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Rock Climbing Photo:  Trad gumby tries to go sport on the Lion King, Ja...

Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
Last Visit: Jan 6, 2014
Contact Michael Ybarra

Point Rank: # 4,603
Total Points: 134
Last Year: 0
Last 30 Days: 0
6 Compliments
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3
Comments = 1

Where has Michael Ybarra been climbing?


All 199 | Routes | Areas | Photos 17 | Page Improvements | Comments 47 | Posts 104 | Stars 31 | Ratings
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Contributed Comments


Location: CA : Sierra Eastside : Bishop Area : Pine Creek Canyon : Scheelite Canyon / Pratt's ... : ... : Pratt's Crack (5.9)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Jun 18, 2012

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Comments: I found big gear of very little use. Low on the route there's a pod deep in the crack that takes a #4 (or probably something else on the side), which I was glad to place between the slung chockstones. Any place I tried to use a #6 it was so tipped out that I wouldn't have dared to fall on it. The only secure place for it was to protect the exit moves, which were easy and by that time I was runout 25 feet anyway. A #5 is useless. The small crack on the left wall that others hav... more >>

Location: UT : Moab Area : Indian Creek : Scarface : Torque Wrench (5.11)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Apr 29, 2012

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Comments: A fun route that throws a lot at you. About 150 feet. Bring two ropes to get off.

Location: UT : Moab Area : Indian Creek : The Bridger Jacks : Rim Shot (5.11-)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Apr 5, 2012

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Comments: Partner and I both gave this one out of three stars. We did it in three pitches, linking 1&2 and 4&5. Some good climbing but a lot of sub par rock. The crux was definitely the overhanging 11 tight (super sandy) hands. Kind of a miserable pitch, I thought, leading to the choss exit pitch.

We rapped into the notch with a single 70. Rapped the first east face station there, although the rope didn't quite reach the next one. Close enough though to clip the anchor. The third rap easily reached the... more >>

Location: UT : Moab Area : Indian Creek : The Bridger Jacks : Learning to Crawl (5.11)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Apr 5, 2012

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Comments: Contrary to the topo in the IC guide, there are three bolts, not four in the second crux section. A drilled angle, a crack that takes a HB #6 nicely, a good new bolt (easy to clip), then a star drive.

If you're a chicken, like me, you can clip the top bolt, then retreat to the stance to figure out the moves. Although if you blow it, you'll be testing the star drive.

Tenuous, technical crux--but cool once you figure it out.

Location: UT : Moab Area : Indian Creek : The Bridger Jacks : East Face (Sunflower Tower) (5.10+)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Apr 1, 2012

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Comments: The first pitch description could be improved. There are two cracks at the base. The right one (shown in the beta photo) is a hand crack deep in a pod, then through a bulge. Awkward for sure. I placed two golds, a red and, then in the stem box above, two blues.

There's no way the second pitch is 5.11. I think even 10D is a stretch (this from a guy with big hands). I don't think it's that sustained, either. Sure, you have to bust a few moves, but there's a killer rest every few feet--and it's e... more >>

Location: UT : Moab Area : River Road : Lighthouse Tower : Lonely Vigil (5.10)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Mar 28, 2012

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Comments: Excellent climb.

Placed an HB #6 above the bolted anchor to pro the stem crux.

On P3 we kept going on the traverse past the bolt, which puts you at a bolted anchor. There's a shinny new, huge rap anchor about five feet away from this station on the ledge. On the way down, we did a double rope rap back to the notch from the new P3 rap station. Ropes wouldn't pull. A team behind us try to free the ropes but they still wouldn't pull. The Boulder boys kindly moved the ropes to the old anch... more >>

Location: UT : Moab Area : Potash Road : Wall Street : Bad Moki Roof (5.9+)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Mar 28, 2012

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Comments: Anyone who thinks this is easier than Owl must be smoking crack. I didn't even think of using a rope on Owl, but Moki was no gimme. I did it twice and didn't find any jugs. Worth doing for sure.

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Lower Brother : Absolutely Free, Center (5.9)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Dec 30, 2011

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Comments: The approach isn't bad, the climbing is very fun, but the descent totally blows (took us longer than the climb), costing the overall experience at least a star. The ideal rack: doubles, green through blue, a #4 and a #5.

Location: NV : Red Rock : Juniper Canyon : Brownstone Wall : The Nightcrawler (5.10+)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Nov 28, 2011

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Comments: Great climb all the way through the fifth pitch. Lot's of fun face climbing and stemming if you want to stay out of the chimney for most of the second pitch, although this might bump up the grade beyond 5.9. No need for anything bigger than a 4. My partner and I both thought the crux of the route was getting off the small ledge on P3--a couple of bouldery moves before the crack becomes any good. P5 is worth doing as well.

We rapped the whole thing with a 70. The P2 raps just gets you to anchor.... more >>

Location: CA : High Sierra : 02 - The Sawtooth Ridge : Little Slide Spires : The Duck : East Face of the Duck (5.10c)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Sep 28, 2011

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Comments: This is a fun route. We got on it without knowing anything about it after the line at the Hulk turned us away. We took the squeeze chimney variation, which was a little thuggy but not horrible--although unprotected for 50 feet or so. The corner system to the right looked really rotten, but maybe we didn't go far enough. The chimney ends at an overhang, which we passed via a horizontal fist crack to the left, onto a slab (old bolt), then up a crack to the right. This took us to P4, which is the ... more >>

Location: WA : Central-West Cascades & Sea... : Skykomish Valley : Index : Upper Town Wall : ... : Green Drag-on (5.11a C2-3)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Aug 14, 2011

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Comments: The last pitch blows. The bolt ladder leads to a flaring dirty crack, worse than the last pitch of Town Crier, which also blows. Overall, I found this pretty straight forward. A double set of C3s and C4s and a single #4 was perfect; placed almost no nuts but used a cam hook a lot. Rapped the Town Crier anchors with a single 60.

Location: CA : Tahoe : Highway 50 Corridor : Lover's Leap : East Wall : Fantasia (5.9 R)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Jul 11, 2011

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Comments: The route description on this page strikes me as next to useless, although maybe any would be. From the corner at the end of the 5.6R dike climb, you do a wild hand traverse to the left. After that, I'm not sure because I drifted too far to the left and wound up at the bolted belay for Fear No Evil (there's a bolt about 30 above). Did the second pitch of Fear, which was great. The last not so great, so I ended up escaping to the corner system to the left.

Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : The Outback : Patagonia Pile : Patagonia Pile - West Face : Filet of Rock Shark (5.10b)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Nov 24, 2010

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Comments: I thought the pro was fine. A #4 goes snuggly into the pod at the start, followed by a small nut to pro the first committing move. After that mostly plug and chug. Some of the rock is suspect, especially for stemming moves, definitely not a gimme. Overall, a very good climb.

Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Wonderland of Rocks : Wonderland North : North Wonderland Approach : ... : Balance Due (5.10c)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Nov 19, 2010

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Comments: The guidebook calls this 10c PG. If Screaming Poodle, two routes over, is 10c, Balance Due struck me as a couple of letter grades harder.

Location: North America : Canada : British Columbia : Columbia Mountains : Purcell Mountains : ... : Sunshine Crack (5.11-)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Aug 30, 2010

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Comments: I'd strongly suggest linking the last two pitches, for one of the best rope lengths you'll ever get. Otherwise you'll need a gear belay between them and since the first part takes only 4s and doesn't have a ledge, you might as well keep going. Definitely go right.

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Ribbon Falls Area : Gold Wall : The Silent Line (5.10 C1)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Aug 25, 2010

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Comments: Did this with the Reed topo and wondered when we got to the base why a party had fixed the first two pitches. I soon found out. 5.10, my ass.

Location: OR : Central Oregon : Smith Rock : (u) Red Wall : Breakdown in Paradise (5.10c)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Jul 26, 2010

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Comments: New guide book says this routinely spits off people expecting a cruise. I went slightly right of the bolt line following some chalked crimps and polished tiny feet. Felt full-on 5.11.

Location: South America : Argentina : Patagonia : Whillans-Cochrane (5.9 WI3 M4)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Jan 16, 2010

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Comments: Climbed in splitter weather early December. Easy snow to fun mixed (crux), then dry rock, mostly cake with a little 5.9 every now and then. Broke a crampon leading the mixed pitch and the rope took a core shot several pitches from the top. When in doubt, move left, especially after the mixed section, way left, like a rope length. From Laguna de Los Tres and back in 24 hours. Terrible snow conditions on descent.

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 10 - The Cookie Cliff : Crack-a-Go-Go (5.11c PG13)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Sep 19, 2009

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Comments: Really, an amazing route. You can use the tree to place a bomber gray or purple cam in the left crack to protect the opening moves. That gets you to a tricky stance and some hard to place but solid small nuts. Fire the crux. Pretty straight forward from there but save a couple of small nuts for high on the route.

With a 60 m rope I was able to lower off but my belayer had to climb into the tree a few feet for me to reach the ground.

Location: North America : Canada : British Columbia : Squamish : The Chief : ... : The Grand Wall (5.11a A0)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Aug 21, 2009

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Comments: Just did this for the second time and I'd say Cruel Shoes is the way to approach for a full-value outing. Crowds can be hit or miss. Earlier in the week I watched from Freeway as a conga line snaked up every pitch of the Grand but a couple of days later we were the third party (behind some friends) with a 8:30 start.

Location: North America : Canada : British Columbia : Squamish : The Chief : ... : Freeway (5.11c)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Aug 18, 2009

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Comments: I think Freeway Lite gives you all the best pitches from the full route (Express Lane version), except maybe the roof pitch.

To rap Freeway Lite, you'll need two ropes.

Also, gear up before climbing the jungle-style 3rd class since the slopping, moss-ledge belay at the start of P2 isn't a great place to do so and you don't want to leave packs there since the rap route doesn't take you back there.

Location: CA : High Sierra : 02 - The Sawtooth Ridge : Incredible Hulk : Positive Vibrations (5.11a)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Jul 25, 2009

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Comments: One of the absolute best climbs you will ever do. The first 11 section is pretty easy unless you're short--many of the 10 sections are much harder. The second 11 is quite a bit more tricky.

One thing to be aware of: the stemming start to P6 is reasonably technical on small wires and questionable cams (a .75 in a flare and a .4 before moving to the roof and the first bomber gear in 30 feet or so; you can protect the belay by placing a .75 in a horizontal before stepping into the stem)... more >>

Location: CA : Tahquitz & Suicide Rocks : Tahquitz Rock : (f) West Face Bulge Routes : Upper Bulge Routes : The Vampire (5.11a)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Jul 20, 2009

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Comments: Did the direct start, smelled bat crap but didn't have to do any guano jams; the flakes on P2 collected quite a bit of guano and smelled like it as well.

I tried to figure out the step-across to the P2 belay but couldn't, so I wound up doing the mantle, which worked.

Thought moving up past the bolt on P3 to be the definite crux and quite hard.

Followed Andy's rack suggestion but never used the second set of C3s or the RPs (ran out the P3 thin crack until the bigger flake).

A re... more >>

Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Split Rocks : Future Games Rock : The Bendix Claws (5.11a)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Apr 29, 2009

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Comments: I thought the crack was harder (or at least more serious) than the face moves. There's gear but it can be a little tricky and run and the stances aren't great in the middle of the route. There's a Thank God rest at the end of the sustained crack difficulties that I didn't find until after a whip on a small nut.

Location: CA : Joshua Tree National Park : Lost Horse Area : Hemingway Buttress : Hemingway Buttress (East Fa... : The Importance of Being Ern... (5.10c/d R)
By: Michael Ybarra When: Apr 6, 2009

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Comments: A good selection of thin nuts is what you want on this climb.

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