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The final 25' or so of Mr. Natural.
One of THE all-time 5.10 finger cracks. This single, 110-foot section of fractured granite offers more perfect fingerlocks (on clean stone and in a breathtaking setting) than many climbers will encounter in their life times. This is the sad truth, and lines such as Mr. Natural are among the rewards and privileges of having access to the cradle of American rock climbing.
Start the climb by traversing from the sometimes ant-infested tree, first up, then across climber's right, and finally down and right again (5.6 on obvious features, sparse pro) to the bottom of the business. Slot the first of +/- three dozen flawless fingerlocks that await you on your bid for the anchors and you're off. The occasional handjam will provide decent rests, and let you conserve your finger-sized cams. The wall gradually steepens and the crack gradually thins as you near the chains.
Clip anchors, dumbfounded and euphoric, and reconfirm to yourself that it is in fact worth it to pay such high rent to be able to live near stuff like this. (Or plane tickets to get here).
Approach from the parking lot as for other climbs on the Apron. Continue up and right (West) along the base, keeping an eye out for a finger crack with a sculpted-by-the-hand-of-god look to it which begins about 120 up the wall in a section of clean, grey rock. To reach the tree belay at the start of the climb, which sits on a ledge 110 feet above the talus, either climb Apron Jam (5.9 layback), or scramble up the 4th class ramp that angles up and left from directly beneath Mr. Natural. Two 2-rope raps get you to the ground from the anchors.
Warning: there has been serious rockfall in the GPA vicinity, and fatal rockfall in the area of this climb, in recent history. GPA is a rockfall zone. The same could be said for virtually all of Yosemite Valley, but perhaps more so here than other areas. See below for more.
Many, many finger-sized cams and nuts, from very small to wide fingers, plus a few hand-sized pieces (up to 1.5-2") for the occassional pod. Bring runners for the first few pieces (traverse and lower crack). The bolted anchor on top is pretty poor (two old, rusted bolts, one new bolt, all three with chains/rapid links cross-loaded on the hangers).
Rob on the final crack moves of Mr. Natural. A few...
Megan seconds Mr. Natural.
Dylan gunning for the top on lead on Mr. Natural
Mr Natural - one of the best finger cracks anywher...
From: Sacramento, CA
May 1, 2007
I climbed this a number of years ago (1998?) with a Korean guy named Han that I had met only minutes before in the Camp 4 parking lot. He spoke no English at all and I spoke no Korean whatsoever. Upon arriving at the base of Glacier Apron, I pantomimed that we could either scramble up to the base of the route by the 4th class approach, or climb a WIDE 5.9. Han indicated that the 4th class way did not interest him. With that, he picked up my rack (consisting at the time of a set of nuts and hexes, and single cams up to a #4) and started up the WIDE crack - Apron Jam. For those of you who have climbed Apron Jam, you'll know that when I say wide, I'm not kidding. Anyway, Han climbed up about 30 feet placing no pro, placed the single #4 Camalot (which was tipped out), then continued up another 30 feet, at which point the #4 Camalot pivoted and slid down the rope to me. So here is Han, 60 feet up with no pro and nothing left on the rack big enough to fit the crack, and another 60 feet to go to the anchor. So what does he do? He starts gunning it for the top! (Meanwhile, I'm slowly moving myself to the side so if/when he falls he won't land on me and kill us both). Well, thankfully he makes it to the anchor without falling and belays me up. Not the least bit shaken, Han is itching to lead Mr. Natural. I say okay, go for it. He starts up, gets into the crux finger section, and yells at the top of his lungs the only English word he knows -- TAKE!!! So I took. Unfortunately (for Han), he didn't know the nuances of the word "Take". What he meant to say was "Watch Me", but didn't know those words. So when I took, I pulled him right off the route and he took a nice 20-footer. He got back on, finished the route, belayed me up, and was totally pissed off. Unfortunately, we couldn't "debrief" the misunderstanding due to the language barrier, so we rapped down and walked our separate ways without saying a word. Pretty funny in retrospect.
|By C Miller|
May 1, 2007
A striking splitter that just begs to be climbed and isn't nearly as difficult as it looks (rememember, it's on a slab). Approach via Dr. Feelgood (5.10d) for an amazing two pitch combination.
From: Oakland, CA
May 1, 2007
Good story there.
Another possible approach to the start of Mr. Natural is Green Dragon, which Chris Cantwell and Dean Young put up in 1979. Reid, who is pretty stingy with stars, gives it the full array, but also gives it an R/X. It can be safely toproped (two ropes, maybe one 70 would make it?) on your way down from Mr. Natural.
Meant to add in the description, there's no need to rap off of either of the trees near the start of Mr. Natural - a bolted anchor is there, on top of Green Dragon, to avoid any unnecessary damage to the trees themselves.
I also agree that this is a great lead for anyone looking to push into the grade. Used to be rated .10d and since downrated, I heard. Much easier than other .10c lines like Lunatic Fringe and P1 Bombs Over Tokyo, and probably even Sacherer Cracker. Might be on par with first pitch of Salathé.
|By Jon Hanlon|
May 1, 2007
The only thing better than reading this story was hearing it told in person!
From: Oakland, CA
May 3, 2007
A climber was killed by rockfall near Mr. Natural in the summer of '99.
From: Sacramento, CA
May 3, 2007
The climber's name was Peter Terbush.
Kevin Worrall reported in CLIMBING No. 188 the following. . .
"On Sunday, June 13, 1999, Peter Terbush and two friends, identified only as Kerry and Joseph, were climbing in cool evening temperatures on Yosemite's Glacier Point Apron. Terbush belayed as Kerry led the Apron Jam, a 5.9 corner often used to approach Mr. Natural, a popular 5.10c thin crack. Terbush (belaying) and Joseph were on the ground when an estimated 150 to 200 tons of granite suddenly cut loose from approximately 1000 feet above. Kerry, leading some 60 feet off the ground, looked up to see car-sized boulders careening down the slabs. As granite exploded all around them, Joseph fled the onslaught, and Peter Terbush stood his ground belaying while Kerry attempted to place an anchor. Miraculously, both Joseph and Kerry survived with minor injuries, but Terbush, 21, of Gunnison, Colorado, was killed instantly."
More at www.srcfc.org/terbush.asp
|By 1Eric Rhicard|
Sep 17, 2008
Nice memorial to Peter.
Did this in EBs in 1981 and it felt pretty hard. Did it with sticky rubber and it was a good deal less slippery. It is a pretty crack.
From: San Jose
Nov 2, 2009
The length of the route is at least 160 feet, NOT 110 as it said in description ( from top anchors of Mr Natural to the tree). This is really misleading info for those who want to use 70m rope instead of 2x60 for this route. Ends of my 75meter rope was 25 feet above the tree when I was trying to rap to it. It is better not to post beta at all than post it wrong.
And quote " Much easier than other .10c lines like Lunatic Fringe and P1 Bombs Over Tokyo, and probably even Sacherer Cracker" - this is BS.
It is striking line, but crack is sharp and not very pleasant for your tips.
|By Jeff Gicklhorn|
From: A Climbing Mecca Near You!
Nov 6, 2010
Literally the best finger crack I've ever done! Awesome.
As of Sept. 2010, the anchors are shiny and brand new. Thanks to whatever good soul replaced those.
From: San Francisco
Nov 8, 2010
Contrary to what the above poster said, I think this is harder than Bombs of Tokyo, P1 of Salathe and Lunatic Fringe. I onsighted all those routes and fell on this one.
Sustained 5.10 finger locks with great pods for feet for 75% of the route. Crux section comes 20 feet from the top and involves tips locks and foot smearing.
|By Ryan Curry|
May 25, 2011
I second the Dr. Feelgood to Mr. Natural link-up. At the top of Dr. Feelgood you can penji over to the tree (and anchors) at the start of Mr. Natural about forty or fifty feet lower and seventy feet to climber's right.
Bring brass wires for Dr. Feelgood.
|By Roger Suen|
From: Los Angeles, CA
Apr 30, 2012
It's possible to do with 1 rope. We did w a 70 but 60 will probably work too. From the top of Mr natural you'll have to swing way over to climbers left, there is a bolted rap anchor (will have to do a bit of climbing on rappel). From there straight down to the big tree and then straight down from the tree to a set of bolts with no chains or rings. We left 2 ovals on each so that should suffice. That takes you to the ground.
From: Berkeley, CA
Oct 30, 2012
WOWZA! What an amazing pitch of rock climbing.
Next time I climb this route I will be bringing the following:
1 green C3
3 red C3's
|By Cimbing Ivy|
From: Sierra northside
Apr 12, 2013
superb magnificent finger splitter on granite for the grade. pure bliss!
mega classic for its length, sustained crux, consistency in character and the best 180-view of Yosemite valley.
slightly different in styles, but in no way easier than Lunatic Fringe just to put it out there.
|By Evan Riley|
From: San Francisco, CA
Apr 15, 2013
If you approach from Apron Jam, climb all the way to the tree in a single 180' pitch. Traversing right from the secure Apron Jam munge to the tree is exciting but secure.
A double rack from 0-2 and some small stoppers will get you to the top without problem. Good rests and good gear all the way up.
|By Peter Valchev|
6 days ago
I think this might be my favorite pitch in the valley... too bad it's a bit of a hassle to get to it. Here is what we did:
1) Climb Apron Jam. Instead of stopping at the bolt anchor, climb another ~40 feet up the right hand corner to a small ledge/natural belay (purple camalot, and some other gear). This is almost directly underneath/a bit to the left of Mr Natural. We did not traverse to the tree/ledge on the right.
2) From there, climb another ~15 feet up and traverse right on positive edges to gain Mr Natural. Enjoy the pure bliss and amazing climbing.
To rappel, we had a single 70 meter rope. Do a somewhat sideways rappel to skier's right (to two new bolt anchors on a neighbouring climb). From there, rappel down to the ledge, big ant tree below. Do a short rappel from the tree to the bolts on top of Apron Jam, and one more rap gets you down. Might be less hassle to just bring two ropes.