Tony Yaniro-how come no ones talks about him?


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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.


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

Gym climber
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.

Gym climber
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.

Trad climber
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.

Trad climber
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
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.

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

Social climber
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

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!

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).


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.


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...


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Trad climber
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.
Messages 21 - 40 of total 55 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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