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Shadow Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
1st Offense T,S,TR 
Battle of the Bulge S,TR 
Desperado S 
Diamond S 
Eat Mo' Possum T 
Fat Man S,TR 
Fields of Fire S 
I Love a Mystery TR 
Lycra S 
Middle Man S 
Powerplay T,TR 
Shadow S,TR 
Shadow Traverse S 
Swallow T,S,TR 
Thin Man S 
Three To Get Ready S 
Unsorted Routes:

Fat Man 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a

Type:  Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: John Knight & John Dalbey
Page Views: 1,016
Submitted By: John Knight on Nov 1, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (19)
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Floyd Hayes at the crux of The Fat Man. Photo by C...


Fat Man (5.8/5.9) sits near his antithesis, Thin Man (5.9 really run out). Scramble to the top of the 4th Class Gully left of Thin Man and start off the small block. You'll clip six, well placed bolts on 80'(+/-)of clean, solid rock. The climb can be done as a single pitch or you can continue on up to Eat Mo' Possum (5.6). From the same anchor you can easily top rope Three to Get Ready (5.9). Other options include a move to the right to top rope Thin Man (5.9R) or a move to the left to top rope Swallow (5.7) or First Offense. Fat Man makes a great climb for a new leader. Most of the moves are 5.7 with a couple of 5.8s (and maybe a well protected 5.9) thrown in to make it fun. Great views for both the belayer and climber are a plus! Bring a 200'/60 meter rope if you want to rap this route.


Six or seven draws (you can clip the last 3 to Get Ready Bolt if you want). Bring a couple small cams or nuts if you'd like to supplement. Bring a couple extra draws to set up the the anchor. Please don't top rope directly off the courtesy clips.

Photos of Fat Man Slideshow Add Photo
Shadow Far Left Side
BETA PHOTO: Shadow Far Left Side
A corrected picture of the routes at the top of the gully.  Fat Man starts off the block and 3 to Get Ready starts at the small hole to the left.  1st Offense starts under the oak tree to the left.
BETA PHOTO: A corrected picture of the routes at the top of th...
Don Freeman on the 3rd Ascent of the Fat Man.  He thinks to himself, "I can't remember, do I need 6 or 7 draws?"
Don Freeman on the 3rd Ascent of the Fat Man. He ...
Swallow, Fat Man, Eat Mo' Possum.  Swallow makes a great multi-pitch 5.7 but is more than a bit runout at the very top.  Skip the last pitch if you're not comfortable with a 70' runout on 5.4.  Also, use extreme caution not to knock down loose blocks!
BETA PHOTO: Swallow, Fat Man, Eat Mo' Possum. Swallow makes a...
Bob Hill on the 2nd (lead) ascent of the Fat Man.
Bob Hill on the 2nd (lead) ascent of the Fat Man.
The Fat Man features well placed bolts on solid rock.
BETA PHOTO: The Fat Man features well placed bolts on solid ro...
See update for Fat Man (5.8/5.9) and Middle Man start variation (5.10a).
BETA PHOTO: See update for Fat Man (5.8/5.9) and Middle Man st...
Comments on Fat Man Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jad Josey
Feb 16, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

This climb is a welcome addition to the Shadow Wall. After a fun start, the climbing becomes a bit more interesting around the fifth bolt. This route will get better and better as more people climb it -- as of right now it's a bit caked with lichen. Also, there are seven bolts on this climb, not six.

By John Dalbey
Feb 16, 2004

This climb, "Fat Man," was established on rappel with a power drill, a significant and controversial departure from the traditional style (ground-up, hand-drilled ascents) at Bishop's Peak. This practice should be strongly discouraged. There's no reason this climb couldn't have been done in a style consistent with local history and traditions.

By Kristin McNamara
From: SLO, CA
Nov 7, 2004
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- VS 4c

This is a one-move wonder, and I wonder why that first bolt exists. Way too close to the ground and the second bolt. It's fairly fun, but requires some route finding and avoiding huge mud patches. It's a nice line. Good first 5.8 lead.

By Adam Jones
Nov 7, 2004

I agree, silly first bolt, but a fun climb

By E Haro
May 23, 2005

Just to clear things up.The start to Fat Man is also Easy Street. However Fat Man continues up to the shared anchors for 3 to Get Ready and Fat Man. Easy Street traverses left on the low angle slab to the anchors for 1st offense

By John Knight
Mar 1, 2009

Definitely 7 bolts. When you drill that many bolts (on rappel) it's hard to remember. You can even move left after bolt 7 & clip the top bolt on 3 to Get Ready for 8 bolts total! Anyway, bring lots of draws.

Several people I talked to thought the crux was harder than 5.8. I think a key hold may have broken off. Any thoughts on the grade?

Still a fun climb. I enjoy it every time I climb it.


By Floyd Hayes
Mar 22, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

I clipped into 8 bolts both times when I led it, in November 2008 and May 2009.

By John Knight
Jun 3, 2011

Fat Man went on a diet. He now has 6 bolts instead of 7. The bottom 2 bolts have been "consolidated" into a single bolt. Also, note that a couple of the bolt locations have been moved to the right (bolts #2 & #3 are right of where they used to be). This helps avoid the previous confusion/encroachment with 3 to Get Ready (to the left). After you clip bolt #1 look up and a bit right for bolt #2. Then head between the two dirt patches on your way to the crux. The line is a lot straighter than it used to be.

I think most people will like the minor changes. A few people probably won't even notice (or care).

Also, over time, several small holds appear to have been broken off at the crux. This has now settled, but it's definitely harder than when I first established the route in 2004. I think the crux is more like 5.9 now (instead of 5.8).

Let me know what you think of the minor revisions to the bolt locations and whether the crux is 5.8 or 5.9.


By Matthew Geyer
Jun 15, 2011

"I think most people will like the minor changes. A few people probably won't even notice (or care)."

not this again...