Figures on a Landscape

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Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 29, 2007 - 12:14pm PT
"Arguably the finest route in the park," Randy writes. "Recommended for those comfortable at the grade."

Some climbs have an aura.
Through years of occasional trips to Joshua Tree, I never got around to this one until last Friday.
Neither had Dave or Brian.

k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Oct 29, 2007 - 12:19pm PT
Damn, I always though A Bolivian Freeze Job was the best...


Still, Boogers on a Lampshade gets my vote for best [finniest] named route.


What ever happened to the Monkeys On My Back?
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Oct 29, 2007 - 12:28pm PT
I'd guess routes like this are somewhat out of fashion, but I'm wondering... was there a line on it?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2007 - 12:28pm PT
With a cool head, Dave led pitch 1 onsight.











"No way I wanted to fall off up there," he said after pulling the mantel.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2007 - 12:31pm PT
I'd guess routes like this are somewhat out of fashion, but I'm wondering... was there a line on it?

Only climbers we saw all day were pad people.
susan peplow

climber
www.joshuatreevacationhomes.com
Oct 29, 2007 - 01:11pm PT
Yup, no doubt, that's a good route. When I first read your post I was thinking.... I should go over there and lead that thing.

Then I saw the photos further down and was brought back to reality. That traverse to that ledge is sketch as hell.

Nice job!

~Susan

p.s. Greg, last time we did it there were people on both domes but no line for the route.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Oct 29, 2007 - 01:15pm PT
I did that route a long time ago, but was not comfortable at the grade. It was an exciting outing! It's a classic for sure.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Oct 29, 2007 - 01:33pm PT
Yes, the original name was Monkey On My Back (and there is a story there). Randy changed the name without the full consent of the others involved. No big deal though, water under the bridge.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Oct 29, 2007 - 01:57pm PT
Rating quality is always sketchy. For me, with a Yosemite background, the natural crack lines will always be the best stuff out at Josh, stuff like Rubicon, Equinox, More Monkey, Imaginary Voyage, Hercules and a zillion other purely natural lines. That much said I thought Figures was an excellent one-sight first ascent effort by D. Evans and friends (can't remember who was along with him). Right after the route was first climbed we did a Bud Light commercial on the thing and I have to scale the thing like 50 times in one day to make sure we "got the shot." We didn't.

JL
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Oct 29, 2007 - 02:02pm PT
One of my favs. as well!! I remember way back when Dan Michaels 3rd classed this...Shudder!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Oct 29, 2007 - 02:15pm PT
Yeah, I remember when Dan soloed the thing. I gather he was partly inspired by relationship problems.

First time I did Figures (1982?), my partner, Colleen, led the first pitch. Then, as I was about halfway through the second pitch, a fighter jet roared through the canyon, maybe a hundred feet away and BELOW me.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Oct 29, 2007 - 02:29pm PT
I went out there to do that thing and after watching a guy take two big cartwheeling sideways falls from the end of the first pitch, decided to do something else.
coiler

Trad climber
The Rock Monkey Ranch
Oct 29, 2007 - 02:39pm PT
Indeed one of the finest face routes in Joshua Tree. One I will always remember AND repeat. As you know, repeating routes in JT isn't somethng you'd normaly do. As was said earlier, normaly the crack routes get my attention, but that's a good route! I'm surprised ASCA hasn't added a bunch of bolts to make it "safe"!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Oct 29, 2007 - 02:39pm PT
Whew! That last bit on the 1st pitch is tough. Probably not the best warm-up/ first pitch of the day. I was following and blew off the end of the traverse. It's all there, but you gotta want it (which you will if you're leading).

Best route though? Nah. Not even in my top 10. But, I prefer the cracks. It may be the best face route there. There's other great stuff right there too...Solid Gold, Piggle Pugg, Such a Savage.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Oct 29, 2007 - 03:55pm PT
Awsome pics there...astounding rock.
SamRoberts

climber
Bay Area
Oct 29, 2007 - 04:25pm PT
A great route!

Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2007 - 06:28pm PT
Just following pitch 1 takes some focus.




Brian fired through the steep runouts on pitch 2. One bolt the whole way.

TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Oct 29, 2007 - 06:35pm PT
looks rad.

Thanks for posting up
Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 29, 2007 - 08:04pm PT
Holy ropedrag, Batman!

Great photos.
Cuz

Trad climber
Oct 29, 2007 - 08:08pm PT
Don’t think I could ever pick just one best route but this would be on my list...



Lead all four pitches…

What???

My second (a gym climber) couldn’t get the first cam out of the last pitch so...
I rapped down and pulled it in about half a second...
I then, for the second time, climbed the third pitch as more of a free solo than anything.

And if that wasn’t enough…
we then had to walk off the thing in the dark, no head lamps and no moon… that was fun!
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Oct 29, 2007 - 10:15pm PT
I can think of other 5.10 routes in Joshua Tree with similar quality climbing and rock quality (Run for your Life and Bird of Fire come to mind) but, what Figures adds is that it's also multi-pitch.

Curt
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2007 - 11:12pm PT
I can think of other 5.10 routes in Joshua Tree with similar quality climbing and rock quality (Run for your Life and Bird of Fire come to mind) but, what Figures adds is that it's also multi-pitch.

Length definitely is part of its charm, but even if Figures ended after the first pitch, I can't think of another JT 5.10 face climb that beats it. Run for your Life, Solid Gold, EBGBs, Heart and Sole, Diamondback, I Can't Believe It's a Girdle ... outstanding but still not as good. My JT knowledge is shallow compared to many of you folks, though.
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Oct 29, 2007 - 11:15pm PT
The first and only time i climbed this route was with Jeff Perrin, and Walt Shipley as audience, and chief heckler.

Jeff lead the first pitch and i was seconding.

We lost Walt on the hike in, and had no idea where he was.

I start climbing and was immediately aware that Walt has arrived, because he starts heckling me.

I am focused on the moves and i don't look down to see where Walt is, but i am very aware of his presence.

He is critiquing my every move, and yelling up suggestions.

"Dyno, lieback, smear, edge, mantle"

The climbing is not very difficult, and i am not having any trouble with the moves. Walt is just entertaining himself by trying to make me fall.

I get up to the traverse section of the first pitch, and i get a little gripped looking at the possible penji that i am going to take if i fall.

This route is well within my ability, but at that time i was a little light in the nerves department.

I have found that as i get older, i am a lot more cautious, and lot less bold than i was twenty years and twenty pounds ago, but that is another story.

As I start off on the traverse, Walt launches in to a new tirade.
"You're blowing the sequence, you're gonna fall, you're gonna die"

I am slowly inching across the traverse and trying to count how many moves i have left to the belay.

Walt doesn't let up, "if you die, can i have your car?"

I finally tell Walt to shut the f@#k up, and he does.

I am one move away from the slings and in my haste to get there, i have actually messed up the sequence. I want to do this clean, but it would be so easy to grab the anchor. I am trying to find a way to reverse the move, and i hear Walt yell, "Grab the sling ya poser!"

I am able to reverse the move and finish the pitch cleanly. I clip in to the anchor, and immediately look down at Walt.

I was not prepared for what i saw.

Walt is semi crouched, and leaning against a rock in the sun.

He is naked, and holding a beer.

I look at Jeff, shake my head, and then look back at Walt and ask him, "what in the F#@K are you doing?"

He does not respond, and he is just staring out in to The Wonderland.

I again call out to him, "Walt, what are you doing?"

Without looking up, he finally responds: "I am coping some rays, taking a sh#t, drinking a beer, and laughing at you. I am enjoying life, man"

I miss you Walt, and will never forget all the good times that we had on and off the stone, and our great conversations.

Zip
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Oct 29, 2007 - 11:15pm PT
I love the Reardon video where the climber is leading about twenty feet out from his last pro and about to mantle onto a small ledge and safety. Is that the second pitch? You can tell the man is tired. The cameraman (Reardon?) and others are all cheering him on. It's cool.
Zander
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:09am PT
The climb is a masterpiece, and Dave Evans (with the help of his belay boy R. Vogel) is a genius. Calling the climb anything less than * is hilarious.

crøtch

climber
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:11am PT
Nice shots Chiloe. Is that Chiloe Jr. on lead there? Must have been a great day.
WBraun

climber
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:14am PT
Zip

Thanks for the Walt show story. Never heard that one.
susan peplow

climber
www.joshuatreevacationhomes.com
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:33am PT
This is no Shipley story but still kinda funny. After much discussion and some coaxing I convenience Russ to go out to the Astro Domes. Anything further than 100 ft from the parking lot is considered a hike so it takes a few times for him to agree.

Ultimately I believe he was persuaded by the fact that nearly 30 years (at the time) of climbing in Josh he had never climbed the route. This was swell for me, as I wouldn't (thank goodness) have to lead it.

After taking 20% longer to find the domes and walking around Don Juan Boulder 3 times we finally get to the base. To our surprise, no line but plenty of people milling about across the way and down at the South Dome.

Russ launches off, really putting on a clinic for me on how to use stiff shoes to edge on a route that I would smear the crap out of. Clip, Clip... clip, clip clip. That seemed easy enough. Then the traverse. Suddenly the stream of spewing starts to dwindle. Maybe some bitching about shoes, rubber, too cold, too hot, hate the wind, hate the sun... I don't remember exactly what was all said but he hangs in there and heads to the covited ledge hold. Just as he's pulling this off a voice from across the way say's, "man, he's goin' for it".

Once the anchor was set, Russ yells something to the effect of "casual" down to me.

~Susan

BTW, the 2 & 3rd pitch can easily be linked.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:41am PT
zip and susan- great stories well told of storied characters let loose on an unsuspecting landscape - figures on the landscape of our little history.

-JelloOnTheMountain
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2007 - 12:44am PT


BTW, the 2 & 3rd pitch can easily be linked.

We knew that but had a different vision. 3 guys, 3 leads.
Cams 'n jams, pitch 3 is the Dad-friendly one.





Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:59am PT
Once, prolly late '80's, I was sitting across from this route on the sunny ledges there, watching a guy stylin' his way up the first pitch. He had climbed up to where you clip a bolt and begin the long traverse right, but he didn't clip the bolt right away - being all secure and confident and all. He just hung out there posing, hanging out off this flake looking around and takin' his time. Then the flake broke off in his hand. He went for what would certainly be a big fall. The next bolt below - the one under the little flap where you undercling up and a bit left - popped out of the rock without slowing him down and he continued his downward plummet into the treetops where he was caught by the belayer.

To this day, if you take a close look at the rock around that bolt under the flap (it must be about the 4th one on the pitch) you can see the dish in the rock with just a wee bit of the old 1/4" hole at it's bottom, where that bolt blew out.

Anyone know who this guy was or ever hear about this wild whipper? It was something to see.
susan peplow

climber
www.joshuatreevacationhomes.com
Oct 30, 2007 - 01:40am PT
Chiloe,

Those are really nice photos you've posted. Happy faces on beautiful patina rock. We appreciate you sharing and sending us down the path of days past and in my case, the now revised tick list.

Maybe we'll loop around and do that Room to Shroom that's been on my list for several years now while we're out there.

Yeah, that's the ticket!

~Susan
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 30, 2007 - 01:43am PT
The first half of Room to Shroom is nice - maybe 20 metres of climbing up a steep crack. But then it's all over - a scruffy low angle traverse to a tree. Worth doing once, especially if you're up near the Astro Domes.

Sounds like Russ missed the offwidth variation to the traverse on the first pitch of Figures. Darn!
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Oct 30, 2007 - 01:48am PT
Chiloe,
Out there with your son. That is so cool. Any day out having fun with my sons (22 and 25) is great. But climbing Figures on a Landscape, that must have been so wonderful for you.
Thanks,
Zander

(edited)
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2007 - 10:08am PT
son(s)

Ah, he’s singular.

Dave and I had been out this way once before. We climbed Solid Gold with Leslie when he was 15.
Life’s mandala turns, he’s the ropegun now.




Wildfire sunset.

scuffy b

climber
The deck above the 5
Oct 30, 2007 - 11:56am PT
Where Was I?
First, the obvious answer. I was in Joshua Tree, North Astrodome, Figures on a Landscape. That’s not the real answer, though, because that’s not the real question.
I don’t mean to ask, “WHERE was I” but rather Where was “I”, that is, the guy
I am used to encountering and talking to and being counseled by when I am on the
sharp end.
When we got to the dome, looked at the guide, at the rock, guide/rock/guide/rock,
figured out where exactly it was that we were going, the inevitable question arose:
“Well, Mr. Moyles, are you going to lead this thing?” Well, yeah, sure. Why didn’t
that perk me right up? OK, rack up. Followed my week-long tendency to take about
2.4 times what I could possibly use on the climb. Steve, are you there? Yeah, sure.
Are you sure? Yeah, I guess so.
Harness up. Chalk bag. Tie that water knot. Shoe up. There yet? Well, tie in then.
On belay? Climbing then. Calling all Steve. I guess he’ll show up in a few moves.
Looks hard. No it doesn’t, this is just the kind of thing you do. Yeah, I guess you’re
right. It wasn’t that bad. This next bit looks scary, though. No it doesn’t, just look at
that edge you’ll be standing on. Look, just stand up, see, that’s how it works. Yeah,
it looks just like something I know how to do. It even looks like something I’d
really like. If only I were here to enjoy it. It’s nice hearing the occasional “nice move”
from the ground, but I want to be hearing it from Here! Where are you, anyway?
So there I am, grinding along in this fatalistic mindset, intellectually filing away
sensations: Look over there, Steve, isn’t that pretty? Didn’t that move feel cool?
Yeah, I guess, whatever…
It helps out some when I get to a spot with an actual choice of moves. The obvious way
has a move that feels less than 100% secure in the hand, and though I know it would
usually be perfectly fine, I come back down to the stance and check out an alternative
to the side. It has smaller holds but is more of the rock-onto-solid-edge-stand-up type
which the climb has been so far. This way works out great for me. It’s really secure
and the “route finding” episode has stripped a layer of fuzz away, leaving me only
with about 3 spiritual sweaters between me and the fresh air. Hello? Not here yet.
I think he might be just around the corner, though. Well, just keep climbing, he might
show up. I make my way to the first anchor, the old one. From the ground: “Don’t
stop there, go to the next anchor.” OK, this next bit looks more, um, demanding. Do
you think you might want to Pay Attention now? All right, remember you have to
protect this traverse. Stuff that thing in there. That’s fine. Step on over here. Get more
stuff. Good. Uh-oh, it gets hard. Have to start yelling at myself. “Come on. Use that
foot. Wake up. Do it right. Will you just do it right? Come on, Steve. Climb this thing.” And suddenly, I was right there with me, where I should have been all along.
I got that good hold, and I was wide awake on the middle of a nice exposed face, stepping
to that stance, clipping the anchor bolts, as happy as if I had been climbing the whole
time instead of watching somebody else do it through a helmet cam. What a climb! I
wish I’d been here to enjoy it.
“Off Belay!”
“Belay Off. It sounds like you found religion up there.”
Jesus, I don’t need this crap.
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:29pm PT
In 1978 I was way out west visiting and climbing With Maria C.
We were at the base during the 1st ascent of Figures. If I remember it was Randy, Dave and Jim Angione climbing and a small crowd of others gawking. There were some tense moment still the FFA was beautifully done. They all considered this route to have been a real monkey on their backs, which was the working title at that time, and were real glad to be done with it. I clearly remember pimpin' Randy to call it by his alternate name Figures on a Landscape and not Monkey on my Back. Figures on a Landscape was so much more poignant and poetic a name than Monkey on my Back.
Maria and I went back the next day for the 2nd FA. We had the whole Wonderland to ourselves and were greated at the approach by an incredible herd of desert big horn sheep. We felt blessed by good omens! Though nervous I led pitch 1 in my best style with only the big horns for an audience. Of course Maria made the 2nd pitch look like ballet. And I really enjoyed the 3rd. Wow that was a fabulous route! I am glad it is still highly regarded and not considered a "moderate trade route".
mingus

Trad climber
Grand Junction, Colorado
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:41pm PT
"Steve. Climb this thing.” And suddenly, I was right there with me, where I should have been all along.
I got that good hold, and I was wide awake on the middle of a nice exposed face, stepping
to that stance, clipping the anchor bolts, as happy as if I had been climbing the whole
time instead of watching somebody else do it through a helmet cam. What a climb! I
wish I’d been here to enjoy it."

Scuffy B,
That Zen daddy Dogen would have been proud of such an accurate rendering of the conversation between the self and the 'self'. You made my morning.




L

climber
The cinders of California...
Oct 30, 2007 - 12:43pm PT
Beautiful photos Chiloe. Thanks for sharing such a stellar day with us.

And I'm with you--Figures is one of the best for variety, scenery, and good ol' Joshua Tree face climbing. Oh yes, and having the poo scared out of you on the traverse...especially if you're the second.
AKDOG

Mountain climber
Anchorage, AK
Oct 30, 2007 - 01:05pm PT
What a great route. DE is the man.
Susan, the Fish has a poor memory; I climbed the route with him back in the early 1980’s? Back when he used to hike and we belayed using hip belays. I led the first pitch to a hanging belay, I don’t know if they moved the belay or not but at the time some people thought it should be moved as it was bolts in a flake. Russ took the second pitch and pitches off ending up hanging below me. He retools and then fired the pitch. When I think back it seems incredible that we used to climb with hip belays and I cannot remember anyone being dropped.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Oct 30, 2007 - 01:25pm PT
DE is (and has always been a visionary). In the case of Figures I did want to clarify the record as I recall and set the record straight.

Craig Fry first found the route and dragged myself and later Dave (and Randy) along to implement the arduous and scary process of bolting and climbing the thing. Craig's boldness and imagination were evident in his visualization of this fantastic route whilst looking up at that blank (and bolt-free) wall back in the mid-70's.

Unfortunately for Craig (and myself), we were elsewhere on the weekend that the other bros got to the summit and therefore were not technically on the FA. Craig does deserve credit for having the Cajones to see the finished masterpeice in the blank slab and then
start up the think with EBs, swami belt, hand-drill and 1/4 inch bolds on his side.

To my friends and brothers, thanks for all you have contributed to our "sport" and taught me while on the sharp end!
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Oct 30, 2007 - 01:39pm PT
I remember Spencer Leonard, another visionary climber, being around during the FFA of Monkey/Figures. Maria explained the sturm und drang of Figures/Monkey amd SaS and I was surprised at how mello and even encouraging Spencer was about having this obviously plumb line kind of poached. I also recall one of the lads winging big off the 2nd pitch onto the hanging belay. Scary!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Oct 30, 2007 - 01:45pm PT
cool-- let's hear more descriptions of the fa. i've heard so many different stories about why that hanging belay went in.

honestly, although the hang was really contrived, coming as it did a few moves from an obvious hands-down ledge, it made the second pitch more enjoyable.

Figures is one of the very few multi-pitch routes at josh where each pitch is really quality.

looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Oct 30, 2007 - 03:12pm PT
Per usual, people get the story right and wrong. Craig is right that he and Spencer spied the line when they were doing the FA of the classic Such A Savage. It is also true that I had seen the line and talked to Dave Evans about it. Probably others had seen it as well.

Spencer, Craig, Dave and I all talk about it and decide to go out together and do this route as a joint effort and then do all head out to the Astro Domes. I talked a load of BS about how we were not going to use aid to place bolts on this route the way Craig and Spencer had done on Such A Savage. I was full of myself and certainly pretty insufferable.

We all get to the face and Craig may have placed the first bolt and maybe DE placed the 2nd/3rd bolt that day. Daylight is fading, we all vow to return.

In the interim, Spencer moves to Santa Cruz (or is otherwise MIA) [edit: Craig was there this second day out, but put duty in as belayer, etc. so I deleted some incorrect references here] DE places another bolt (or two) and it is my turn to take the sharp end (and the dull 1/4" hand drill). I remember clearly to this day climbing up to that small overlap (not sure if DE had already placed the bolt there or if I did).

Above, it was hard to tell where the next stance would be. After some hesitation, I just pulled over the overlap and headed up into the unknown. It seemed a long ways (it really isn’t), but then a thank-god stance and a bolt. From here, the natural line was (yes they exist on face climbs too) to head to the right, aiming for the ledge-like feature far to the right.

Easy traversing lead to a large double sided flake/feature. I placed a questionable stopper on the left side of the flake (I couldn't let go with two hands to drill) and decided to keep going for the obvious ledge.

Dave was (as always) very encouraging as I headed on. Twice I was able to just able to touch the left end of the ledge, but couldn't (wouldn't) commit to the last few moves. Each time I reversed the climbing to the flake and tried to shake out (and inspected the nut for more perhaps confidence – it didn’t inspire).

Eventually, I just caved and wimped out. I couldn't see my way to doing the last moves off the nut. My mind couldn’t shake the vision of a long arcing fall to the last bolt (as the nut pulled). I pulled out a hook, put it on the flake and drilled a bolt. Justifiably, I was mercilessly heckled from below (hubris gone awry). So, I "justified" my hypocrisy by declaring it a belay and putting two bolts in.

Dave followed up to the new belay anchor. [new edit: At this point, we bailed and vowed to come back another day. It was on the subsequent "third day" described as follows that DE and I went out to Figures sans Craig]. With a close belay, two sold anchor bolts (and DE's good vibes despite my "ethical transgression"), I was able to do the moves to the ledge. Mentally, I berated myself for not going for it off the nut (but subsequently “justified” the bolts as keeping the route from being a “death” climb). I placed a bolt off the ledge and one more higher up until reaching the crack and ledge belay.

DE followed the pitch with style and then lead the last 5.9 crack pitch to the summit. We "justifiably" felt we had done something pretty special.

[Personal observations deleted]
scuffy b

climber
The deck above the 5
Oct 30, 2007 - 04:14pm PT
So...is this brouhaha what caused Craig to go out and found the
Sheep Buggerers?
susan peplow

climber
www.joshuatreevacationhomes.com
Oct 30, 2007 - 04:46pm PT
Randy, so to paraphrase, you got Snail-Eye™ and placed two bolts and claimed them as an anchor.

Right On!

~Susan

AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 30, 2007 - 05:31pm PT
Ya those moves to the ledge right of the old belay. I led the route 20 some odd years ago and the 1st pitch seemed pretty straight forward.
2nd pitch I started climbing right of the belay. All of a sudden it seemed pretty dicey with a high potential for f###ups so I backtracked and figured out the inobvious but easier sequence.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Oct 30, 2007 - 06:18pm PT
Randy, so to paraphrase, you got Snail-Eye™ and placed two bolts and claimed them as an anchor.

That about sums it up.

In later years, climbers added bolts (made a new belay anchor) at the ledge -- which really is the logical place to stop; sorta fixing my faux pas™ in the process.
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Oct 30, 2007 - 06:19pm PT
scruffy B wrote "So...is this brouhaha what caused Craig to go out and found the Sheep Buggerers? "

ha ha ha

speaking of Sheep Buggers, AKdog paid homage to the hip belay. We've all caught some burly meat-on-the-hoof, yes?

I landed a 200 lb. Greg Byrnes (aka The Driver)on about a 30 footer (El Camino Real...) with a hip belay. easy catch

more thread drift- how 'bout that long-ago chopped Power Fingers? I wonder if it ever saw a 2nd ascent before it's demise?
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Oct 30, 2007 - 07:11pm PT
Who were the "Sheep Buggerers" and why were they founded by Craig Fry anyway? Did they fill a void?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 30, 2007 - 09:30pm PT
Yes, yes, a void, but an opporutnity too: for Craig, ever so humble, rarely allows himself the laurels so rightly bestowed upon him for wearing the formidable crown of the Sheepbuggerers!

I never understood why Craig demured as their main man, although, after getting dropped like a bad habit from the much heralded FA on that stellar Figures on a Landscape thing, which indeed had to be tuff crow to chew, he did an admirable job patching up his rep by spearheading those Sheepbuggerer’s adventures. After all, it was that erstwhile lot who started calling him "Guns", because he was their ropegun, times two...

Right on Craig, 'hope I got all that right.

Anyways ...as it happens, I was the person who drilled that second bolt on the stance after the old hanging belay of Figures, to extend the first pitch. On my first time up the route I surely used that hanging belay in the original way and while it is nice to link the moves climbing straight through to the natural stance (as it is apparently done now exclusively?), the old way of breaking the pitch bestowed a certain grandeur.

Naturally I asked one of you FA guys, if it was OK to move that belay over to the right, …right?

Really, I think Figures on a Landscape and The Last Unicorn on the Superdome are two of the absolute finest bolted lines out there in the Monument, um, I mean …Park. On those particular climbs the rock is graced with a superb patina and the steep lines navigate astoundingly beautiful formations, all with thrilling passages.

Great job with those routes boys!

Nice thread Chiloe!
jstan

climber
Oct 30, 2007 - 09:34pm PT
Hold out your hand Mr. Walling. For that last one you deserve a thwacking.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2007 - 10:08pm PT
Susan, Steelmonkey, Crotch, Zander, L, Tar ... glad y'all liked the TR. I just arrived home on the right coast and it's been fun catching up on how the thread unfolded. I figured such a wild route must have history, but had no idea what it was.

After this maybe it draws a crowd at Sushifest.


Brian Bock leading pitch 2.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Oct 30, 2007 - 10:12pm PT
Scuffy,
Great post. This whole thread is great.
Zander
Mike.

climber
Oct 30, 2007 - 10:17pm PT
Really nice entry, scuffy b.


Thanks to all who helped pioneer the classic FOAL.

Cool thread!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 30, 2007 - 10:19pm PT
How did it go? Original word was you better be solid at the grade, "Figures is a 10b for a 10c/d qualified leader".

My first trip up Figures on a Landscape, winter '80/81, pitch one, photos by Sean Curtis, RIP:








ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Oct 30, 2007 - 10:22pm PT
I was confused about the traverse being on the first pitch but now realize the hanging belay on top of the first isn't used anymore? We did it with the hanging belay, with the traverse coming right off the bat on the second pitch. Seems like either way, that section is pretty darn exciting.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Oct 30, 2007 - 10:50pm PT
this has been a very informative thread. i obviously don't spend enough time on the internet. for instance, i didn't know that dr.f was craig. (hi, craig!)

and i had forgotten that sl and craig did the fa of sas. another great route. i happily clipped each and every bolt.

now we just need for someone to write a trip report on powerfinger.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 31, 2007 - 12:45am PT
Well, I just had to look it up. The movie name seems to have been "Figures IN a Landscape". Based on a novel by Barry England, his first, and starring Malcolm McDowell, just before he appeared in the horrific A Clockwork Orange.

An English 1970 movie, sort of an outdoors chase film ending in the mountains. Two convicts on the run, chased by a helicopter.

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?_r=1&res=940DE1DE1E3FE63ABC4152DFB166838A669EDE&oref=slogin

A thread about routes named after songs or movies or novels, or spins on their names, might be fun.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 31, 2007 - 12:50am PT
erm, Anders, like Rockwork Orange?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 31, 2007 - 12:52am PT
As long as no poodles are involved.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 31, 2007 - 01:17am PT
Hey Anders, don't you know Poodles Are People Too.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 31, 2007 - 01:18am PT
One day I was out on the sand cruising past Echo T towards More Monkey and I crossed paths with Dan Michael. I was just walking, but he was alone, "wandering the desert" and he looked pretty pumped up, not spaced out, but really juiced.

I had done some big routes with Dan and we had road tripped together, so I knew him pretty good. He'd clearly swallowed some sort of goose and a big one at that, because I could see this sideways grin, while huge amounts of light streamed from his eyes and physically, although checking in at a mere 135 pounds, he was all pumped up like a bodybuilder ready to throw down in Pumping Iron.

"All right, Dan, out with it buddy, WHAT DID YOU DO?"

He’d just solo’d Figures on a Landscape, which back then, maybe 1981, was some pretty jaunty stuff. Heck even now that has to rate as a rarely soloed item, if done at all.

Yah, the girl's name was Louise Shepard, a super accomplished Australian Lass and I had seen her looking stunningly fetching, wearing high heels around Camp 4, nearly stilettos really…
cowpoke

climber
Oct 31, 2007 - 10:56am PT
Love the TR and pics, Chiloe! Especially the shots of Dave on the sharp end (and, boy, it looks sharp!).

Great shots of Tarbuster too (sans lid).

Thinking about this route has always made my palms sweat and even more so now...
mpandy

Trad climber
Jackson Hole, WY
Oct 31, 2007 - 01:55pm PT
In 1991, my buddy and I finally got the courage to climb Figures. After hiking out there, we were bummed to realize we were second in line - arriving right when the follower was putting on his shoes.

The first bolt is up and right quite a ways - and depending on where the follower starts there can be some swing potential. So the follower steps on the rock, makes two moves, and promptly falls. As he is swinging to the right... WHAM.... his foot catches a random edge and he promptly breaks his ankle. A bad break - literally stepping off the ground.

Helicopters, litters, and the entire rescue shannagins commence.

Needless to say we didn't climb the route that day.

14 years later we finally got the courage and circumstances to do it again.....

It was.... most definitely.... worth the wait.

Here's my buddy starting the traverse....


Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Oct 31, 2007 - 02:20pm PT
"just before he appeared in the horrific A Clockwork Orange."

What's up with that?! ACO is a classic, dude. 4 Oscar nominations. There are some really central themes to the movie, such as exploring the definition of "goodness". Also it really goes at length against behavioral psychology and behavior modification. Not to mention the cinematography, dialog, etc.
The film stayed very true to the book, btw. The film is a requirement in most psych programs at universities...

You must be more into things like Cliffhanger? Bloodsport, etc? Usually the only peeps who don't care for the movie are chicks - mainly due to the rape scene, or people who don't appreciate good movies and go more for the "blockbuster hits".

How can you go wrong with a film with quotes like the following?

"Initiative comes to thems that wait."

"We were all feeling a bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it being a night of no small expenditure."

"What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got, say, pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angels' trumpets and devils' trombones. You are invited! "

"Female Psychaitrist: Yes, just tell me the first thing that comes to your mind.
Alex: Cabbages, knickers, It hasn't got A BEAK!
Female Psychaitrist: Good.

[Changes slides to a man climbing into a naked woman's bedroom]

Female Psychaitrist: "What do you want?"
Alex: No time for the ol' in-out, love. I've just come to read the meter! "

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 31, 2007 - 02:45pm PT
Yup,
And cross linking threads a bit with the Jolly Roger TR,
Clockwork is one of Erik's favorite films.

We used to buzz around in Lou's Bimmer on the way to The Needles or wherever, and "E" would recite Malcom's passages from the masterpiece...
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Oct 31, 2007 - 03:03pm PT
Happy Halloween Taco-heads,

File under: Live through this.

So in the dark ages of the early nineties when I was an impressionable and overly enthusiastic teenager I went up on figures with two teachers from the town where I grew up--Tony Condon (El Roble Middle School) and Robs Muir (Claremont High). Robs leads the first, Tony comes up, and I wait to be the third. Tony then belays Robs to the third and brings me over. Bridwell is there with a client, coming up fast beneath me, smoking while on lead, and I have to keep shuffling my feet to keep ahead of his leathered meat hooks.

Now, somewhere in there Tony apparently told me to plug on up the second pitch, on lead, clipping into Robs' draws as I went. I missed all of that and did the whole second pitch sans-bolts. I remember a high step/friction move that had me completely frozen and with the wind blowing I couldn't hear any of the yells about downclimbing and clipping a bolt at some point.

Anyhow, my dad who was at the base nearly wore a groove in the sand pacing back and forth and when we finally summited Bridwell says something like, "Nice going kid. Fall up there and you're a gonner for sure." I felt like I had arrived.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Oct 31, 2007 - 03:40pm PT
Of course, Anders is right, the movie title was Figures In a Landscape, but the slight change of preposition seemed to fit this climb to a tee. It seems that I had been to a series of old Malcolm McDowell movies shortly before doing FOAL.

One of those movies O Lucky Man (I think) involved a particularly disturbing scene in an secret - experimental "hospital" where McDowell's character discovers a person who has had his head grafted onto a pigs body.

As for ACO, it is (like most of Stanley Kubrick's movies) a classic -- a masterpiece of cinematography, thematic material, dialog and musical score. Dr. Strangelove remains my favorite Kubrick film, still poignant after all these years.

Thanks to Chiloe for the great post and photos.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Oct 31, 2007 - 04:04pm PT
Beautiful, awesome thread, it really has blossomed. Randy, I thoroughly enjoyed your (retroactively)humble rendition. That is about as close to the whole truth as is humanly possible (no sarcasm intended!).

Someone mentioned a fall taken on the FA, my memory is that no falls were taken by any of us at any time. Although, if Craig and I had pulled Randy off during his moments of aid that would have been REALLY NASTY. Nobody wants to see one of their best friends get hurt even if the friend is a bit cocky!

The last time I did the route was with Tom Sherman. In my haste on the crux section I pitched and took the big swinger! I had figured out my mistake a millisecond before falling and was able to pull it a few minutes later. My sequence involved a key backstep to reach the ledge. 10b my ass!

I have always been ultra proud of everyone's efforts on the three days involved on the FA; Randy, Spencer, Craig and myself.

Those were the days.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 31, 2007 - 04:30pm PT
A Clockwork Orange was a good movie, but still horrific. Most of Kubrick's movies were, shall we say, thought provoking.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Oct 31, 2007 - 05:24pm PT
I get a sort of sinking feeling when I read some of this bickering from guys who I always thought were close friends. I think it's a good thing to argue sometimes but I wonder if any route is worth publically hound-dogging your old partners. I suspect Craig must have gotten his feelings hurt deeply over what in everyone's mind is a So Cal classic. For whatever my opinion's worth, I think Crang's go-for-broke lead of Hyperion (11+) with the old style hexes, back in about 1895, made his work on Figures seem like light lifting indeed. Craig always downplays that Hyperion lead but we were all in awe.

So Craig you have a lot to be proud of no matter what happened on Figures.

And by the way, what the hell is going on with that pic of Dave Evans where he's all dinged up and looks like he had a head wound????

JL
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Oct 31, 2007 - 05:45pm PT
Craig, it is funny how people can read the same thing and come away with completely different ideas of what someone is saying. If it isn't clear that I have regrets about how the whole FA thing transpired, then perhaps you should re-read my posts.

It is sad to hear that you still harbor such deep resentments. As we approach the 30th aniversary of the FA it would have been nice to make amends.

We all have our own recollection of events (such is nature of memory). But we move beyond mere contradictory memories when we purport to know the experiences and thoughts of another person.
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Oct 31, 2007 - 05:51pm PT
Great tales mates! I really miss those days and all of you guys! By the way where is Mooney? (Doug Munoz)
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Oct 31, 2007 - 06:07pm PT
Craig,

Here’s my apology. Back in the day, the Sandy Bottom Boulders near Chilao was a choice little bouldering venue (I actually wrote about them on a recent ST thread).

When you were putting together your first bouldering guidebook, I gave you directions from memory which were bogus. I should have taken the time to revisit the place and get it right. I did not- and my lackadaisical attitude made your guidebook less than 100% accurate. I’ve always felt bad about that, and I am sorry I did not take more seriously the importance of giving you the good beta.

Jeff

p.s. It’s a bit moot now, since floods scoured all the sand out of the cool sandy landings, and the place is an ankle-breaking horror-fest
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 31, 2007 - 08:28pm PT
Credit where credit is due. As a sometime guidebook writer and contributor, and creator of a few routes, it seems to me that some of this could be avoided if writers provided more information about how new routes are established, and by whom. This would also help keep better track of our stories and history.

The classic example of this is the first ascent of Broad Peak in the Karakoram, in 1957. It's often credited to Wintersteller and Schmuck, simply because they got to the summit a few hours ahead of Diemberger and Buhl. Undoubtedly Wintersteller and Schmuck were the stronger pair, but the four climbed the mountain as a team. The first ascent of the Nose of El Capitan is a parallel example, but there the history of all those who contributed is noted, even though only three got to the top.

The lilac (1986) Vogel guide says: "Figures on a Landscape 5.10b * FA: Randy Vogel and Dave Evans, November 1978. (Belay bolts were drilled off a hook.)"

There seems to be more to the story than that. Others contributed to the creation of the route, even if they didn't participate in the first complete ascent. Luckily many routes are done by two or three climbers, and no more need be said. It would be impossible to note everyone in the peanut gallery as a climb is done. But it seems to me that there should be room for guidebooks to note significant contributors to new routes, at least where it may be of any importance to the people involved, or the climbing world. It's quite arbitrary that only those who get to the top seem to get credit.

Alternately, guidebooks should include a balanced history or chronology, so that these things are clear.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 31, 2007 - 09:05pm PT
Interesting observations there Anders,
Sometimes the attribution of that first complete ascent of a thing is but a crude approximation of the key personnel involved in the total effort.

Craig Man,
While in the end it is for you and you only to decide if the record has been set straight regarding your contribution to this route in particular, I think Randy has really aired out a lot of the stuff that bugged you guys at the time and he has stepped forth with a good deal of humility.

Largo was right about your strengths (not to say this is even at issue here), and all of us who were at the Josh reunion are so stoked to see so many of us still passionately invested. It's great have you here on the forum. That was a cool gesture you made in handing out the small crystals at KP’s place.

Great routes and great times, they still yield so much excitement to this day, like a gift to climbers who love to wander upward out there.

Long live the rapture of the steep and the friendships forged!

Cheers,
Roy
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 31, 2007 - 09:27pm PT
Droogs in a Still Life perhaps?!?!
Larry

Trad climber
Bisbee
Oct 31, 2007 - 09:39pm PT
Back in the day I heard that the belay was moved because the original first belay was placed in hollow rock.

Whenever I'd go out to do Figures, it was either too cold or someone was on it.

Finally one day we decided Today is the day, no matter what.

The 50 MPH gusts definitely added to the adventure. No one else on it that day.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 31, 2007 - 09:56pm PT
That belay in the potentially holow flake notion was part of the lore for sure and added weight to the idea of moving to the right. For me, at the time it was primarliy about clipping the old belay when I got to it, not hanging, then proceding clean through to first bolt of the original second pitch, where I doubled things up by adding the bolt, creating a free stance belay, thereby adding the option to lengthen pitch one, circa 87/88'.

I had gained no approval from the FA guys about actually pulling the original belay, so I just left it in place. I waited for that act to transpire by appropriate consensus, because deleting the hanging stance really changed the option range and subjective experience of the pitches. The hanging belay was sort of cool and elevated the atmosphere of the route; it added to the mystique.
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Oct 31, 2007 - 10:08pm PT
Well the pathetic truth comes out. Lookinsketchy, how can you find the guts and guile to get up in the morning? How can you face this truth and still keep your head up?
I mean, after all, no Grant, no Franklin not even a Hamilton. You sir, you cad you, used a ONE dollar bill! Oh the horror, utter heinousity of it all.



ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Oct 31, 2007 - 10:36pm PT
Well, gosh, so long as everyone is coming clean... I was not much of a 5.10 leader when I first got on this route. I took a pretty decent wipper on the second (now first?) pitch, got sketched, and my much more solid partner finished the lead. I feel a lot better now that I got that off my chest.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Oct 31, 2007 - 11:31pm PT
Craig, I just want to clarify; I don't remember who was there 30 years ago when the purported event occurred.

John, I also do think most of this bantering is really more about Craig and Randy (and others) reliving the amazing time and experience. Hopefully none of us harbors any real bad feelings. It is a new-age way for Craig and Randy to re-bond.

scuffy b

climber
The deck above the 5
Nov 1, 2007 - 02:23pm PT
You mean if Randy apologizes he gets to call you a whiner and
everything will be fine?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 1, 2007 - 02:34pm PT
I apologize to Andy Ward for climbing a line he had wire-brushed and trundled, a day of hard work for him, back in 1987. Another climber and I made the FA of his line kind of by accident, after climbing a different first pitch, but I've felt bad about our ascent ever since. Andy never whined about the affront though, at least not to me.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Nov 1, 2007 - 03:11pm PT
MH - I'd go along with guides containing "contributor" info. Sounds good.

For situations such as The Nose, which you mentioned, everyone should definitely be credited, who was involved. However, I'd still say that only the three who topped out get the FA. You can't be part of the FA if you didn't top out on the FA.

This thread supports that. Craig has stated that Randy stole the FA from him. Even if he gets credit as a contributor (which he has here) he will still feel jilted. Someone stole his FA.

I can understand this. This was talked about, briefly in another thread about Barber, Fish Crack and all kinds of things. If I spend the time cleaning something and some yahoo comes up and sends it the next day, I'm going to be pretty bent. At the least, we'd have words about this obnoxious, brash behavior and, at the least, I'd expect an apology down the road. Seems pretty reasonable. It's kinda like someone walking into your bosses office and collecting your paycheck for the last two weeks of *your* work.
Mike.

climber
Nov 1, 2007 - 03:46pm PT
"...I just want to clarify; I don't remember...:

LOL
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Nov 1, 2007 - 04:13pm PT
Well, while we're all coming clean, I was probably the perpetrator of the most shameless route thievery imaginable.

Ken Stickter and about ten other guys were working all day on what later turned out to be the classic route, "Black Tide," 5.8 (or whatever it is). The boys worked all day on the thing and got all the bolts in but bailed owing to darkness. I can't remember how it came down but we sneaked in there and dashed up the thing before they returned and we had the gall to call it "Stickter Quits." Of course we didn't bother to put in any belay bolts or any of that so when the "fist ascent" party came back and finished the thing they saw the chalk marks and had to wonder but credit went to them anyway and that's fine by me.

JL
brotherbbock

Trad climber
Nov 1, 2007 - 05:17pm PT
Wow Larry, look what our little climb last weekend strarted! Awesome thread, it's great reading the posts from all you guys out there! Once again great weekend Larry. -brian
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Nov 1, 2007 - 05:41pm PT
JL, I still call it Stichter Quits, but I was aware of the story of you jumping on it. Using your name SQ, gives the climb a story to it. Black Tide is a cool name though and you can see the black tide from so far away, makes me wonder why it didn't get put up sooner.

Oh, it's a cool route too! Although I always thought Double Dip was a bit harder because of all the frictioning involved going through the 'dips'. But that's just me.
Murf

climber
Nov 1, 2007 - 06:12pm PT

Largo,

The piccy of DE is from a boulder fall deep in the Wonderland. The way I heard it was a chance misstep leading to a 20' onto his head. It is the inspiration for the aptly named route The Melon Cracker on "The Cranium".

Hearing about it, I think we're still lucky to have him around.

-Murf
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 1, 2007 - 08:56pm PT
look what our little climb last weekend started!

Knew it would be epic when we couldn't find the trail.
Jim Wilcox

Boulder climber
Santa Barbara
Nov 1, 2007 - 09:41pm PT
"... but credit went to them anyway and that's fine by me"

Actually, Wolfe refused to acknowledge your first ascent credit in his guide books. "stichter Quits" didn't show up until the purple guide by.... Oh my god!!! This is a friggin' conspiracy!
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Nov 2, 2007 - 01:51am PT
Craig, I told you many times that "you found the route and hauled me out there"; we both placed at least a few bolts on the route, and I don't remember who else was with us. The years of repeated drugs, alcohol and sex have faded my once-clear memory. I either don't remember, or don't care.

As we have discussed, the details of who did what are far less important than the fact that we were all out there exploring. I know damn well that this whole controversy, this whole thread for that matter, are about our re-living those amazing moments, out there on the sharp end, high above the yuccas, the boulder piles, and our very mortality!
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Nov 2, 2007 - 02:12am PT
Just a couple of additional thoughts. Ho and hum...

Curt
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Nov 2, 2007 - 09:56am PT
Pithy, witty and eloquent response Curt.
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Nov 2, 2007 - 11:48am PT
Well seriously--Figures is a great route, but it is really amazing to see that all these years later people are arguing about having the route stolen from them or not getting credit for the FA, etc. The history of any route is what it is--not what appears in print in one guidebook or another.

Curt
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2007 - 11:52am PT
Was all this history written down somewhere before? It's new to me.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Nov 2, 2007 - 12:23pm PT
Curt, I must clarify. There's not really "all these people" arguing.

It seems that most everybody is focused on important stuff like staying healthy, fighting fascism, onsighting 5.12 trad routes, giving good orgasms to ones lover and making sure that endangered species don't blink out on our watch.

I, for one love all my old climbing cronies and have no interest in any hair-splitting (though I am fine if some folks want to do it).

Oh, don't forget to tell your Senator to support the Wyden/Alexander Amendment opposing Illegal Logging in Orangutan and Tiger habitat!

https://secure2.convio.net/wwf/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=189&autologin=true&AddInterest=1120&JServSessionIdr009=36lll701t2.app5b
The Schmutzvink

climber
The WAY past
Nov 2, 2007 - 12:31pm PT
i supposed i could add fat to the fire by bringing up another JT route snagging that sticks in the craw. black diamond?

but i won't.
msiddens

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Nov 2, 2007 - 12:48pm PT
Awesome picts....making my palms sweat just looking. I've gotta go do that thing and put it to rest once and for all.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Nov 2, 2007 - 05:41pm PT


Are there any injustices we are missing? You sheepbuggerers crack me up.
Brick

Social climber
SF, CA
Nov 2, 2007 - 06:13pm PT
Matter of fact, yes.

The Manx was pretty upset when you refused to buy one of those fire extinguishers he was selling door-to-door.

Sent him into a rage. He sat home and tried to eat himself to death. Ballooned up to 350, then decided to go back to fairer pastures of deep Appalachia. As a fair-thee-well gesture, he sent us all (well, you) letters that basically said “I hate you”.

That sound about right?

Actually, I think was me he hated. Rightfully so. I'm hateful.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Nov 2, 2007 - 06:17pm PT
Werd....


Plus I have always heard the Boxer did the Fry Problem (on the Fry Boulder no less!) first and gets no play on that send.
I guess you win some (Fry Problem) and lose some, (Monkey on my Back) oh well. Probably all evens out in the end.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Nov 2, 2007 - 06:31pm PT
This thread is too good to let it die (and apparently the "controversy"). So this will either be the apology Craig seeks or more fuel on the fire...(and entertainent to all the lurkers [eg:AJB]).

Obviously Craig and I disagree about (1) whether we had independently seen the route or not, and (2) whether I was a johnny come lately (arriving apparently now "a month" after CF, DE and SL had started the climb). Such is memory and I can only be truthful to my own.

What I do not think we disagree about is that on the "second day" I lead up and eventually placed the double bolt belay and we bailed for the day, vowing to return together to finish it. And it is not subject to debate that on the subsequent "third day" DE and I returned without Craig and finished the climb.

I am very sorry that we did not wait for you Craig.

Craig was an inspired, talented and motivated Josh climber. It was a pleasure to have called him a friend and to have shared time at the crags. I choose to remember and leave it at that.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Nov 2, 2007 - 07:15pm PT
"The Boxer"! hahaha

I talked with Karl a couple days ago. Nice guy. It cracks me up that he was the rope gun then...
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Nov 2, 2007 - 07:17pm PT
probably still is for our crew...... the Boxer was "hard"
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 2, 2007 - 07:22pm PT
Now that that's settled,
I wanna here more about how Craig inspired Mooney, The Manx, The Driver & The Sheepbuggerers in total to burn rubber past those slackin' Orange County Boys, The Poway Mtn Boys, The BRB (Big Rock Boys), The Uplanders, The Joe Boys, Mike, Mari, Mariah, God only knows who else and not last or least those by then sacked out Old Stonemaster Dads?

(Edit: I fergot The Scumbags, can't dich 'em)
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Nov 2, 2007 - 07:26pm PT
any great group needs a great leader...... Craig was that leader and we are thankful for him.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 2, 2007 - 07:34pm PT
That's what I'm talking about Mussy: credit where it's due.
Plus, what with Largo's book coming out, this timely arousal of the Craig/Sheepbuggerer legacy will be much the cornerstone of the work I'd imagine.
Yah man, cool beans!
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Nov 2, 2007 - 08:14pm PT
This IS some history folks!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2007 - 08:18pm PT
One Kumbaya moment, before the history resumes in earnest ...

Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Nov 2, 2007 - 08:21pm PT
Now that's a Super shot Chiloe!
Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Nov 2, 2007 - 08:30pm PT
Rock on, Chiloe. You contribute so many wonderful photos to this site.

And this thread should go in the Hall of Fame, despite the unfortunate feud. But, that's all part of it, no?
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Nov 2, 2007 - 10:33pm PT
Randy wrote: ". . . it is not subject to debate that on the subsequent "third day" DE and I returned without Craig and finished the climb.

I am very sorry that we did not wait for you Craig.

Craig was an inspired, talented and motivated Josh climber. It was a pleasure to have called him a friend and to have shared time at the crags."

Now if that is not a total and comprehensive apology, what the hell is? It was painful to watch, mainly because I've done worse thing to friends and was never called out on it. It takes a lot of sack to write what Randy did, more than drilling bolts on hooks (which is exceedingly dicy).

JL
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Nov 2, 2007 - 10:54pm PT
Randy and Craig are both my bros;....they kick butt.......I have seen them both do some amazing things on the rocks;...many times over many years......I have lots of respect for both of them.......now that Dave Evans character;....THAT is a different story.........(just kidding...) Bravo to Randy, Craig, and Dave...( Throw in Spencer too, while you are at it....)...Didn't Matt Cox do the F A of Figures years before Dave and Randy?

Craig Fry on Standing Rock, Canyonlands



Dave Evans on Moses



Randy Vogel in The Meadows ( Dave's belay boy on Figures....)

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 3, 2007 - 12:52am PT
Chiloe,
That summit photo is so cool!
Which one is your boy,
Dave, in the center yah?
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Nov 3, 2007 - 01:07am PT
Hey, that looks like a Solid Rock Climbing Gym shirt on the right in that summit shot Larry...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 11:20am PT
Roy, Greg -- yah to both.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Nov 3, 2007 - 11:59am PT
Well Largo you are right. Matt actually did the FA of Figures several years before with Yabo. I didn't want to say anything about this til the "controversy" had been worked out. Now that it has, I'll spill the beans.

Matt and Yabo had seen the route while hiking through the Wonderland, tripping on acid and arguing about who was the toughest alpha-male in the winter of 76'.

Matt led the first pitch with sparse natural pro that included tiny Chouinard wires and at least two old pitons. There were a few of us at the base and we were absolutely terrified that we were going to have to carry Matt's hulky corpse back out and explain to his (Republican) dad what had happened. I still remember the sound of Matt's fingernails grinding on tiny edges as we shivered in the shade in the fall-zone.

I believe Matt and Yabo actually named the route "Cataclysm", but I don't quite remember for sure.

If anyone is capable of channeling I'd suggest calling up Yabo (or Matt) and getting all the details......

Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Nov 3, 2007 - 04:08pm PT
oooooooo....

Howdy Spencer! Michael Paul here...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 3, 2007 - 04:15pm PT
Bravo Spencer!

But the spirit of life keeps us strong,
And the spirit of life, is the will to carry on...
-Dead Can Dance
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Nov 3, 2007 - 05:23pm PT
Good to hear from you Mike. I recall your amazing transition from a buck-toothed and red-headed squirt to a hulking, re-headed 5.13 climbing gorilla.

Randy, is there a genetic connection between red-headedness and bold, hard climbing?

So when is our next rager at Josh?

----------------------------------------------------------


Tarbuster, I quite clearly remember Largo asking you for anti-inflamatories in the parking lot after a grueling boulder session. "Wwwwoooo man Roy, can you kick down some motrin?"

You fumbled through your trousers like a true sub-man and came up with the pills.

It was an archtypal moment...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 3, 2007 - 05:35pm PT
Haha!
Hahahahaha!

I somehow remember that too Spence.
And other times: a ride in a car, bit of chalk, chapstick, amber inch off the whiskey bottle, pipeload:
And always if you had it, you gave it in mildly ecstatic supplication!

Roy Boy
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Nov 3, 2007 - 07:23pm PT
My turn to fan the flames.
Craig, you got the credit for being the founding father of the Sheep Buggerers. That's gold dude. Nothing I've ever done measures up to that. Kick your feet up, light a cigar, crack a beer and bask in the glory while The Fish, Driver, Manx, Mooney,Tar, E,Freriks, Boogs, Swelly, Larabee, Vicky, The Kid, Schmutzfink and all the rest of us bow down (I'm one too, right you guys?).
Take a deep breath and let the Figures thing go. It's water off a ducks back, it don't mean shite.
Your best friend,
DE

ps. I can't remember what discipline your doctorate came from, eh?

pps.Murph, thanks for answering John's question about the cracked melon, that one hurt.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Nov 3, 2007 - 09:38pm PT
I'm ba-ack! A quick mtn. bike ride and I feel GOOD.

However, I must come clean and apologize to whoever you are who started the route we called "Yardy Hoo and Away." I stole a route and I must beg your forgiveness. Sorry.
There, I've done it and you know, I feel so much better!!
Whew!

While I'm at it maybe I should apologize to Chiloe for participating in the thread hijack. Sorry you guys. You look like a harmonious group of friends in that summit shot.

Hmm....can't think of anyone else to apologize to right now. I know there are more of you out there...I've effed up more than a few times in my life.

Ah, time to crack a ghetto malt!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 10:36pm PT
While I'm at it maybe I should apologize to Chiloe for participating in the thread hijack.
Sorry you guys. You look like a harmonious group of friends in that summit shot.


Hah! No apology needed -- far from it.
I hoped this thread would turn towards other folks' stories about the climb itself, not just our 1,842nd ascent.
It's done that in spades.

That's why I named the thread "Figures on a Landscape," instead of "Figures on a Landscape (TR)."

cheers,
L
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Nov 4, 2007 - 04:30pm PT
Here is a little sidebar on the melon cracking incident.
AJ and I have spent the last few years searching out the remaining unclimbed splitters in the northern end of the monument. We have scoured the upper Rattlesnake, Valley of the Kings and environs. It took us several forays to find the Witch Hunt (not a splitter) but every time we found sweet consolations up there.On that occasion he had sprinted ahead, scrambled over house sized blocks, squeezed through a couple chasms and found the formation we called the Cranium.It had two beautiful fractures which we climbed, one 10a and the other 10+, and a fantastic position overlooking the Valley of the Kings.
I was scrambling around the base which is perched on a ledge system above a 100-200' cliff. A few feet above where he was sitting I stepped up on a football sized knob which we had both previously stood on and it popped. I launched over backwards and caught a glimpse of A trying desperately to grab me as I flung towards the abyss. He couldn't stop such momentum and I went head first into a rock filled chimney and squarely torpedoed head first into a rock in the center of a small sandy area after a 20+ foot airball, what luck! At least I hadn't gone off the cliff below.I was pretty stunned, literally seeing stars and it took quite a while to shake it off. I had a 4 inch H shaped cut on the top of my noggin and there was a significant amount of blood. I was done climbing for the day!
Moral of the story: old guy needs to be more careful and maybe even wear a helmet. Put the helmet on when getting out of bed and take it off when going to bed, yeah right!
Cheers!
Murf

climber
Nov 5, 2007 - 12:49pm PT

Dr. F,

Rather than frying™ about the past, I offer this consolation prize. I will sell the location of a prized 5.12 FA in JT that Randy is obsessing over. I have to say, its not *'s, but it is good.

All I ask is that you guarantee me that you'll have no good memories of the experience. Not a single shred of an image of hanging with good bros, feeling the experience of new moves, and figuring out that it will go. Yes, even 25 years later, I want the single greatest result of my betrayal be that you feel sweet justification of righting a horrible past transgression. I want you to promise never to apologize, never give up the sweet nectar of revenge.

I know it won't make up for the grievous ill perpetuated upon you by that that black heart guidebook author, but maybe it will be a start.

Or maybe you could call up Spencer, DE, and Randy and go climb Figures again. Drink some malt beverage, have some laughs. Get Epi to take shots and do a freakin' Climbing Cover. I'd buy that issue.

-Murf
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Nov 5, 2007 - 01:01pm PT
"Or maybe you could call up Spencer, DE, and Randy and go climb Figures again. Drink some malt beverage, have some laughs. Get Epi to take shots and do a freakin' Climbing Cover. I'd buy that issue."

-Murf

That Murf is on to something. I'd buy two. One just for the 'little library'.

I am just glad to have done the beautiful route at all.
It seems almost beyond real that it was done before the bolts.
If that is in fact true then I am staggered by the boldness and greatness of that ascent.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Nov 5, 2007 - 01:21pm PT
it is really interesting that this thread took a wild right turn with Hashbro's casual comment that Matt and Yabo did this route years before, but nobody seems to have quite noticed (Hashbro - letting the thread play out before showing all your cards was great). Did those guys really do this route to the top with no bolts (yow!)? Hashbro - are you playing with everyone here? Are there a few more layers that only the insiders can appreciate?
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Nov 6, 2007 - 01:34pm PT
Mike, in response to your query about Matt and Ybo on the "true" FA of Figures it must be stated that the boys were observed (and Matt dangerously leading without bolts) a route in the narly exact location of Figures several years before the controversial bolted acsent of the route.

Since Matt (and Yabo) often climbed routes back then (in true Gritstone style) where a fall would be injurious or possibly fatal, news of their ascent was not eyebrow raising.

In approximately 1977, several of us (including a highly inebriated EE,Yabo and others of the clan) were re-grouping over beers and other contraband in Hidden Valley it was mentioned that the mystery route Matt and Yabo had completed was in fact Figures two years before the bolted FA. Soem folks said this was a bunch of balony, but Yabo sweared Matt had actually led the route (with some slight variations to find micro-cracks for "protection"). At this point the story is only a rumour and myth. Since the players were legendary for their cajones, insane boldness and attraction to the life/death edge, I tend to actually believe the story.

---------------------------------------------------------


Craig, remember that reality is always slanted by the perciever. Einstein proved this with physics and now you and Randy are proving it with synapses.

May Yabo's spirit climb all of the scary and dangerous routes we never could muster in the "real" world.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2007 - 10:22pm PT
Mike, in response to your query about Matt and Ybo on the "true" FA of Figures it must be stated that the boys were observed (and Matt dangerously leading without bolts) a route in the narly exact location of Figures several years before the controversial bolted acsent of the route.

Way radical if it happened. I've looked again at my photos of P1 and so far as I can see there are only about 3 places on that pitch you might hope to place gear, none of them near the cruxes -- the first about 50 feet up, past two 5.10 sections. Did I miss something? With all the holds untested, plenty of flakey looseness you'd have to assume, nothing at all from the middle flakes on the P1 traverse to the easy crack at the top of P2 about 70 feet higher, and none of our modern knowledge that it all goes at "just" 5.10b (it looks harder) -- hard to imagine launching through all that with no pro, at least from my mortal perspective.

If it was "nearly the exact location," where else could it go?
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Nov 7, 2007 - 11:25am PT
Matt was badass! Yabo was too, but that goes without saying.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 7, 2007 - 05:13pm PT
People at the time - late 1970s, early 1980s - were doing other scary runout routes. Perilous Journey in Boulder. The Bachar-Yerian in Tuolumne. Things on Middle Cathedral and maybe Glacier Point. A few things on the Apron at Squamish. A very few of them were never recorded or publicized, and later had "first" ascents, often with bolts added - a route on Mt. Habrich, behind Squamish, comes to mind.

Some of those routes were very close to lead standards of the time, but most of them somewhat below that.

Figures is a great route, and quite stout even with the bolts it has. It's entirely believable that it had an earlier ascent, given the abilities of the climbers involved, though with the formation that was climbed, I'd have guessed they would have said more about what they'd done.
barbarianism

Trad climber
Blurgemanvilletowne
Dec 10, 2007 - 01:46am PT
So, WhAt AbOuT YaBo?

Apocalypsenow

Trad climber
Cali
Dec 10, 2007 - 01:54am PT
"Rangers Wear Panties" is by far the best 10b in the park.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 10, 2007 - 04:41pm PT
So, WhAt AbOuT YaBo?

I wondered about that too. Feels like the thread had a cliffhanger ending, if that's all the farther it goes.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 10, 2007 - 07:51pm PT
Jeebus Craig,
I can understand the sour grapes per the FA bolting reportage,
But that's no reason to spoil the high bannered mythology of your valiant predecessors.
Like, how young were your kids when you busted 'em on Santa Claws?
hashbro

Trad climber
Mental Physics........
Dec 11, 2007 - 01:22am PT
Yeah Craig, chill out a bit.

I understand you are an extreme cynic, but this might be your best
opportunity become a new-aged guy, open you heart chakra and learn to forgive and forget. Are you sure Yabo and Matt were not there first, and would it really matter if they had?

Think of what happened on Illusion Dweller with Tobin and Gib also being convinced they were doing the FFA when in fact Matt et al had done it at least a year earlier with no bolts. According to some that's what did happen on Figures.

Don't get stuck in assumptions bro.....
Oddchick? Wingnut? Strangechick? Freakazoid?

Trad climber
Pollack Pines
Dec 23, 2007 - 11:47pm PT
So, what's the verdict? Did it happen or not?
Ezra

Trad climber
WA, NC
Apr 12, 2008 - 01:51pm PT
Bump for the Real Deal!
Oddchick? Wingnut? Strangechick? Freakazoid?

Trad climber
Pollack Pines
Apr 13, 2008 - 02:01am PT
After everything that has been said I am convinced that Matt and Yabo actually did the real first ascent with Vogal and Evans conspired to mis-report and eventually steal the route.

This is an outrage!

There just outta be a law!

Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Apr 14, 2008 - 10:50am PT
bumb
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 25, 2008 - 12:07am PT
This thread pretty much has it all, though a few more pictures might be nice. Plus as it's an anniversary, it needs to be bumped - Ed and Munge aren't the only people allowed to do that.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol, CA
Nov 25, 2008 - 01:24am PT
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2008 - 11:19am PT
Mighty Hiker:
This thread pretty much has it all, though a few more pictures might be nice.

Jerry's picture (previous page) of the second pitch is a fine one.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2008 - 11:20am PT
Not in the same class at all, but here's an end-of-day shot.

Rudder

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
Dec 2, 2008 - 04:01am PT
"""The act of the first ascent was a team effort, Randy broke up the team, and took something from me that was important (as noted, one of the best routes in JT), thats stealing."""

Craig, I just wanted to say, nothing written in a guide book takes away from what you envisioned or what you started to put up. If you were doing it strictly for the recognition, then yeah, you got robbed. If you were doing it because it was a spectacular thing to do... you still own that.

This coming from a 48 year old "regular climber" that has been watching the leading edge climbers for over 30 years. I dream about having the imagination and nerve that you FAsionists have. I'm in awe of all of you, from John Long to Dean Potter... just in awe.

BTW, did Figures when I was 38... best climb and best lead of my life... I still shake thinking about it. Such a Savage was amazing, too. Great route!
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Oct 9, 2010 - 08:38pm PT
Figures on a Bumpscape.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Oct 10, 2010 - 01:48pm PT
30th Anniv. Ascent



photo Kevin Powell
Pate

Trad climber
Oct 10, 2010 - 01:59pm PT
^ My favorite view of Disfigured On A Manscape. The sucker traverse.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Oct 10, 2010 - 02:56pm PT
Years ago I witnessed a remarkable fall on Figures. I was sitting across on the sunny side watching a strong confident fellow leading the first pitch. He was up at the bolt you clip before heading across the traverse, but had not clipped it yet. He was leaning out a bit, holding on to a good flake and taking in the view when the flake broke.

The next bolt below was under that flap you can see at the bottom of KP’s photo posted above, below the frame of the photo. It broke out of the rock. If you do the route you can still see the dish in the rock, and the very last bit of the old ¼” hole there next to the newer bolt if you look for it.

The guy fell down into the treetops, but was safely caught and not injured. I was not the only one to see this, perhaps the climber, his belayer or another witness will recall?

I also remember that Julie Lazar walked over under the climb after the fall and picked up an old 1/4" bolt. Of course the hanger was still clipped to the guys rope. This could have been the bolt which pulled, or perhaps it was dropped by someone during the second ascent...
hooblie

climber
from where the anecdotes roam
Oct 10, 2010 - 03:04pm PT
beautiful picture. but then i happen to like white shirts.
away is such a great place to photograph from.

... still trying to take my eyes off it
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Oct 10, 2010 - 05:41pm PT
^^^^ Classic Radical ^^^^
bjj

climber
beyond the sun
Oct 10, 2010 - 08:19pm PT
ttt for figures. I've done that route 4 times. Once did it 2 times in a row. Led every pitch, followed every pitch. Never fell off (yay me). Suits my style perfectly; bordering on steep - delicate, balancey, technical - no need to pull hard, relax the grip and let the calves do all the work.

It is just exquisite. The cold winds do blow out there. Several times, my snot was leading the way.
tonesfrommars

Trad climber
California
Oct 11, 2010 - 12:15am PT
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Oct 11, 2010 - 12:45am PT
Tones - We really need a photo credit and ID of the climbers on that one...

Obviously from back in the day when the belay was still located halfway across the traverse.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Oct 11, 2010 - 01:24am PT
RK & SG, no?

What a crazy thread! What a crazy climb! We have pictures too boot.
All that's missing now is a love triangle.
Weld_it

Trad climber
Chatsworth
Feb 1, 2011 - 11:02pm PT
Bump for some RADNESS and to DR.F's tanted second ascent
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Feb 1, 2011 - 11:14pm PT
I'll prolly never get on it. That traverse is pretty daunting. I watched a party bail on it once.

I like 10b's, but that one is ballsy. I give props to all who do it. Not to mention the lead!

Nice route.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 1, 2011 - 11:28pm PT
I have a stormy relationship with Figures myself;......I hopped on the route right after the first ascent....probably about 1978 or so. Ian Carter lead the first pitch;...did a bang up job;...cruised it. I followed no problems and we were at the hanging belay.....I lead off the belay and just at the crux, about 15 feet out from the belay, just before the stance;...I pitch;.....20 - 30 foot swinging fall directly onto the belay;.....that sucks.....after that;....we bailed;....that sucked too. Years later, tail no longer between my legs...I went back with Kelly Vaught and Malcom Best and I led all the pitches, walked the thing, declared it nothing, sent, crushed it, and didn't even get a mild pump,..didn't flench, whine, whimper, or balk......Haven't been back on the thing since;...that was in 1985;.....26 years ago.....probably over due to return and show that climb who is master and who is slave.......afterall;...it's just up the street from my house.......................................................

Dave Evan;....man, beast, or myth................




philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Feb 1, 2011 - 11:50pm PT
reposted.

In 1978 I was way out west visiting and climbing With Maria C.
We were at the base during the 1st ascent of Figures. If I remember it was Randy, Dave and Jim Angione climbing and a small crowd of others gawking. There were some tense moment still the FFA was beautifully done. They all considered this route to have been a real monkey on their backs, which was the working title at that time, and were real glad to be done with it. I clearly remember pimpin' Randy to call it by his alternate name Figures on a Landscape and not Monkey on my Back. Figures on a Landscape was so much more poignant and poetic a name than Monkey on my Back.
Maria and I went back the next day for the 2nd FA. We had the whole Wonderland to ourselves and were greated at the approach by an incredible herd of desert big horn sheep. We felt blessed by good omens! Though nervous I led pitch 1 in my best style with only the big horns for an audience. Of course Maria made the 2nd pitch look like ballet. And I really enjoyed the 3rd. Wow that was a fabulous route! I am glad it is still highly regarded and not considered a "moderate trade route".
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Feb 1, 2011 - 11:54pm PT
It IS a really cool route.....props to the FA team. F*#k!!!! Ballsy!
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
Feb 2, 2011 - 12:25am PT
Climbing BUMP

also I just noticed Ksolem posted a story in 2007 on this thread and then retold the same story in 2010....it's OK Kris, it's a good story!
Cancer Boy

Trad climber
Freedonia
Feb 2, 2011 - 12:47am PT
Beautiful improbable line. Just enough bolts. Always thought that one of the later run out pitches was the mental crux - dfu terrain for sure. I have always given RV (and the rest of you, now) tremendous praise for this one.

There is another heady RV route called 'Fred' at Tahquitz that made for one of my best days climbing. Not quite so picturesque, but considerably more demanding. Was 10d when I did it, and I think since upgraded. Highly recommended if you like the demands of the sharp end. I'm interested to hear stories (lookin sketchy?) of first or later ascents, if anybody has been up on it.

 CB
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 2, 2011 - 01:29am PT
Fred is a classic. Wasn't Chas Cole in on that gig?

.10d is a good grade, some will say .11a. No harder than that but kinda serious.

also I just noticed Ksolem posted a story in 2007 on this thread and then retold the same story in 2010....it's OK Kris, it's a good story!

Funny. At least both versions are consistent. That was quite a fall.
BruceAnderson

Social climber
Los Angeles
Feb 2, 2011 - 02:07am PT
I was lucky enough to do this route at the request of the awesome phot...
I was lucky enough to do this route at the request of the awesome photographer Sam Roberts. Great memory of an unforgettable day.
Credit: BruceAnderson
socalbolter

Sport climber
Silverado, CA
Feb 2, 2011 - 02:25am PT
Hey Bruce - glad to see you're climbing again. We missed you.

Just did Figures myself again a couple of months ago and it was every bit as good as I remembered it.

Get in touch if you want to share a rope sometime...
Iron Mtn.

Trad climber
Riverside, Ca.
Feb 2, 2011 - 03:39am PT
Always been a dream climb of mine, right up there with Flower of High Rank in the climbs to do before I die....
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 2, 2011 - 05:26am PT
What's it all mean......

looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Feb 2, 2011 - 01:35pm PT
Phil and Maria were definitely instrumental in my rather bull-headed decision to change the route name, but my insistence (over DE's objections) was entirely my fault.

...route called 'Fred' at Tahquitz that made for one of my best days climbing. Not quite so picturesque, but considerably more demanding. Was 10d when I did it, and I think since upgraded. Highly recommended if you like the demands of the sharp end. I'm interested to hear stories (lookin sketchy?) of first or later ascents, if anybody has been up on it.

A bit OT, but somehow seems appropriate.

Fred was one of a number of routes I had the pleasure of doing with Charles Cole (a master of many different modes of climbing). I had scoped the line a few times from Human Fright (pre-inspection on rap was considered bad style back then) and it looked like there was a line there (kinda like a Middle Cathedral type face route). [Edit: Maybe Craig told me about it. Hard to remember.]

Charles placed a pin in a small crack to protect placing the first bolt (it is now gone, but you can get a small nut there). Charles lead the hardest moves past the first bolt (which is why he is listed first on the FA). I lead the section past the second bolt (funky layback to face holds) and remember asking someone on Human Fright if it looked like there was a stance to drill a bolt up ahead (which fortunately there was).

After finishing the first pitch, we bailed and came back to put up a second pitch -- which unfortunately after about 25 feet of good climbing turns into a relatively easy crack before joining Blankety Blank.

The name was our idea (like the silly "poodle" thing) that route "names" should be more interesting and why shouldn't a climb have a "people" oriented name.
Weld_it

Trad climber
Chatsworth
Feb 2, 2011 - 07:50pm PT
^^^^

Did you hang on the RADNESS of Fred??
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 2, 2011 - 07:59pm PT
I've done P1 of Fred more times than I can remember, and P2 once, which I will never forget. It's kind of wild up there and most folks just do the first and rap.

Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 2, 2011 - 08:15pm PT
First time on it, following...first pitch of the day, cold. Fell off the crux. Reachy.

Second time, leading...first pitch of the day, cold. Fell off the crux for a cartwheeling tumbler. "Needed to get that out of my system" I tell Josh. Went back up and fired through.

Third time, leading...first pitch of the day, cold (maybe I have a learning disability?)...went back and forth, up and down at the crux for about 5 minutes looking for a less reachy sequence...didn't find one and just beared down and got it done. Finally, a non-taitned ascent.

Fourth time? Won't be one. It's a good route, but it's not 4x good.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Feb 2, 2011 - 09:27pm PT
Did you hang on the RADNESS of Fred??

No, didn't hang on any gear (if that's the question); lead and bolted from second bolt to the belay in one push.
AJB

climber
Feb 4, 2011 - 03:17am PT
Awww what the hell...long time lurker...first time poster. Least it's a climbing thread.

Flashback to 1990...I'd been climbing for maybe two years. Young and naive enough to not be scared. I'd been hooked on Figures every since I saw that pic somewhere in a catalog or magazine...I think it was of Croft. It's mid-summer...had this ridiculous idea to hike out and do it as I knew it was mostly shady. Ring up my partner and we trudge on out there in the blazing heat. It's a dry heat...riiiight. We both manage to style the first pitch to that cool hanging belay...you know the one...feeling pretty good. My partner casts off on the second...promptly blows the crux and takes the big swing...uh oh...maybe not so easy after all. Shaken and stirred he get back on it and climbs through the runout section just to the point where you transition to the slabby ledge. I'm thinking it's in the bag. Suddenly I hear "Oh shiz"....look up....see him heading on down head first...ummm yikes that was a big one. Ends up dangling about even with the belay. Some rappel shenanigans get us off the thing we limp out in the dark. Well damn that was kinda humbling.

Fast forward some twenty years later to one of those crisp blue sky Josh days. Finally do the whole rig...get extra style points for not falling or whimpering. Climbed it with some guy named Sketchy. I think he posts here sometimes...may have written a book or two. It remains to this day one of my favorite routes in the park. It really doesn't get much better.
Murf

climber
Feb 4, 2011 - 01:47pm PT

I know a guy who swears he pointed out Fred to Randy, and got scooped!

I'm not kidding.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Feb 4, 2011 - 02:17pm PT
It has been more than 30 years. Don't you think it is past time to remove the Monkey on RV's back?
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 4, 2011 - 02:51pm PT
ive done figures a number of times. but never since the belay was moved.

i've never really understood how folks fall off that traverse, let alone up above. i'm amazed that folks could do the thin moves at each of the lower bolts and then pitch off those buckets up higher.


fred, too. only did it once,, but my memory is that it was one of the few face climbs in idyllwild that actually had holds. really cool climb and it is a bit like mc.


so far as the feud goes, i expect folks will be nursing a lot of 1970s and '80s grudges well into the century.

heh

StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 4, 2011 - 03:17pm PT
I have done it several times, including several early repeats. Regardless of what it is called, definitely one of the finest routes at JT at any grade. Anyone who contributed should be proud.

I kind of agree with klk on the second pitch. Those big 'ol black plates felt pretty darn good after the the thin stuff on pitch one. The hanging belay was a big part of whole experience.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
Feb 4, 2011 - 03:36pm PT
These pics make it look way harder than it is.

Credit: Port
Credit: Port
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Feb 4, 2011 - 04:03pm PT
Dr F, I am sorry you still carry the bitter burden of regret.

FOAL is a tremendous and highly regarded route. Your contributions should be fully recognized.
I know the emotions and motivations of both sides of this biscuit. I have had routes jumped and I have jumped routes. I have been driven and I've been drubbed.

Hell, if it weren't for those cretins from Colorado Springs stealing at least a dozen Black Canyon 1st ascents from us Gunnison climbers I might have been famous.

Cheers!
henny

Social climber
The Past
Feb 4, 2011 - 05:42pm PT
Good route for sure. But what is it that makes it stand out the most in people's mind? The steepness, traverse, rock quality, position? Maybe the controversy? Or all of them?

All these great pictures of the route, and yet I never see any chalk, much less climbers on the line just a little left of it. What's up with that? As a side note, it is sort of curious that there are two controversial routes side by side on that dome. Although for different reasons I guess.

OK, Kerwin, a couple of comments regarding your earlier post:

i've never really understood how folks fall off that traverse, let alone up above. i'm amazed that folks could do the thin moves at each of the lower bolts and then pitch off those buckets up higher.

fred, too. only did it once,, but my memory is that it was one of the few face climbs in idyllwild that actually had holds. really cool climb and it is a bit like mc.

so far as the feud goes, i expect folks will be nursing a lot of 1970s and '80s grudges well into the century.

heh

Re: Fred. I've never really understood how folks fall off anything at Idyllwild. Isn't that stuff all low angle slab?

Re: grudges well into the century. Perhaps you really meant to say "grudges well into the grave."?

In reality I jest about the falling thing. Well, kinda... sorta...

I wish I could honestly say I've never fallen off something where I shouldn't have, but I can't. Most of us are probably like that eh? Do enough and sooner or later something dumb is going to happen somewhere. Maybe the reputation of the route (Figures), and traverse in particular, gets into peoples heads?

edit: klk, I understood the context of your comments. My last comment isn't directed at anyone in particular. For all I know, maybe I AM the only one who has ever pitched somewhere when they shouldn't have.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 4, 2011 - 06:28pm PT
I wasnt making fun of folks who fell off that traverse, I just genuinely didn't understand falling in that passage, since it was a bit like the harder moves below, but with much bigger holds and in the sort of position that would seem to focus ones attention.

When i was climbing all the time, and before sport climbing, I took three falls in what were basically no fall zones. Two of them happened when holds broke unexpectedly. The third was when i was still learning to aid climb. I was quite lucky to walk away from all three.

These days, I fall unexpectedly all the frickin time. On the boulders, at least.
socalbolter

Sport climber
Silverado, CA
Feb 4, 2011 - 08:39pm PT
Henny -

I'll have you know that I did that one the last time I was out there and did Figures. Even claimed a POS bail biner in the process.

It's nowhere near as scary as it looks (or the reputation puts forth), and the climbing is top-notch on perfect rock.

Besides, the controversy gives it some allure...
henny

Social climber
The Past
Feb 4, 2011 - 09:00pm PT
Yeah, actually I agree when it comes to Figures. One would think the focus level would be higher for the traverse.

Excellent Louie - people should be doing that thing. The rock is good, the climbing is good, and as just noted, the bark is worse than the bite. It is too bad the chipping occurred, cause it really wasn't needed - whoever did it. Have the bolts been replaced? BTW: done Stone Idol? Now that's another good one.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Feb 4, 2011 - 09:22pm PT
Is Zion Train the smaller corner (kind of where the rope goes) or the larger one further left in that rapping picture a ways back? I assume the smaller one? (Right hand one - just read your other post.) Looks pretty good.
socalbolter

Sport climber
Silverado, CA
Feb 4, 2011 - 09:43pm PT
I've done Stone Idol - and definitely agree on the quality. Have not done Zion Train (yet).

The bolts still need attention on Repo Man, but that's some good quality rock and the bolts seemed trustworthy to me (although we all climbed back when pitching onto bolts like those was the norm).

I'm happily re-discovering Josh these days, and plan to try and hit up some of the routes that I somehow overlooked over the years. Any other classics that might be more off the beaten path?
scuffy b

climber
Three feet higher
Feb 4, 2011 - 10:52pm PT
The one time I did the climb, I thought the moves toward the end of the
traverse were harder than the ones below.
However, there was a section before the traverse where I thought the moves
marked by chalk looked harder than I wanted, sort of in a shallow corner,
and I found different moves a few feet to the right, more of the standing
on positive edges which the lower part of the climb had been.
Mike.

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:59am PT
The underpinning of the story is that you're still butt hurt about something that should have been forgotten long ago. But by all means, whine away to your fragile ego's content because we love to hear it.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Feb 10, 2011 - 12:29pm PT
Craig, I for one really appreciated that recount.

At the base during the "FA" the peanut gallery scuttlebutt revolved around how damn wicked the route looked, Spencer being gone, the saga of Such a Savage and Maria's fabulous legs. That last part may have just been in my daydream. Anyway I was aware of a sense of an "under the radar" tension among the "in the know" folks. But as I was the outsider on my first JT trip I had no idea of the significance of the route or the controversy brewing that day. For what it's worth coming from a washed up gumbie you deserve all the credit due you. It really is a brilliant line and a wonderful climb. Is it better now that the belay stance has been moved?
Fish_Products

Big Wall climber
FishProducts.com
Feb 10, 2011 - 12:29pm PT
I've heard the MoonFuzz has pics of the FA, that shows all the parties involved, in action. Maybe he will post up.


See us on the web at:
http://www.FishProducts.com
http://fishproductsblog.blogspot.com/
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Feb 10, 2011 - 01:23pm PT
Here is a pic of me placing the third bolt.




Here is a pic of me about to place the fourth bolt.

Murf

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 01:42pm PT
it has to do with RV and DE EE getting all kinds of praise for their visionary excellence, and all the kudos for the excellent route that they did, five stars, the best route in Josh, Pictured on Magazine covers

There's a story in the new Josh Classics book about the FA of Crime of the Century (it's been told on the Taco as well). The particulars escape me, but it involves absent partners, poaching of a route, all the same sordid nonsense. At the end, the guy who was left out (Yaniro I believe) was apologized to. His response was along the lines of , "It's just a route, and you guys are my bros. Lets go climbing."
Murf

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 01:47pm PT
I placed the fourth or the five bolt, just above where you are on the photo above, and then backed off, since I could not see the next stance, Randy put in the next two

Come on Craig, editing is weak! If you have the story so firm in your mind, why did you just change that post from:

I placed the fourth bolt,
to
I placed the fourth or the five bolt,

edit for

Now it reads:

I placed the fourth or the fifth bolt,

As well as quoting my Yaniro post.
Murf

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 01:53pm PT
Because DE said he placed the next bolt and I don't want to make him any madder than he alrready is

So what is this a vendetta against Vogel only? Pistols at ten paces?

I know I placed that bolt, right above his head he says he did, did he?, I see no picture of him up at the stance drilling

Where are the pictures of you on it at all?

I can not remember exactly how many bolts DE placed

But I thought it was so clear in your mind?
Murf

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 01:54pm PT
edit: I will edit all I want

Whats your problem you got a stick up your butt, or what

Pssst, Craig? There's a mirror in the restroom at the office. Take a quick break (and a deep breath) and go take a look at it.
Johnny K.

climber
Southern,California
Feb 10, 2011 - 01:55pm PT
With all due respect to,bolts at Joshua tree always bring out the worst in people.Period.

Life is too short for bs.Talk less,climb more.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Feb 10, 2011 - 01:59pm PT
As you can see in the photo the fourth bolt has not been placed yet. I stood up and placed it.
Randy placed the fifth bolt.


I'm not mad about anything.
Murf

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 02:06pm PT
Craig seriously...

Sketchy sez
I am very sorry that we did not wait for you Craig.

Craig was an inspired, talented and motivated Josh climber. It was a pleasure to have called him a friend and to have shared time at the crags. I choose to remember and leave it at that.

Make him buy you a beer or something....
Murf

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 02:10pm PT
So its all OK that RV and DE EE stole my route

You are OK with that

"We" aren't the problem. You have the issue, and it seems like nothing will ever set it right. You want the world to acknowledge your complete awesomeness? The world has moved and the FOTL is a obscure footnote.

take a look in the mirror, you must hate yourself for letting routes be stolen, and then giving credit to route thieves

I think a lot of things when I look in the mirror. It usually involves terms "fat ass" and "muffin top".

DE didn't know why I wasn't there the day they finished the route, it was RV decision to steal it, and he didn't tell DE the truth

And for this you want... what exactly?

EDITED TO ADD:

I will not answer any more questions about who placed which bolt, since we will never have a consensus

Checks clipboard, OK, crosses off "Issue: who placed what bolt".

But we do have a consensus on who started the route, and who finished it and that is the question we are discussing, not about the bolts

Checks clipboard... scratches out hate, remorse, anger. Writes, "Issue 1: who started it... Issue 2: who finished it."
But I do remember placing he bolt above Dave's head, so we have another stalemate

I placed the bolt, then came down I'm not sure that the picture of DE was even the same day as when I was there, so I can not comment anymore on Dave's Memory

Checks clipboard, shakes head, pencils back in "Issue: who place what bolt".
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Feb 10, 2011 - 02:14pm PT
Things looked a lot calmer when Ron took this picture.

http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_view.php?dpid=Pzs1Ozo4KCcr
Murf

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 02:17pm PT
But we can have so much more fun discussing it forever, yes

Randy did apologize somewhat, but he has not agreed to the problems with the FA

He apologized for making me mad, and not waiting for me

and still claims all the glory for the ascent

At the end of the day, the glory goes to the guys who stood on top first. Not sure who you can argue about that point with.
Friend

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 02:28pm PT
This thread is a riot, I love it. All I would like to add is:

Thanks Dave and Randy for this kick ass route. The two of you are true visionaries.


Here's yet another old (but not THAT old) shot, mid 90s:
Mike.

climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 02:36pm PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So9ukd-VKdk
henny

Social climber
The Past
Feb 10, 2011 - 04:01pm PT
There's a story in the new Josh Classics book about the FA of Crime of the Century (it's been told on the Taco as well). The particulars escape me, but it involves absent partners, poaching of a route, all the same sordid nonsense. At the end, the guy who was left out (Yaniro I believe) was apologized to. His response was along the lines of , "It's just a route, and you guys are my bros. Lets go climbing."

As one of the parties involved I do know a few details.

Ricky (Rockamazo), KP, and myself originally found the route and unsuccessfully tried it a couple of times in super cold weather. KP and I then went back without Rick, unfortunately once again in freezing conditions. Problem was, Tony saw us on it from a distance - later asking us what it was. We replied an unfinished FA. I guess Tony then showed the line to Nick and Mike, who snaked it from Tony. All this while we, the original party still intended to come back to it. So the route was snaked from a snake trying to snake it from snakes that were trying to snake it from Ricky. Does it get much better than that? I mean, one just can't help but laugh at that sequence. If anybody was left out it wan't Tony, it was us. A few times removed - how hilarious.

Who cares? Seriously. Who cares?

Wait... I could have been famous if not for those guys. They stole my route and my glory. None of those guys would have ever become anybody if not for us.

Who cares other than as a historical footnote maybe. And even then. I don't have access to the mentioned story in the book, but I think the fact that we (RA, KP, DH) found the route before Tony is little known. So it's probably not even in the story. If so I've potentially been double ripped off. Not only is my name not on the FA, but it likely isn't even mentioned in the historical recountings. Now I'm really angry. NOT.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Feb 10, 2011 - 05:45pm PT
I believe there was a pretty clear famous implication a few posts back. But whatever, I should have refrained.

Most people probably have little interest in how the FA controversy finally ends up playing out. I doubt most people even want to take sides at all. But if it is felt that it still needs to be pursued, then continue.

I usually refrain from commenting on the subject because I don't have a horse in the race. I'll adhere to that again in the future and not let the thread going negative be bothersome. Right or wrong, it starts to sound harsh after a while.

Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 10, 2011 - 09:06pm PT
Thank you, Craig, for the Yabo story, and Henny, for the snake story. Good reading!

Aren't these things supposed to be resolved by a bolt-out at dawn, each armed with a 1/4" Rawl drill?
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:08pm PT
Y'all "visionaries" are all worked up about a pretty mediocre route actually.

It is always freezing cold there, the thing never sees the sun.

It has a pretty real choss factor, holds break off a lot.

It has no natural line, it is the opposite of "the line which follows the drop of water from the summit" idea.

It is not difficult. In fact it is over graded.

Some much better routes out that way are Black President, Yardyhoo and Away, Caught Outside on a Big Set, Big Brown Eye, Raging Bull Dike, Middle Age Crazy, etc...

sac

Trad climber
Sun Coast B.C.
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:16pm PT
Ksolem, wow, you really know what you're talking about!

And I'm sooo much better than you!!
Wow.

Great thread! Thanks for the "goods"!
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:27pm PT
More pictures dang it!

Original Belay
Original Belay
Credit: StahlBro
Credit: StahlBro
Nick

climber
portland, Oregon
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:33pm PT
Ssssssssssssssssssssssss!

Figures is a great route Craig, I appreciate your vision.
lucander

Trad climber
New England
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:35pm PT
Ksolem is an odd fellow. Next time I post a High E thread, he'll write that the route wanders, is terribly easy, and ponder why anyone would have a good time on it.

Then, he'll say how much better Graveyard Shift, Fat City, and Yellow Wall are - just to let us know that he climbed them.

Figures on a Landscape - worth basing a trip across the continent on. Nuff said.

D. Lucander
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:42pm PT
THis is the thread that just keeps on giving. Thanks to murf for going to the clipboard and keeping score for us.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:53pm PT
Good grief! Doesn't anyone here have a sense of humor anymore?

Christ Almighty you are a bunch of up tight geezers ;-)

(But you know I'm right)
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 10, 2011 - 11:56pm PT
By the way, Lucander, I love High E. And one of my fondest memories lies up there.

It was a few days after my wedding, I was sitting under the overhang with Julie Lazar in a light drizzle. We were waiting for the rain to let up, when up comes Fritz Wiessner.

"Isn't this a fine day for a climb!" he says to us as he passes by and solos on up the last pitch.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 11, 2011 - 12:00am PT
There ain't too many 5.7's like High E on the left coast.
Rudder

Trad climber
Long Beach, CA
Feb 11, 2011 - 12:06am PT
pretty easy except for the bottom, getting to the second bolt

That's what I remember, the climbing between the first and second bolt takes some focus.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Feb 11, 2011 - 12:21am PT
Sense of humor?

Joking around?

Strictly forbidden.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Feb 11, 2011 - 01:12am PT
Kenny at the bizness portion down low
Kenny at the bizness portion down low
Credit: BrassNuts
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Feb 11, 2011 - 02:02pm PT
Pretty pic BNuts.
It is always curious to me when people with the benefit of inch by inch beta and the knowing a route goes and has been done innumerable times already start to down talk the difficulty of the climbing. "It wasn't that hard", "It was easier than it's reputation", "I crushed it" ! Whatever Yadda yadda tips your canoe. But when you go up first without the knowledge & road map it is a much bigger deal. Putting in the bolts is much harder than clipping them after.
The envisioning is the first creative move followed by the will to carry on.

AND... The greatness of a route is not solely a measure of It's difficulty.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Feb 11, 2011 - 02:19pm PT
Craig, even though FOAL is a much more lyric and beautiful name it is clearly less apropos than MOMB.

I am sorry for my part in stealing the name from you.
hashbro

Trad climber
Mental Physics........
Feb 11, 2011 - 09:06pm PT
Randy and Dave are two of the most visionary climbers I have known......


In the case of Figures on a Landscape (for what it's worth), Craig Fry (having found the route and collected the balls to start up the thing), has my vote of one of the most visionary
climbers I have known........

And Craig certainly was the visionary behind Figures on a Landscape!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Feb 12, 2011 - 12:28am PT
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Apr 25, 2012 - 11:27pm PT
Astro bump

I feel like I did some time travel!
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Mar 28, 2014 - 02:29am PT
Credit: wstmrnclmr
Bump......Sorry for the photo size. Mark Wagner and I,'93. Cool to learn Tar put in new belay but Wagner was old school. I got the crux off the hanger.....Also interesting to learn that Todd Gordon hasn't done the best climb in the park. Must be on his bucket list..........
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Mar 28, 2014 - 04:45am PT

Lol i just started reading this thread & I have to quote this post from way back. A super classic tale & tribute.




zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca

Oct 29, 2007 - 08:15pm PT




The first and only time i climbed this route was with Jeff Perrin, and Walt Shipley as audience, and chief heckler.

Jeff lead the first pitch and i was seconding.

We lost Walt on the hike in, and had no idea where he was.

I start climbing and was immediately aware that Walt has arrived, because he starts heckling me.

I am focused on the moves and i don't look down to see where Walt is, but i am very aware of his presence.

He is critiquing my every move, and yelling up suggestions.

"Dyno, lieback, smear, edge, mantle"

The climbing is not very difficult, and i am not having any trouble with the moves. Walt is just entertaining himself by trying to make me fall.

I get up to the traverse section of the first pitch, and i get a little gripped looking at the possible penji that i am going to take if i fall.

This route is well within my ability, but at that time i was a little light in the nerves department.

I have found that as i get older, i am a lot more cautious, and lot less bold than i was twenty years and twenty pounds ago, but that is another story.

As I start off on the traverse, Walt launches in to a new tirade.
"You're blowing the sequence, you're gonna fall, you're gonna die"

I am slowly inching across the traverse and trying to count how many moves i have left to the belay.

Walt doesn't let up, "if you die, can i have your car?"

I finally tell Walt to shut the f@#k up, and he does.

I am one move away from the slings and in my haste to get there, i have actually messed up the sequence. I want to do this clean, but it would be so easy to grab the anchor. I am trying to find a way to reverse the move, and i hear Walt yell, "Grab the sling ya poser!"

I am able to reverse the move and finish the pitch cleanly. I clip in to the anchor, and immediately look down at Walt.

I was not prepared for what i saw.

Walt is semi crouched, and leaning against a rock in the sun.

He is naked, and holding a beer.

I look at Jeff, shake my head, and then look back at Walt and ask him, "what in the F#@K are you doing?"

He does not respond, and he is just staring out in to The Wonderland.

I again call out to him, "Walt, what are you doing?"

Without looking up, he finally responds: "I am coping some rays, taking a sh#t, drinking a beer, and laughing at you. I am enjoying life, man"

I miss you Walt, and will never forget all the good times that we had on and off the stone, and our great conversations.

Zip
10b4me

Sport climber
www.tenbeephotography.com
Mar 28, 2014 - 10:41am PT
^^^good stuff
Wish I had climbed this when I was younger. Don't think I have the skill anymore.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Mar 28, 2014 - 10:43am PT
Such fine memories of a truly classic route.

1981.....Tim Wagner and I had just climbed Such A Savage, a route that I still consider to be one of the finest lines in the Monument. As we sit on the summit, we look over and watch a leader whip on the traverse...and he gets banged up and bails.

Bolstered by our success on SAS, and our brand new Fires, we head to Figures the next day and freeze our way up it....and immediately claim it to be THE finest line ever.

I've done the route two more times since then, and though I no longer feel it is THE finest route in the Monument, it still ranks with me as in the top 5.

I always thought it would be great to do mid-summer....as I have not had the pleasure of being on it without the cold factor.

I appreciate the re-counting of the history here, and hold complete MAD respect for ALL involved.

Cheers,
DR
Tan Slacks

climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 28, 2014 - 10:58am PT
Posted before,but still painful to look at.
Posted before,but still painful to look at.
Credit: Tan Slacks

I have only done the route a few times. It was the cover of Mountain Magazine that got me there the first time. Not sure I will ever get back on it, but the memories are all there.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Mar 28, 2014 - 11:34am PT
Bump......Sorry for the photo size. Mark Wagner and I,'93. Cool to learn Tar put in new belay but Wagner was old school. I got the crux off the hanger.....Also interesting to learn that Todd Gordon hasn't done the best climb in the park. Must be on his bucket list..........

Correction;.....I HAVE done the best climb in the Park.......(Figures on a Landscape)..the FIRST attempt I fell at the crux and bailed....just after the FA.....but a couple years later (early 80s), I went back with Kelly Vaught and led all the pitches.........cruised it....
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Mar 28, 2014 - 11:55am PT
Definitely a climb that will not fade from memory. We did it in 1989. I led the first pitch and we planned on swapping leads. My partner bailed on the 2nd pitch lead so I took it. I offered him the third pitch and he said no way, you might as well lead the whole thing. Great partner, he had a history of avoiding leads :)
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 28, 2014 - 12:08pm PT
Great route, and a great thread- made truly historic by the pure fact that Craig actually posted on a climbing thread!
Nice vision there Dr.F!
My fave story is Spencer's about the joint smoking Yabo bug.
So classic.
fluffy

Trad climber
Colorado
Mar 28, 2014 - 01:34pm PT
The Gunslinger is a four pitch route about fifty feet left of Figures, it's a great ride and has a couple two or three pitches of 12a. It's a fun one as well, and doesn't get much traffic.

50 feet to the right actually. Amazing looking route, but I never got on it.

Climbed Figures though, in like 95 with hamslice. He let me lead the first pitch.

Still smitten by the route, I need to get back there and do it again and try Such a Savage while I'm at it.

Those domes...can't imagine finding them and getting to FA there. wow.
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Mar 28, 2014 - 05:15pm PT
Still scared thinking about when I did it. haha

The rock is so great over there, and the position. 20' into it you're like 60' off the deck and a fly on the wall. It was awesome! :)

When I did Solid Gold around 80-81' there was a group doing Figures. The guys were doing the route and the girls were sun bathing nude at the base. Very distracting while I was leading the first pitch of SG. lol
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Mar 28, 2014 - 07:24pm PT
I had not seen this thread before. Great pics and great stories.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 28, 2014 - 07:46pm PT
Me, Randy, De EE, and Hashbro are planning on a celebratory 40 Anniversary climb.

Cool,
Can I watch? I'll bring the beer.

Coincidence?
Hashbro recently e-mailed me for info on climbing areas in Siskiyou Co.,
said he was wanting to get back on the rock but is dealing with a foot injury. Training for this maybe?
Was good connecting with him again, we used to bump into each other at the SoCal hangs bitd. Offered to belay slave for him.


StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 28, 2014 - 08:10pm PT
Was hoping the foot was healed up by now. I will help T H carry the beer and herbs, and help provide the appropriate amount of heckling.
R.B.

Trad climber
47N 122W
Mar 30, 2014 - 02:06am PT
I belong to the club of being able to climb it as "flash" when I was younger ('85?) and then taking multiple way penji whippers ('90) trying it again near the finish of the first pitch. Either something broke off or it was just a lot harder ... either way ... I took the way 30' sideways penji whipper twice, and each time, I lost my glasses down to the talus! And then I bailed off.

Great climb, but you'd better be on your "A" game. Enjoy!
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
Mar 30, 2014 - 02:33am PT
Figures was one of the best JT climbs I ever had fun with a more than equal partner.

Everything that went on was ON SIGHT, (falls on the mantle included) as it should be. The hanging belay was interesting but it made for good fun watching the second pitch mantle...
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Mar 30, 2014 - 10:54am PT
I first did that route before the belay was moved up. I led the first pitch. My partner was a 6'5" guy who weighed correspondingly. Even though he was solid at the grade, I talked him into letting me lead the second pitch, too, because the thought of him possibly taking a factor 2 fall onto the belay was too terrifying!
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Mar 30, 2014 - 04:16pm PT
Yay Todd! It would have been hard to believe if you hadn't. But is still suprises me how many haven't. Such a great climb and almost guaranteed to be empty when you show at the base. some of the best granite quality in the park, Bonzai like pines and the quiet. And the best view when you top out.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jun 22, 2014 - 06:55pm PT
Wow, I hadn't read this in years, HILARIOUS!
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jun 22, 2014 - 07:09pm PT
Fantastic climb! One of the best!

From winter 1982/3. Kevin Normoyle following.
From winter 1982/3. Kevin Normoyle following.
Credit: crunch

Me, leading start of pitch 2. I think later the entire belay was moved...
Me, leading start of pitch 2. I think later the entire belay was moved up and right, beyond here (?). Photo by Kevin Normoyle
Credit: crunch
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jun 22, 2014 - 07:21pm PT
It's over there somewhere...

Photo from last weekend in the Wonderland.

johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 23, 2014 - 07:58am PT
just for fun bumpers.

sitting at work and burying meself
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2014 - 07:10am PT
For historical as well as sentimental reasons, this was a personal favorite among threads I've started. But I see its historical zing has been gutted now by the admin's erasure of Dr. F.

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Oct 20, 2014 - 07:15am PT
Credit: Todd Gordon

FA party; Randy vogel, Dave Evans (minus Dr. F. and specer )...
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Oct 20, 2014 - 11:54am PT
Thanks for the bump on the fabulous thread, a real entertaining time suck! The removal of Craig's posts really makes for some gaps, but there are just so many stories and remembrances here that it is still a fascinating read, and the interpersonal toll is evident even without Dr. F's posts.

I liked all the spontaneous confessions of misdeeds too, I think to have climbed a long time ensures you've done something you're less than proud of. Reminds me of the scene in Eastwood's "Unforgiven" when the young guy tentatively declares to the old man that the man he'd killed had it coming, and Clint responds in a tired voice, "We all got it coming kid."

Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2014 - 02:32pm PT
The removal of Craig's posts really makes for some gaps, but there are just so many stories and remembrances here that it is still a fascinating read, and the interpersonal toll is evident even without Dr. F's posts.

True enough but it was Dr. F's entrance on page 3 that really brought out feelings and ignited the thread, not just with his viewpoint but the others he drew in.
IFO did not know about that history but it was fascinating to see it come out, and learn something about the personalities too.

Now starting on page 3 there are many invisible gaps, you have to read other posts to guess at what's been erased.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Oct 20, 2014 - 03:01pm PT
I must agree that is unfortunate that Craig's comments in this thread (and some of the context) have have been lost as part of the "Dr.F" purge.

Still, this is a favorite thread -- thanks Chiloe for starting it. It is a good example of how this forum has brought out climbing history, ideas and divergent viewpoints in ways not previously possible.

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