Figures on a Landscape


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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
Feb 12, 2011 - 12:28am PT

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

I feel like I did some time travel!

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..........

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.


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.


Sport climber
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.

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 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.

Tan Slacks

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
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 :)

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.

Trad climber
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.

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

Trad climber
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.

Can I watch? I'll bring the beer.

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.


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.

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
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...

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!

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.
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