Type: Sport, 70 ft
FA: Scott Cosgrove, 1991
Page Views: 4,024 total · 19/month
Shared By: Randy on Dec 31, 2001
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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To my knowledge, this route has not seen a second ascent.

Begin up Bikini Whale, then after reaching the "rail" above the 2nd bolt, head left to a series of 5 bolts that protect extremely thin and powerful layback moves up a tiny offset seam. Finish as per Bikini Whale.


7 bolts, 2 bolt anchor.


Adam Stackhouse    
While yoyo-ing the "Whale" our group of five stood in amazement as we tried to fake our ourselves into thinking that "holds" really exist on this cruxy route. The line is evident, but oh so thin. Jun 11, 2004
Is this really the hardest route in Jtree. I thought there was a 5.14 there. Aug 26, 2004
C Miller   CA  
This may not be THE hardest route, but it certainly is one of the hardest and remains unrepeated. The reported "long reaches between holds" are characteristic of Scott's routes, but it's interesting to note that Cosgrove's Integrity (5.14a) was repeated by Leavitt, who also established Dihedron (5.14a) the other "hardest" route.

Here's a partial list of some of the harder routes in the Park - Integrity (5.14a), Dihedron (5.14a), G-String (5.13d), The New Deal (5.13d), Mamba (5.13d), La Machine (5.13d).

It's interesting to note that while there are many difficult routes at Josh most see little to no action. Some routes have seen no repeats while others have had only a few. Aug 26, 2004
Hmmm. That is interesting. Maybe Jtree isn't a common destination for the hardest of the hard. Perhaps they are moredrawn to the overhung limestone areas? Seems like Sharma or Caldwell have probably spent time out there though. Aug 27, 2004
C Miller   CA  
Perhaps AC, although I do recall a certain "rock star", who fresh from sending some 5.14's on limestone got totally schooled on Bikini Whale...maybe it's was reachy for him? Or just a high-gravity day? Perhaps a trip to the nearby Integratron to recharge was in order? Aug 27, 2004
Adam Stackhouse    
It took Cosgrove three weeks just to work out the moves on this thing. It's 13a just to the crux section involving a (typical for the Coz) long pull from a two-finger crimp to hideous slopers...9 bolts and insane. Feb 24, 2006
steve edwards
steve edwards   SLC, UT
Word on the street is that holds have broken. It is a fairly crumbly part of Josh, so this is likely. Integrity is a better quality route, which is probably why it's seen repeats. But Cos is tall and did say that the crux here was long, so maybe that's why as well. He once told me that he thought 13d/14a was appropriate, so maybe it should get the latter until repeated.

Does Mamba exist? I think the Snake Pit is gone. And what about Stingray? I think it's confirmed at the grade. Jan 25, 2009
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
"Word on the street is that holds have broken. It is a fairly crumbly part of Josh, so this is likely"

I wouldn't call that wall a crumbly part of Josh at all. Having belayed a 5.14 climber on this route, who has done stacks of 13s in Josh in all styles, and quickly at that, this is a reach problem. Not to say that the climbing isn't really hard, it is, but if you're under about 6'3 this thing is probably 14+ if it's even possible. Apr 11, 2012
skinny legs and all
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
skinny legs and all   Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Scott Cosgrove began work on the G-String in 1998 and succeeded on the first ascent in February 1991 after 16 days of work. I have read multiple places that it is a tall man's route and is speculated to be impossible by climbers under 6 feet tall. It is interesting to note that at the time Scott only sport climbed for two to four months out of the year and pursued long free routes and adventure climbing the remainder of the year. Jul 26, 2013
Well, all I can say is I'm under 6'3".... I'm only 6' 2" with an equal ape. No holds have broken and the move is far from a reach. I used a far lower set of foot holds, the one's a smaller person could use are much better and it's only a three foot reach at the crux's. I'm sure anyone 5' 7" could make the reach if they had the required ability.

All this talk about me being of amazing height and reach is pretty funny, all of my climbs with the exception of a few, have been repeated by shorter, much shorter people. Father Figure was first on sighted by someone 5' 4".

I tried the G-String over three years and the crux is close to the hardest move I have ever done. For a long time I thought it impossible, but a years training in the gym got me to the point where I could just pull the crux lowering into it. It took me many days to red point it and I believe it is perhaps the hardest climb I have ever done. Modern 14 climbers, I'm sure would have a very hard time pulling the crux first day, it's very tricky and super thin.

That said, and seeing as most of my 13d have been ungraded on the second ascent and the fact that I had no idea how hard the climbs were at the time, I would just have to say it's probably mid 14 by modern standards. Anyway, carry on with the tall guy stuff and claiming I'm taller than I really am, too funny...

The climb is now 23 years old... Sep 2, 2013