Type: Trad, 160 ft
FA: Chris Cantwell & Bruce Morris, September 1979
Page Views: 18,460 total · 130/month
Shared By: Sirius on Apr 30, 2007
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Rockfall danger higher than usual on Glacier Point Apron Details
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


One of THE all-time 5.10 finger cracks. This single, (length edit) ~160-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).
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
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. May 1, 2007
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
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. May 1, 2007
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
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. May 1, 2007
Jon Hanlon   SLO
NO TAKE!!!!!!!!!!

The only thing better than reading this story was hearing it told in person! May 1, 2007
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
A climber was killed by rockfall near Mr. Natural in the summer of '99. May 3, 2007
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
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 srcfc.org/terbush.asp

May 3, 2007
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
More on Peter here: supertopo.com/climbing/thre… Sep 17, 2008
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
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. Sep 17, 2008
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
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. Nov 2, 2009
Jeff Gicklhorn
Tucson, AZ
Jeff Gicklhorn   Tucson, AZ
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. Nov 6, 2010
San Francisco
tallmark515   San Francisco
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.

Super classic!!! Nov 8, 2010
Ryan Curry  
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. May 25, 2011
Roger Suen
Los Angeles, CA
Roger Suen   Los Angeles, CA
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.

Killer climb! Apr 30, 2012
Sacramento, CA
coreylee   Sacramento, CA
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
6 .3's
3 .4's
2 .75's
2 1's
2 2's
1 3 Oct 30, 2012
Cimbing Ivy
Cimbing Ivy   Reno-Tahoe
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. Apr 12, 2013
Evan Riley
San Francisco, CA
Evan Riley   San Francisco, CA
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. Apr 15, 2013
Peter Valchev
Truckee, CA
Peter Valchev   Truckee, CA
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. Jun 12, 2013
Trevor Shu
Trevor Shu  
This climb is 5.10c at best, it's probably more like sustained 5.10a. That Malibu Creek .10c you did the other day that Mr. Natural feels harder than was probably more like 5.9 anyway. Jul 5, 2013
Beautiful splitter finger crack, mostly 10a with a short 10b/c crux, great gear. Several nice pod/rests. the face moves out of the crack were heads up(for me). Several ways too approach, used a #5 bd on Apron Jam. Used two ropes to rap, simple. Oct 15, 2013
This route is not 110 ft. Glad I had a 2nd rope. Oct 21, 2013
M. Morley Thanks for the Memorial on Peter...He never left his stance...possibly the most heart-felt contribution I've ever read...Kudos. This route IS one of the all-time Yosemite Classics. I led it in '78 wearing EB's and throwing in a fat stack of wired hexes, and I got pretty pumped on it, thinking it was harder than "Little Wing"...I never did it again, and it would be delightful to see what modern rubber and spring loaded gadgets would do to the joy of the ascent. Tape those knucks. Apr 1, 2015
Nathan Scherneck
Portland, OR
Nathan Scherneck   Portland, OR
What a pitch. Perhaps the best finger crack I've done in the valley (yes I've done Serenity Crack). We climbed it with a single 70m rope. First rapped climbers left of the finger crack (quite a pendulum) to a nice bolted rap anchor, second rap back to the (right) tree. The rope was a bout 10' short and we had to downclimb easy 4th class. Not too scary, but you are ~150-180' off the deck. Next rap to the anchor atop Apron Jam. Last rap to the ground. Might just be easier to climb with a second rope.

Also, that face traverse at the top of Apron Jam (to the right tree)...a little pucker there. Oct 18, 2015
Anthony H
Seattle, WA
Anthony H   Seattle, WA
Hands down the best splitter that I have the privilege to sink my hands into.

We approached the climb from Apron Jam; we belayed at the two-bolt anchor at the top of Apron Jam (~110' from ground), and from there to the two-bolt anchor at the top of Mr Natural. From anchor to anchor, it's just shy of 70 m. I think it might be better than belaying at the tree at ~180' since it avoids the big traverse (doesn't look too hard but there isn't much opportunities for pros).

Save a #0.75 for the last move to the belay ledge! I thought that last move to move out of the crack onto the face was the crux for me.

A double-rope rappel will bring you down to the two-bolt anchor (above a comfy ledge, next to a tree) on top of Green Dragon (the face climb to the climber's right of Apron Jam), and from there another double-rope rappel to the ground. Nov 13, 2015
King Tut
Citrus Heights
King Tut   Citrus Heights
Heard that Bruce and Chris spent 3 days cleaning this crack on the FA. Thanks guys! Aug 24, 2016
Matt Glue
Boulder, CO
Matt Glue   Boulder, CO

Some parts of the crack take BD 0.4, more of the crack takes BD 0.3, almost all of the crack takes yellow Aliens. So bring lots of those. And a couple smaller ones for the thinner crux section up high. Then a double rack from BD 0.5 - 1 and set of nuts for the larger pods, single 2 and 3 will do it. Oct 18, 2017