Type: Trad
FA: Unknown, FFA: Tony Yaniro, 1979
Page Views: 16,354 total · 110/month
Shared By: Blitzo on Oct 19, 2006
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

6 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


Originally this climb was the third pitch of "The Fracture" and climbed on aid, but in 1979, Tony Yaniro freed this demanding route producing what at the time was probably the hardest climb in the world.

This was climbed in 1979, and recorded as the first 5.13b/c. Yosemite's "Phoenix" was climbed in some style in 1977, but is generally considered 5.13a.

This starts in an alcove and the route is obvious. Take the Eastern Terrace to this alcove and go for it!


Thin to 1.5".


Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
The book "Wizards of Rock" by Pat Ament (highly recommended for history buffs) attempts to clarify the first 5.13 and many other "firsts" in free climbing.

In regards to Phoenix being the first 5.13, apparently Jardine "did" the route in 77, but he never redpointed it. His idea of "working" a route (a term he apparently coined?) was to get to a point where he could do all the moves in 3 or 4 sections between hangs. Once he achieved that, he moved on. In the case of the Phoenix, he TR-ed it free, and he lead it with 3 hangs. Obviously this would be considered totally invalid today, but back in those days any hang-dogging in the valley was completely cheating, so this style wasn't thought of as any different then hang-dogging on the route for weeks and then ulimately redpointing -- it was all considired "invalid" by traditionalists.

Apparently John Long did some route at Taquiz called "Hangover" in 1976. Long gave it the grade 5.13, and apparently it has never been down-rated, so perhaps that was the first 5.13.

Also, prior to this Pete Cleveland (of Needles fame) TR-ed two routes at Devil's Lake that are now thought to have been 5.13.

Grand Illusion was probably the first route harder than 5.13 'minus'. Jun 1, 2007
Santa Cruz, CA
sam.f   Santa Cruz, CA
"The Hangover" at Tahquitz is pretty stout, but is rated 12c in Vogel's guidebook. I did it last summer, and would confirm 12c (definitely not 13). Sounds to me like Grand Illusion may have been the first... Mar 13, 2010
There's some interesting info out there about this one-I think the first couple of ascents (including the FA) were pinkpoints. I heard secondhand that Tommy Herbert gave this thing solid 13c and probably more like 13d/14a placing all gear on lead, but that's just what I heard.

Pretty big acheivement anyway, like some other pinkpoint FAs-Jumbo Love, etc etc etc. Always that much more rad when done in better style. Nov 3, 2011
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
I think the Illusion has only been led twice placing all the gear? Suzuki was the first and I think Tommy Caldwell the second. That thing can't have that many clean leads, pink or redpoint. Never been onsighted... Nov 3, 2011
Sacramento, CA
Michaeld916   Sacramento, CA
It's seen a lot of free ascents without pre placed gear. May 24, 2012
Arno just shared a photo post on Facebook by Jorgeson. He did it second go placing gear. No discrepancy on rating. Felt compelled to check the route out here on MP after seeing the post. Serious pay grade there. Jan 31, 2014
For the record both Tod Skinner and I did it in '86 before Suzuki I think, and we placed all the gear on lead. I'm not aware of anybody who has flashed the route placing all the gear on lead. I think some have pink pointed the route with gear in place. Sep 15, 2014
Great video of the climb.

youtube.com/watch?v=ma0LVAG… Jun 9, 2016
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
That's a neat video, the climber makes it seem rather casual although you do notice him hanging near the top. He also starts out leading but at the top I see a toprope, video trickery? Jul 19, 2016
Interesting and always a bit annoying with a split grade--really splitting hairs, so to speak. I just read Moffat's article in R & I, and he claims to have done the world's first 13c in 1983, but I immediately thought of this Yaniro masterpiece. Surely, this must qualify as the first 13c, especially when led placing all the gear, nothing pre-placed? Not that I'll ever even get on it! Think I did the first pitch a million years ago, however, on TR. Jul 13, 2018