our windows and bullshited while driving on the freeway .....
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol, CA
Aug 28, 2009 - 12:03am PT
(cross post from Mountain Project...)
In 1979(?), a student was quietly enrolled in a beginning rock climbing class at Pacific Union College, just down the Napa Valley in Angwin. Jim Hanson, the instructor (RIP), told me this one guy had an uncanny ability with knots and knowledge of gear in the classroom. Half way through the semester they went on a field trip to the Bubble (Mt. St. Helena) and this kid just hiked all the climbs on the cliff. Jim pulled him aside and said "You've climbed before, haven't you?" The hilarious part is that young Tony Yaniro had just freed The Grand Illusion, .13c at Sugarloaf. At the time it was the hardest route in the world! Go figure. He needed elective PE credits and was enrolled at PUC from '79-'81, or so.
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Aug 28, 2009 - 12:07am PT
Sandbagging at its best.

Curt
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Aug 28, 2009 - 01:44am PT
I first met Tony when he was about 18 or 19 years old;...he was up in Idyllwild by himself;...started talking to him, and found out he was a climber;...I felt sorry for him being all alone, and we invited him to dinner with us....later someone said that they had seem me out to dinner with Tony Yaniro;......I never asked him his last name, and he wasn't spouting about his accomplishments.....he was just a kid named Tony.....very impressed with his humble yet motivated accomplishments......(but back then;...he trained and worked out WAY to much for us lazy stoners.....that was considered cheating.....)...Bravo to Tony Yaniro...

Fogarty

climber
Back in time..
Aug 28, 2009 - 01:53am PT
tony in the day, had a sharp set of tools?
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Aug 28, 2009 - 02:08am PT
Tony was perhaps the nicest person I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Always psyched, always positive & encouraging, never any bad vibes or anything like that. He was at the 1st Stonemaster party @ "Dimes"'s house a couple of years ago. I saw him talking with Randy Leavitt at some point after the slideshows.

He just moved on to other pursuits. His list of classic first ascents alone, would be the envy of most climbers accomplishments. There are over a dozen amazing routes in the Needles that Yaniro & friends established, they include some of the very best routes there; Don Juan Wall, Sirocco, Atlantis, Davey Jones Locker, Sea of Tranquility, Romantic Warrior, and perhaps the best crack in the Needles, The Emperor, down on voodoo Dome.

I wouldn't be surprised if he makes another strong comeback someday.


hooblie

climber
Aug 28, 2009 - 02:42am PT
had to pitch in on this one because the exact question posed has crossed my mind more than once. levy's first line is consistant with my impression of the man, and such praise should indeed stand on it's own. as with the routes listed, quietly standing strong.

hell, i feel like a farm kid whose hero is his dad. do we really need a bandwagon to be sure we're right?
the sport provides satisfactions that some find sufficiently fulfilling and don't succumb to the luche libre aspect.

i've watched him work one of the impossibles that were to be, seen him in competition, stood under his testpieces.

near the solstice in '78, as we climbed the DNB we watched one of the early repeats of the nose in a day. sometimes when i jug a line,
i think about the startling image that has been fixed in my mind ever since seeing that spark climbing the fuse at such a furious pace.

still thinking about the question, it's a tougher problem than most, causes me to reflect on fairness for the non showman in our celebrity culture
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Aug 28, 2009 - 03:03am PT
Ron, I remember that cardboard note at the base of the 2nd pitch of Fracture! Pins out the whole roof! It did look like an aid climb. Hell, I think he invented White Out.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Aug 28, 2009 - 03:08am PT
Jerry, That's funny. I learned to climb at The Bubble (in the late '70's) and had heard Yaniro did some stuff there. Never believed it, though.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Aug 28, 2009 - 10:05am PT
I asked myself that same question after climbing at Castle Rocks State park in Idaho out in the boonies, and seeing some of the climbs he put up there, what 20 years ago? The guy had vision as well as a deep well of talent.
His daughter and husband ran the Redpoint climbing ship in Terrebonne near Smith Rocks for a bit a while back, very nice people.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Aug 28, 2009 - 10:06am PT
I remember the first time I met him (can't say I "knew" him) was at the Santee Bouldering Comp (San Diego, around '81 or '82). Tons of luminaries were there (at least three of whom are no longer with us: Bachar, Yabo, and Reinhard Karl), and I was a "judge" at one of the boulders. Yaniro was walking around with a little crew, among whom was Yabo. Aside from what a tremendously pleasant and unpretentious person he struck me as, what has stuck in my mind all these years was how he was trying so hard to not let Yabo sabotage his own efforts. Yabo was being kind of manic in how he approached each boulder problem, and Yaniro would say, "Hey Yabo, why don't you wait just a second and scope it out before you jump on it..." Yabo would just attack it anyway, and Yaniro would continue to try to get him to step back and think about it first. It was like it really mattered to him that he did well, which seemed more important to him than his own performance.

Met his daughter who was working at a climbing shop near Smith a couple of years ago, and it struck me that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Very sweet, kind-hearted young woman.

I hope he's doing well, and appreciate what he brought to climbing while he was fully immersed in it.
Scared Silly

Trad climber
UT
Aug 28, 2009 - 10:12am PT
It has been a while since I talked with Tony. I used to see him a bunch in the 90s when I was up at the City working on access. He and Ted Thompson were all over the place. Always fun to run into those two. I remember once coming up to the City and Tony was working le Boggieman a 5.14 roof. He had bolted on a piece of T-metal that was really horrid looking. I asked Tony about it and he said it was all he could do and really needed. I prodded him a bit and well later he lead the climb without it so it got removed. Of course I do not think the climb has been repeated.

Mooser - last time I saw Tony's daughter she was picking up pottery shards and other relics while Tony, Ted, and I chatted with some folks from the BLM regarding Leslie Gulch. It was funny cause the BLM thought the area might contain Indian artifacts. Tony said yeah my daughter has some that she picked up in the area, want her to bring them to ya.
Ray-J

Social climber
east L.A. vato...
Aug 28, 2009 - 10:43am PT
Tony Enduro...
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 28, 2009 - 11:11am PT
I had heard that Tony was into Cross country skiing up by Sun Valley? Sounds like he was a nice guy
G_Gnome

Trad climber
In the mountains... somewhere...
Aug 28, 2009 - 11:50am PT
I saw Tony a couple years ago in Josh. He had a steel beam land on his foot while building a gym somewhere and broke it pretty bad. He was actually a little chuncky and out of shape.

I have known Tony since the early 70s. At about 12 he started climbing. He trained harder than anyone and was poking into 5.12 at about 14. When he started he couldn't use his feet but he was so strong he would just sort of keep his feet moving and pull himself up the rock. It was quite funny to see him doing 11D thin face at Suicide this way. Once he learned to use his feet he was unstoppable.

When he got married it was in Tuolumne out at the bridges behind the lodge. It was about a half mile walk to get there. His 80 year old grandmother couldn't walk the trail and he carried her in his arms the whole way. He never appeared tired either. Amazingly sweet human being with more enthusiasm and motivation than almost anyone else!
ec

climber
ca
Aug 28, 2009 - 12:36pm PT
'an incredible climber...

Levy, he did not establish the Romantic Warrior. That's reserved for a couple of other old dads. He did the FFA of it via a variation of the original...I was honored to give him the parking lot beta for the pro for the upper portion.

Tony inspired us to train like JB did, however we were not as intense (like Todd said, LOL).
 ec

ec

climber
ca
Aug 28, 2009 - 01:42pm PT
where does one draw 'the line?'

I had heard that the free variation on the RW had been 'enhanced' in order to be freed. I wasn't there, so I dunno. I do know that there were way more than the original 9 bolts on the route after the FFA.

-ec
ec

climber
ca
Aug 28, 2009 - 02:34pm PT
Dr. F: "He seemed to lurk in shadows and go climbing only when no one was looking."

Hey, that's not such a bad thing...

I resemble that remark...

 ec
hooblie

climber
Aug 28, 2009 - 03:04pm PT
g.gnome, the image of granny in his arms is just the kind of thing that lights this place up
AKDOG

Mountain climber
Anchorage, AK
Aug 28, 2009 - 03:53pm PT
What is Tony up to now? I heard he was a MD?


Tony was another one of those climbers, who made me realize I better keep my day job.


Back in the late 70's climbing at Stoney Point the Driver fell off a boulder and broke his arm. Jack Roberts offered to reset it, but we thought the prudent thing to do would be to go to a hospital.
Tony’s mom was the ER nurse and she was asking if we knew her son.
G_Gnome

Trad climber
In the mountains... somewhere...
Aug 28, 2009 - 04:00pm PT
When Tony was around 14 he was living with his grandmother in Eagle Rock. We would go visit because he had built a crack machine and we would go practive various widths on it. Tony would walk around the house and do fingertip pullups on every window sill that he passed. He did more pullups in a day than we did in a week. We thought we trained pretty hard until we started hanging out with Tony.
Nick

climber
portland, Oregon
Aug 28, 2009 - 04:44pm PT
I used to do a fair amount of climbing with Tony through the 70's. He always was and still is a super nice person. It was always lot of fun to climb with him even though my skill level was not up to his standards. He was with out a doubt the most powerful and motivated climber I ever tied in with. He never cared what other climbers thought of his climbing. He climbed for himself and some of his ideas were outside the values of the times and therefore he was outside the cool group. I never saw him chisel a hold although It would not shock me if he had. When you are way ahead of the curve, mistakes can happen.
G_Gnome

Trad climber
In the mountains... somewhere...
Aug 28, 2009 - 06:03pm PT
But Nick, even though you were climbing with Tony you were the only one to have done the hardest route in the world at that time. You were always better than you thought you were.... still are.
pFranzen

Boulder climber
Portland, OR
Aug 28, 2009 - 07:29pm PT
Such a nice guy. I climbed with him in Portland on occasion when I was first getting started with climbing out at Stoneworks back in '95 or so. We'd play games of 'Add on' with him and he'd kick our collective ass using 2 fingers per hand.
climbera5

Trad climber
Sacramento
Aug 28, 2009 - 07:46pm PT
Tony did keep a low profile and he was dedicated to his craft. He was not shy or reserved, just selective with his company.

I met him one evening at the Needles parking/ camping spot and he was kicked back in his folding chair holding a .22 rifle ala Jed Clampett. As we talked he took aim through his scope and shot off a branch high in the trees. Without skipping a beat in his narrative he made a couple of adjustments to the scope then rotated the gun barrel 90 degrees and popped off another round. "Hmmmm, 6" left". Scope corrected, he nailed his next shot and smiled. Content, he excused himself for bed.

Next morning my partner and I hiked in to do Giant Steps and from atop the saddle between the Witch and Warlock we spotted Tony completing the FA of Titanic. To be that high on the route he must have started climbing near sunrise.

Spread out on the rock were several homemade, super beefy hangers he made from angle iron. Nearby was a daypack filled with hangers, bolts, and gear; must have weighed over 50lbs.

Then on the way back we watched him working on The Iceberg. No fanfare, just he and his partner quietly at work.
matty

climber
po-dunk
Aug 28, 2009 - 07:59pm PT
Yaniro on Paisano


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu7gp-aKsbo
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Aug 28, 2009 - 08:07pm PT
I have no personal knowledge of TY chiseling or modifying routes, but if he did I bet he regrets it. Even John Gill, when young, modified a sharp hold on one of his best boulder problems at Devil's Lake, with his piton hammer.

Curt
Ray-J

Social climber
east L.A. vato...
Aug 28, 2009 - 08:23pm PT
Or just plain "enduro"

Mythic.

The crack machine and his training
Sh#t were imitated much.

Enduro was on fire.

Bachar's alter-ego in the hard core
Arena of socal rock climbing...
Double D

climber
Aug 28, 2009 - 09:35pm PT
First time I met Tony was in the Valley WBITD, bouldering with Largo, me thinks. Anyway from the 1st ten minutes of bouldering with him I knew he had some way special talents. Heck, he'd have to do 2-3 moves for our 1.

Super nice guy, super humble and as Todd already mentioned his training was not fair for us lowely stonners.

stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 28, 2009 - 10:19pm PT
There was some stuff up in Idaho that looked modified to me.

Regardless, he was very nice to me. Ran into him down at Mt. Charleston in the early 90s when he was bascially living in an RV in the parking lot there. He was free with the beta and even gave a couple of the belays. I lucked out on that solo trip with belay partners. The other one I got there was Rusty Baillie.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Riverside, CA
Aug 31, 2009 - 06:32pm PT
Tony did not indulge in "hippie lettuce" as the current thread refers. That might be a reason he was not included in some groups.

Instead, he was reading "Designing Resistance Training Programs"
and building his endurance, strength, and resistance to injury.`

Check his photo in the 100th issue of Climbing showing his vascular forearm, the caption says this was after doing Equinox
at JT, one small detail left out, the photo was taken after seven consecutive laps.

I would love to hear of anyone doing a second ascent of Boogieman, until Tony did it, it was "never previously contemplated as a rock climb."

So it went or goes, Tony never reported a route he put up, never sought publicity or aggrandizement, and never sought to promote himself. I have seen him labor and sweat for hours to clean everthing loose off a route so that there was nothing that would pull off and kill somebody on a route he put up. yes he broke some loose stuff off with a chisel, but it was loose!

If the route was 5.9, he protected it so a 5.9 climber could do the route without killing himself. No statement routes, no routes aggrandizing who put it up.
Self agrandizement in routes might be better identified as routes like The Kid, or No More Mr. Nice Guy, these routes are pretty much homages to self, but they take away the route for most climbers.

We were discussing bolts once, and I referred to 1/3" bolts, Tony said I don't use those anymore, I had one twist off. From then on Tony only placed 1/2 " bolts, you can send your best friend to do a Yaniro route anywhere, it will be reasonably protected, there will be no swing of death for the second where some person less concerned, or less capable, put up something
reflecting a lack of care or capacity.

Tony is absolutely honest.
and then there is this:
Tony and Brett Maurer had been working on a route and at dusk had packed up gearBrett had walked off the ramp at the bottom of the climb in the Needles. Tony had needed to pee for a long time, before traversing off the ramp he peed on the rock past the gear. as he reached for his pack and cord, Brett was back to help carry the rest, but Brett strde right past! Tony grabbed,
and caught Brett, but the force was too great, rather than let his partner go down the ramp, Tony Yaniro held on and was pulled off too. They tumbled rolled, went over a dry waterfall,
and slid to a stop in dirt and bushes some 180 feet below.
100 stitches between them including Brett's thumb brushing/yelling event.
Tony would do anything for his partners well being, he is not just, a nice guy.





k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Sep 1, 2009 - 03:20pm PT
Speaking of Levitation, does anybody know where the DeSoto parking garage is? I've looked. I wonder if it's still there...

Anybody know this history??
G_Gnome

Trad climber
In the mountains... somewhere...
Sep 1, 2009 - 03:57pm PT
Parking garage is still there. It's on the north side of Ventura Blvd. Levy still trains there some.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Riverside, CA
Sep 1, 2009 - 04:00pm PT
kman,
there is actually some anchient video of the parking garage,
with Tony and Randy... can't think of which old climbing video it was on though.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Riverside, CA
Sep 1, 2009 - 06:32pm PT
Tony did a 14 in Idaho, but would not call it 14,
he wanted someone else to rate it.

I said to him on the phone, why not, you did the first 13!
his reply
Yeah, but that was c.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 1, 2009 - 06:59pm PT
Ed, I think the name of the route is Remora, but I haven't seen the video of it in a long time.

Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Riverside, CA
Sep 1, 2009 - 07:08pm PT
Munge, That is right, Tony called me when he got it, he said: the only way I could do it was to skip clipping a bolt.

has anyone repeated that route?
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Sep 1, 2009 - 07:29pm PT
Ed,

I was waiting for you to chime in. I was in your shop years ago and we were discussing taping hands and what tape was best. You told me to hang on a minute, you made a call to Tony to find out what he used, he may have been working in the health field at the time.

The last time I saw him was at Williamson Rock, he had a porta-crib set up for his kid or kids while he climbed, at least I assumed it was his family.

Oh, have you heard from Chuck Blackwell lately? When you told the story about Brett it reminded me of Chuck. And what is Brett up to?

Kevin Mokracek
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Riverside, CA
Sep 21, 2009 - 03:54pm PT
I loaned Blackwell my Edelrid helmet when he went to Alaska, he never returned it, Then he became a rep for Blue Water, that really did it.
Spike Flavis

Trad climber
Truckee California
Nov 29, 2012 - 09:32am PT
I'm looking for contact information for Tony Yaniro.

I'm writing an article about Tony for my blog

I'm also looking for the clip of Tony training from the movie "on the rocks"

Thanks, SF
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