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To approach this route, walk past the right end of the west face and up slabs and boulders to reach the southern end of the formation.
This is a classic Joshua Tree sport route - short, but with demanding and unusual moves. Make your way up a steep wall past several horizontals and a lower crux (5.11+) to the top where you will encounter a somewhat reachy crux. Shorter climbers may find the crux (and the route) to be harder than the rating indicates.
To the left of this is Patracide, a decent short warm-up route and to the right is Factor 1, another even more difficult climb.
It is interesting to note that this climb has also been soloed several times!
4 bolts, anchors
Setting up to get spanked, again!!!! Photo: J. Bro...
Shaking out and getting psyched for the business.....
Didn't quite make it
getting into the business of father figure
John Bachar soloing Father Figure (5.12d), Joshua ...
|Comments on Father Figure
Feb 14, 2003
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c
Father Figure, THE ULTIMATE SANDBAG. I don't care what Randy says!!! Many a .13a out there easier to send than this one.
Feb 14, 2003
I agree with Robert that Father Figure is not 12d. At the time the 1992 guide came out, I had not done the climb and took the rating as reported by the first ascensionist (Scott Cosgrove). The rating was changed to 13a in the "Classics" guide. 12d is not really a "sandbag" since it is certainly no harder than 13a. The crux is only a few moves long, atop 5.11 climbing at the bottom (in fact the whole route is pretty short). However, for climbers less than 6 feet tall (such as myself and Robert), there is a long reach at the very top that takes some figuring out. It will be 13a in the new guide.
If you want to talk about sandbags, how about Scott rating Desert Shield 12d? It seems like it would be at least 13c at notoriously "soft" rating areas like Red Rocks. 13a/b is more like it.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Mar 7, 2003
Hard to believe only two stars on the best sport route I've ever done at Josh. Absolutely 13a. Do you guys know anything about the quality and real world grade of Hot Pants or the Hydra?
|By John Welton|
Mar 25, 2003
Josh has always maintained a standard for being harder than other areas. Why change the rating? The climb has a relatively short crux that can either frustrate you to the point of no return or allow for a quick send. In my opinion the rating should stay as 12d.
If you want a sandbag, Desert Shield is the ultimate. This climb is at least two grades harder than Father Figure. The lower crux has become substantially harder due to the missing righthanded hold next to the third bolt and the upper crux is a v6 boulder problem. We were calling it 13a just up to the second horizontal followed by the v6 boulder problem crux. I would give Desert Shield a 13b rating.
Mar 26, 2003
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c
heh, mainly I just wanted to chide Randy!
But, for the record, Coz. told me he originally rated it .13a.
Its hard to think of Desert Shield as a sandbag, given that it is not the same route that it was when it was FA'd. Broken holds are what made it harder, almost making it a different climb.
Oct 16, 2007
I first did Father Figure when I was 16. It was my first "13a," but as far as grade consistency goes, it is 12d. Later, I hung the draws and gave a friend beta and he flashed it pretty easily. Desert Shield is a grade harder, but not 13b for me. Josh sport climbs are hard not only for the grade, but in style. It is much easier to get into the shape necessary to climb 5.13 on overhanging limestone than it is on slightly overhanging granite, but this isn't a bad thing in my opinion.
|By Gregg Olson|
Oct 4, 2008
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b
I did this route in the prime of my climbing life. As much as I would love to give this a 13a rating (as it would be just about anywhere else) I felt 12d was a fair grade given the routes length and the standards of Josh ratings. It has fantastic movement and is in a great location. There are some awsome pictures of John Bacher soloing this route just after it was put up. The story I heard was Cosgrove put it up and rated it 13a, then Bacher came along and lead it 1 or 2 times, pulled the rope, soloed it and down rated to 12d !!
|By peachy spohn|
Mar 26, 2009
Really cool route, but like others I found it to be harder than 12d. The crux is the last move for me and a big move at that. Also, the route is in a cool area! check it out.
|By Scott Cosgrove|
Sep 2, 2013
My first post to Mountain Project. I did not know what to rate it, as I'd only climbed a few other 13a at the time, and it seemed far easier than the New Deal 14a, that I believe was put up in 88 and Father Figure was done in 87.
I found the climb by mistake, after taking a lovely female climbing ranger up, Eye for an Eye, and getting lost on the descent. I went back that afternoon and place the first two bolts, 1/4 inch tapers, yipes. The second and third went in a day later and I think I red pointed it on the forth day, climbing ground up.
I rated it 13a and a German climber in camp did it second try the next day and said 12c. Bachar loved the climb and took a couple of days to do it, figuring out how to do the last move static. Bachar and I would run laps for a work out and then one day JB just went for the solo. Very Bad ass, seeing as a key hold he was using broke off.
Having done lot's of 13a after and many a 12d, I never felt Father Figure was 12d and still feel it's 13a, but right on the cusp of the grade. Ironically the first guy to flash it was 5' 4" and did the long reach static.
Later I did the Factor One to the right FF and also climb the start of Father Figure and finished on Factor One, naming it Father Factor and I also climb Factor One and finished on Father Figure naming it the Factor Figure. Factor One is probably 13b and the different link ups, about that 13ab grade as well. There is even a top rope to the left of Father Figure, can't for the life of me, remember it's grade or quality, just remember climbing it.