photo© Greg EppersonIn the world of climbing, Tony Yaniro needs not introduction. His visionary training techniques and climbs put him years ahead of the rest of the climbing world while pretty much sending the climbing world on it’s ear.
His route Grand Illusion at Sugarloaf was not only the first 5.13, but it was a hard 5.13. Tony trained avidly and specifically for harder routes, while others trained by smoking pot and climbing 5.11. Some of his ascents were so difficult that he used now acceptable methods of rehearsing or ‘hang dogging’ climbs. At the time, this was not commonly practiced among most climbers, especially in Joshua Tree and other California areas. In some ways this isolated climbers such as Yaniro, but accelerated their string of brilliant, extremely difficult cutting edge climbs.
Tony teamed up with another equally motivated and talented climber, Randy Leavitt, and together they climbed some of the best and hardest routes, without fanfare or hype. Many of these very difficult, yet awesome, high quality climbs have seen very few ascents. One reason is that many of these hard classics are not conveniently located, situated far from the road. For Josh routes, they are still damn hard, even with today’s rising standards.
Go get spanked on these Yaniro classics:
photo© Greg Epperson
Tony had similar impacts in other areas he visited, establishing the hard classics including the Needles (CA), Mt. Charleston, City of Rocks, Taquitz/Suicide, Yosemite, just to name a few.
Tony was a total visionary and easily one of the greatest and most influential climbers to climb at Joshua Tree. Today Tony still climbs and seems to stay busy with family, career and mountain biking.