Top Ten Less-Extreme Rock Climbing Routes

Nutcracker, California
By Cameron M. Burns

Nutcracker: Manure Pile Buttress, Yosemite Valley, California

Although Royal Robbins is the father of American big-wall climbing and is best remembered for gigantic routes like El Cap's Salathi and North America walls, and Half Dome's "Regular" (Northwest Face) Route, he didn't spend his entire youth dangling thousands of feet off the ground. He also established some beautiful short climbs, such as Nutcracker.

Located along the right side of a rock formation with the humbling title of Manure Pile Buttress, Nutcracker is one of Robbins'—and Yosemite's—best easy routes. It jams, liebacks, and mantles its way up an elegant line of crack systems and granite flakes and uses no bolts (a device Robbins has railed against for nearly five decades). So forget the name of the crag on which it lies, and dance your own Nutcracker up clean and solid Yosemite granite.

Just the Facts

First ascent: Royal and Liz Robbins, 1967

Time required: 2 to 3 hours

Technical grade: II, 5.8

References: Yosemite Climbs: Free Climbs, by Don Reid

More on Yosemite National Park

Read Climbing Yosemite's El Cap


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