After Six, rated 5.7 is a route located on Manure Pile Buttress/Ranger Rock in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California.
After Six is probably the first recorded multi-pitch climb established on Manure Pile Buttress. This was during the “Golden Age” of climbing on the big walls of Yosemite Valley. One of the biggest names of the period was none other than the legendary “Yvon Chouinard.” Chouinard, along with a handful of notable figures were setting standards in rock climbing in the U.S.A. And when they were not doing first ascents of big walls, they were establishing routes on smaller crags, such as Manure Pile Buttress. It was during the mid 1960s that Yvan Chouinard did the first ascent of After Six.
Not much different from its very popular neighbor The Nutcracker, After Six follows a series of cracks and face sections for six pitches to the top of Manure Pile Buttress some seven hundred feet above the valley floor. The rock is, for the most part, low angle and it offers many ledges and trees for belaying and resting. There are at least two places to make an escape to the left, west of the formation, should you choose not to complete the route.
A personal note: After Six, is the very first route I climbed on my first visit to Yosemite Valley in 1969.
Pitch 1, 5.7: Climb the crack in a right facing dihedral to a big flat ledge. This is the crux of the entire route. Some people climb two thirds of the way up this crack and finish the pitch via face moves to the same ledge. This option is rated 5.6.
Pitch 2, 3rd class: Scramble up on easier terrain and somewhat to the right for about one hundred and eighty feet to the base of a crack/slot. If you step back from the base some fifty yards, you can see the slot from the valley floor.
Pitch 3, 5.5: Climb up the slot/crack to a face and a ledge.
Pitch 4, 5.4: Scramble left for a few yards then climb on easy terrain
to a very large ledge with many bushes and trees.
This ledge leads to a gully to the west of Manure Pile Buttress and a good place to escape the route.
Pitch 5, 5.6: Head for a prow more or less straight above and another ledge.
Pitch 6, 5.6: Climb a low angle face to the top of the formation.
To Descend, head left to gain a gully to the west of the formation. There are a few rocky sections but manageable.
Essential Gear: Standard Rack, pro up to 3 inches.
How to get there
Find Yosemite Lodge. Camp 4, AKA “Walk-In Campground, is just across from Yosemite Lodge. Drive just over 1.5 miles west from Camp 4. You will see the entrance to a picnic/day use area on your right. If you go as far as El Cap Meadow, you have gone too far. Drive into this picnic area and park. Walk on a trail heading back toward Yosemite Valley for a few hundred yards. Head for the rocks to your left. The first route you come to is a prominent right facing dihedral. This is “After Six.”
Manure Pile Buttress/Ranger Rock
Yosemite National Park