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Manure Pile Buttress (aka Ranger Rock)
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YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 500'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Royal and Liz Robbins, 1967
Season: Spring thru Fall
Page Views: 62,883
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 15, 2006

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Manure Summit!

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


Nutcracker is one of the most popular routes in Yosemite. Rarely can one hike to the climb and not find a number of parties on the route. Having said that, it's an excellent route, with clean cracks, good protection and fine climbing!

P1) There are two possible starts. The original, starts up a sort of gully-crack system, heading for a belay above. A 5.9 variation goes up the cool-looking (but seriously slippery!) finger crack that angles right, then up.

P2) Head up a sort of low-angle chimney-crack system and belay above.

P3) Step right to gain a nice crack running up the wall. Climb this to a stance below an overhang above.

P4) Traverse left across to near a tree, then follow the crack to a belay below the infamous mantle move.

P5) Climb up to the corner system above and execute the infamous "mantle move". Continue above in a nice crack that takes you to a flat summit. My personal feeling is that the reputation of this move is a bit overrated. The holds are pretty big and it's over quickly. There are two reasons to make dang sure not to fall, however; the fall would suck and I don't recall the pro placement being completely bomber. Ankles have been shattered on this pitch! Be careful!

Descent: Scramble down off the back-left of the formation and down the gully back to the base.


Nutcracker starts on the right side of Manure Pile Buttess. Easily identified by the obviously trafficed finger crack. Look for the crowd.


Standard rack.

Photos of Nutcracker Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Toping out
Toping out
Rock Climbing Photo: "Nutcracker"-1st pitch. Photo by Blitzo.
"Nutcracker"-1st pitch. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike and Tristan from Wyoming at the crux. May 201...
Mike and Tristan from Wyoming at the crux. May 201...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1, 5.8
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1, 5.8
Rock Climbing Photo: 7 people, 1 head lamp.
7 people, 1 head lamp.
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Petersen leading the uber-classic first pitch...
Paul Petersen leading the uber-classic first pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: Having fun on the Nutcracker
Having fun on the Nutcracker
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo from third pitch
Photo from third pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: P3
Rock Climbing Photo: Saw several parties on Nutcracker while walking of...
Saw several parties on Nutcracker while walking of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of pitch 3.
Start of pitch 3.
Rock Climbing Photo: Performing the mantel move with correct Beta
Performing the mantel move with correct Beta
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of pitch 3. The only semi-hanging belay on the...
Top of pitch 3. The only semi-hanging belay on the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Stephanie on the first moves of pitch 3.
Stephanie on the first moves of pitch 3.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting out on pitch 3. Beautiful hand jams!
Starting out on pitch 3. Beautiful hand jams!
Rock Climbing Photo: My dad on nutcracker
My dad on nutcracker
Rock Climbing Photo: The final slab after the mantel on the last pitch.
The final slab after the mantel on the last pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Top out photo
Top out photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff going over the bulge on pitch 4
Jeff going over the bulge on pitch 4
Rock Climbing Photo: Josh figuring out the overhang at the start of pit...
Josh figuring out the overhang at the start of pit...
Rock Climbing Photo: me leading another fun pitch on this classic route...
me leading another fun pitch on this classic route...
Rock Climbing Photo: Our instructor beginning pitch 3
Our instructor beginning pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: Alanna finishing up Nutcracker.
Alanna finishing up Nutcracker.
Rock Climbing Photo: The alternate 2nd pitch after the 5.9 direct start...
The alternate 2nd pitch after the 5.9 direct start...

Show All 29 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Nutcracker Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 4, 2017
By James Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Sep 22, 2006

This is one of my favorite routes of all time... You just can't beat it. Great climbing, great views and generally very well protected. Awesome
By Blitzo
Sep 29, 2006

A good route, but usually too crowded fo my taste. Every time I've done it we were the only ones on it, somehow.
By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 21, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Good route. Nice lieback on the first pitch. The last few pitches were pretty low angle "slab" cracks...ok...Don't fall at the mantel, looks scary but it is a bomber hold once you move your feet up enough. Maybe some pro above it in the crack at your face, but I moved right to the next horizontal. Then you really don't want to fall.
By Jason Shatek
Jun 28, 2007

Awesome climb!!!!!!!! One of the best I've done!
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Dec 21, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I've done this route a couple of times - very enjoyable. I seem to remember P3 being a very long pitch, and being quite short of gear when arriving at the belay stance.

This was one of the first US climbs to be done only with nuts and no pitons (i.e. clean). Hence the name "Nutcracker".

A history of nut cans be found here
By Linnea Williams
Apr 14, 2008

I'd call this the ultimate social climb, you get to hang out with cool people at every belay station because it's packed with parties. Despite the waits, I had a great time. :)
By Steve R.
From: Oakland, CA
Mar 30, 2009

Lucked out with the route empty ahead of us. Good climbing. Great Lieback on the first pitch. Pitch 3 is a stream in the spring (it is spring, right?). The water makes the 5.7 lieback on smooth granite very interesting...

Fun mantle on pitch 5! I think Supertopo overstressed this as a crux. Don't take it too lightly but bomber holds and a little mantling skill get you up and over this fairly easily.
By ccmski body
From: Seattle, WA
Oct 17, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The mantle is over-hyped. A green or yellow alien (can't remember) protects this crux well. Great jugs- just do it. Probably the best 5.8 in the Valley although most of the climbing is really 5.7.
By Hans Florine
Jan 29, 2010

Amazing that the legends of the late seventies and early eighties climbed this in under 9 minutes! I tried and couldn't/haven't.(yet)
By chulho "charles" chang
From: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Mar 31, 2010

end of march, and pitch 3 is wet.

pitch 1 - 5.9 variation is awesome.
By Cory Harelson
From: Boise, ID
Jun 7, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Wow, the entire climb is awesome! The first pitch is sustained jamcrack/lieback in a very clean corner. One of the best 5.8 pitches I've climbed. The bulge on pitch 4 and the mantle on pitch 5 were also fun moves, and all the climbing in between was a blast too! We lucked out and had the whole route to ourselves on the first Saturday in June!
By Wesley Ashwood
From: Squamish, BC
Aug 2, 2010

The climbing is really varied and fun. Definitely worth doing, even if there is a little bit of crowd. I thought the lie back was a little tricky being wet and having no warmup right off the bat.
By Dave Alden
From: San Diego, CA
Feb 28, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

You would expect to find this route on a much more spectacular formation than the Manure Pile. Although, the route is spectacular with great protection.
By aaron hope
From: Walnut Creek, CA
May 2, 2011

I was nervous about the unprotected Mantel for a while, but didn't need to be. I will agree that you can set some pro at about knee level before you pull the move, but it won't keep you from hitting the slab below. Nevertheless the feet are great and there's a huge jug for you to mantel from. Just get your right foot up and push up. If you totally freak out while pulling the mantel you could back off pretty easily.
By rhyang
From: San Jose, CA
May 28, 2011

Tried leading the mantel but backed off. Downclimbed back to belay and then down the gully left to a tree with rap slings on it. From there I headed up and left on easier terrain, then traversed right above the mantel to the top of the buttress. High-gravity day I guess :)

So if you get psyched out by the mantel, there is an escape.
By LucaTheGenius
Apr 11, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I always heard about the "exposed mantle"... I am not a strong leader and could have done it.
In April, pitch 3 was wet and was by far the crux of the route.
Overall, good quality route!
By Sayfe
From: Scottsdale, az
Apr 19, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This was one of the first climbs we did with the WSU alpine club in 82. I've been back tree many times and this has been my favorite every time. The mantle is a fun and committing move, but well protected.
By Angie C
From: Seattle, Wa
Apr 23, 2012

Pitch 1 had some water which was annoying and slippery, but the real water is still a stream running down Pitch 3 (as of April 21). Makes the pitch trickier, for sure.

The main narrativesays the crux mantle is overrated and actually has has good hand holds. I disagree. I suppose that would be true if you were at least 5'10" tall. For people under 5'7", there is not much for the hands. At 5'5", I found this crux to be pretty tough.
By Jason Albino
From: San Francisco, CA
Apr 24, 2012

IF YOU SPOT A SET OF REVO SUNGLASSES at or near the top of this climb or on the descent trail, please contact me at jason AT jasonalbino DOT com to return them. I stupidly took a nasty tumbling fall down a gully on 4/19/12 after the climb, and would love to get these back to offset the pain of my substantial injuries.

Note that P1 and P3 were still a bit wet on 4/19/12, but given the good hand holds didn't preclude climbing (I wiped off my feet a few times after they touched wet spots).

For reference on my review, I'm 6', a 5.7/5.8 leader, and have about 100 pitches of trad under my belt all-time.

P1 is a sustained, somewhat pumpy lieback experience, but the pro is generally very good and much of it can be foot-jammed for partial rests.

P2 is an easy ramp walk-up to a great belay ledge, 5.-

P3 features epic exposure with a great crack system. 1st step right is no problem at all at my height, as you can do it statically. Might feel more adventurous if you are about 5.8 or shorter. Don't expect too many hand jams here, but feet will get in there a lot and the face/crack junction features serve as good hands.

P4/P5 were a bit unclear to me - we just about maxed out P3 with a 60m rope, then I found myself with options of either setting up a tree belay in the mossy face area, or a gear belay at the top of the P3 crack system under a little roof. I chose the latter (which was fine), though if you don't surmount the roof from there, you'll need to execute a sketchy leftward traverse with no pro for a couple moves after the belay (definitely clip your belay anchors beforehand). We went left here because SuperTopo indicated there were both left and right options, and the right option featured 5.8 friction moves over a bulge, which I wasn't excited about at the time.

After this, I lied back the left-facing mossy corner system for a bit before getting up and over the corner back onto the face right. From here, there's a pumpy but well-protected roof move (perhaps this was the famous "mantle"? If so, why was there no clear mention that is was also a roof move in the SuperTopo?) that can be surmounted if you're taller by reaching up on top of the roof for bomber holds on the right. If you're shorter, you may find this roof more exhausting.

After said roof, there were several good belay options, followed by a short romp to the top of the formation.

I'm pretty sure I missed something with the intended P4/P5, as SuperTopo didn't mention a P4/P5 roof move and I'm not sure where exactly the "crux mantle" move was supposed to be. Either way, my route worked and was a blast!
By Austin Fisher
Jun 2, 2012

Started this bad boy around noon and somehow ended up being the only party on the route. I have no idea how it happened, but this is one of my favorite climbs in the valley thus far. Also getting up to the mantle holds proved to be the toughest part of the climb, the mantle itself was waaaay overhyped.
By Em Cos
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 4, 2012

Don't worry about the mantle. We heard that it was spooky even for tall folks and ridiculous for short folks, so my taller partner took that pitch, got worried and backed off. When we finally sacked up and climbed it, it was one of those "Damn it, that wasn't even hard!" kinda moments. Tiny gear will protect it reasonably well. The holds are great once you get your hands on them, then throw a high step (or heel hook if you're smaller) and it's over.
Have fun!
By Climber Ryan
From: Auburn, CA
Oct 23, 2012

The 5.9 finger crack start is amazing. Follow it by doing the bolted slab 2nd pitch. Starting with these two pitches and the mantel on the final pitch makes this climb a 4 star.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Apr 28, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Truly a gem of the route. Every pitch is good.

Did the original start first, and then the finger crack start after walking down. A 70m just allows you to lower/TR after leading the finger crack. A gray X4 was perfect at the cruxy transition into the thin crack.
By Floyd Hayes
May 30, 2014

A video of the route showing each pitch is posted at
By Jan Tarculas
From: Riverside, Ca
Jun 7, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

start early or really late in the afternoon

we were first on the route at 9am 6/5/14 and by the time I was leading the 3rd pitch, there was about 4 parties waiting on the huge belay ledge.

Saw a smart couple sleep in and started their day late when we got to the base. They figured starting late in the afternoon was just as smart.
By Mike Holley
From: Boone, NC
Sep 12, 2014

Beautiful climb and a classic at the grade! Took me a while to get on this thing and I wish I would have done it earlier! Every pitch rules and the exposure and location are stunning! Best done early morning or afternoon because it gets hot hot hot up there in the middle of the day!
By Frederico
From: Belo Horizonte, MG - BRAZIL
Jan 26, 2015

I did it yesterday with some friends, in a party of 3. My first climb in the valley, it was definitively the best introduction I could ever have had :-)

I'm not a crack climber, so the lieback and crack moves were very hard for me.
By Josh Cameron
From: California in my Mind
Jan 29, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

No one pitch of this route is anything to write home about (except maybe pitch 4). Yet, as John Steinbeck says, "The sum is greater than the parts."
By Jeff Scheuerell
Jan 30, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

You must have forgotten the first pitch and the third pitch, classics. Also the rock on the last pitch is amazing.
By Brian Pugh
Mar 10, 2015

essential beta: Cedar Wright and Sean Leary sprinting Nutcracker in 5:31.
(starts at 2:28)

By JJ Foley
From: San Francisco, California
Apr 22, 2015

Do the 5.9 start.

Better that the 5.8 and in my opinion a bit easier...albeit slightly less secure. Did not think it was overly slick or polished by valley standards. It also has nice variation...starts with fingers with a cool high step for feet and goes all the way up to wide hands.

More fun than original IMHO.
By John Ryan
From: Poncha Springs, CO
May 28, 2015

I've done this route four times, and it is full value. The 5.9 start is great - only 5.9 I've had to highstep and rock over my foot onto. The 5.8 mantle is like everyone says - stout. At the very least this is a 5.9. I've climbed V3 boulder problems with a mantle topout that felt about the same. A small divet on the left side of the dihedral for a foothold made the mantle much easier. I remembered the pro being solid and able to prevent a fall onto the slab - I climbed it a few days ago and there are a couple good pieces partway up the dihedral leading to the mantle, but I was unable to rig a nut in the slightly higher tiny slot. I'm pretty sure I would have decked if I had fallen. No pro for a few moves after you pull the mantle but it is simple climbing.
By Ed Henicle
From: Santa Rosa, CA
Sep 13, 2015

We were happy to have 2 small offset cams for the pin scars and flaring cracks
By Brian Hansen 1
Nov 13, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

My first yosemite multipitch! It was a ton of fun with great variety, but pitch 4 really took me by surprise. For me personally, the runout friction followed by the "5.8" roof move were the cruxes by far; if the roof move weren't so easy to protect with a bomber #2 camalot I probably would have backed off! In contrast, the pitch 5 mantel "crux" felt like a breeze.

I also completely ran out of gear using the rack recommended in Chris McNamara's yosemite free climbs guide; I would have appreciated another few cams in the 0.75-2 camalot range. I don't have offsets on my rack but a few small-medium sized offset cams probably would have worked really well in the pitch 4 crack above the roof.

As others are saying, it was crowded and we spent much of the afternoon waiting on the enormous belay ledge at the second belay. We had 4 parties on the ledge at one point - it was actually kind of fun to hang out and enjoy the company and sights, but the wait certainly made it a full day climb!
By Max Rausch
From: Monterey, California
Jun 24, 2016

Did a full moon midnight ascent of this last week for my first time on it! It was 75 out at midnight so we went shirtless and blasted up every pitch. Only needed a headlight for some of the trickier gear placements. I got eaten by red ants on the P2 belay ledge. Made it to summit and cracked some beers at around 1am! The photo is of my buddy leading the 5.8 mantel.
Rock Climbing Photo: The mantel!
The mantel!
By Alex Wyvill
Jul 23, 2016

Here's a detailed trip report with photos: goodlooksandcamhooks.wordpress...

Incredible route!
By Jux Tolle
From: Los Angeles, CA
Sep 19, 2016

Flashed this around a 1200 PM Start: My 2 person team started with the 5.9 variation. We were 2nd in line, but as we moved up we saw we were 4th in line from the 5.7 3rd pitch belay ledge. Waited a couple hours to get moving... Weather was perfect, no breeze in the evening. Warm night for the most part. No clouds.

Pitch 1: 5.9 Finger crack w/excellent smeared right feet, and left toe nubs in the crack. Difficult move is about 10 feet above the standing ledge, then it pushes a hard 4-8m of small +/- 2 finger locks giving way to hand jams and a clean finish. Belay at the Tree, but don't spend too much time there.

Pitch 2: 5.6 Chimney-Esque? Well, I mostly walked up the low angle, then did a lay back for the chimney section. You could get a 3 in under the flake to protect it, or you could just push through 10 ft to some great jugs. I dont think I protected it much other than a .75 about 3m. up... very short.

Pitch 3: 5.7 Hand Crack w/small finger locks and some stemming. Things get a little more vertical here for the 1/2 then you'll reach the belay ledge below the next pitch. Highly exposed, but it's all there. Used lots of c3's 1.s and .75.s if I remember - Otherwise nuts all day.

Sun starting to Set here and the darkness is creeping in.

Pitch 4. Shoot right and around, then back left across a face traverse. There is protection on a crack that shoots up before the traverse.. after the traverse head up thing crack with great feet. I set up a belay under the ledge and before the bulge which reminds me of double cross in JTree. I had some rope drag because I may have over protected the traverse not knowing how it was going to unfold. Also, I didn't see a tree.. maybe I didn't go far enough over.

Night Fall w/Headlamp - Definitely Awesome Climbing!

Pitch 5: I hopped over the bulge and climbed all the way to the bottom of the crux mantle area. I don't remember much of this, but great feet and stable hands. Definitely enjoyable and exciting in the dark. Feet are really able to smear on the rock from the angle. Set up an anchor at the bottom left of the crux move area. There is a small ledge 3m bottom right diagonal where I through in some 3's and even a 4.

Pitch 6: Set a couple cams in the undercling area, and a couple nuts in the left crux crack pocket. A nice x4 will also fit half way up. High hands, high right foot, stem left, and reach for two left sided nubs, one near and one far and beach yourself on that ledge. Nuts can go in the left side, or skip and move right about 3m of face to the crack.. and it's pretty much clear from there... up another 30m or so.. I was pretty beat, and my partner wanted to lead a pitch early but wasn't up for it.. I set the gear for the crux and her 5.2 60kg frame flew right up it. Its probably the easiest of the 5.8 pitches. Felt easier than the 5.7 earlier.

Descent: Left gully has wrap Rap wring about 10 m down. Rap to the deck, then scramble down.. scramble right when you dont think you can go any further and you'll run into a trail that will take you down some rocks and dirt. It's well defined. From there you can walk home.

We finished this route about 1130 PM in the full moon light. It was one of the best experiences I've had. The descent down can be pretty long 1+ hour so add that in the total climb time. We didn't get back until about 115 or so..

Also, my partner left some of my nuts in the route on 9-17. She didn't have a head lamp and couldnt pull them. Maybe 2-3 if she told me right. please email me at joeytolle at respond here.

Another great Yosemite trip!
By Addem Bursh
Sep 20, 2016

Holy sh$t. ^^^^
By Austin Beck-Doss
Jun 4, 2017

LEFT A 0.2 YELLOW C3 ON PITCH 5 ON JUNE 4, 2017. If found please let me know at 7077990994 or Thank you very much!

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