|West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John
"Barrel of Monkeys" starts on the same shelf as "The Side Wall", but on the far right side as for "Sooberb".
Climb up and right to a pine tree at the base of the "Sick Flake". Climb behind the tree and on the outside of the flake to reach the first bolt. A long sling is helpful on this bolt. The route is obvious from here, blasting up the steep wall above past the remaining 6 bolts. There are 2 cruxes, one at the 2nd bolt (.11c/d), and one at the 6th bolt (.11c). The first crux involves some tricky footwork and a longish reach to the right. A fun, well-protected section (.10c) with decent rests leads to the higher crux which is strenuous and deceptive. From here, the route moves slightly left to a blunt arete and then up and right to the anchor. This is one of the few pure sport routes in Eldo and is a nice departure from some of the scarier routes in "The Side Wall" area.
The rock is excellent and the moves are very fun. It gets no stars in the new Eldo guide, but is well deserving of 2+ stars. The only complaint is that the anchor is over the top of the steep climbing, so there is quite a bit of rope-drag when lowering and following on toprope. Also, be careful when lowering since the leader will end up about 25 feet to the right and about 80 feet above the ground (swing or climb back to the ledge).
7 bolts + 2-bolt anchor. A long sling is handy, and a 60 meter rope works best to make it back to the ledge.
Kevin Murphy on Barrel Of Monkeys.
|Comments on Barrel of Monkeys
|By Ray Snead|
Mar 4, 2002
Have you been up there recently, AC? I snapped off a hold up high a few years ago, and it certainly seemed harder than 11c/d after that...
|By Anonymous Coward|
Mar 11, 2002
I've done it twice in the last year, and it still seems like hard 5.11 to me. Seems comparable to other 5.11+'s in Eldo such as Silver Raven, the Contest or Private Idaho; but not as hard as 5.12a's such as Fire and Ice or Wendego. It's hard to pinpoint an accurate rating for any route, allowing for body size, reach and climbing strengths--it's always subjective.
|By Richard M. Wright|
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 21, 2002
This line certainly has a reach dependent grade in the lower crux. I have a ridiculous positive ape index (eight inches) and still found it a stretch to reach from the small fin on the left to the finger slot on the right at the second bolt. For someone with shorter arms this move should be nearly impossible. There is a potential solution using micro-gastons under the overlap, but using them would push the grade up by at least a couple of letter grades. The stone above was excellent with no evidence of anything ready to break off. With fully one half of the route climbing to, around, and up the Sick Flake, I'd knock off one star in the three star system. Overall grade, if you can make the reach at the first crux, seemed close to 11d.
|By Richard M. Wright|
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 23, 2002
Since this is Eldo and not Castlewood Canyon, I'd knock off a star for the use of the sick flake, which eats up half the climbing. The rest of the climbing is excellent.
|By Wayne Crill|
From: an Altered State
Mar 30, 2011
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a
I think this is a GREAT line, the Tarrants did it again. It kind of reminded me of Spicoli, a bit harder and more sustained, almost as good as Hands in the Clouds. Should be more popular as it's really good and right on 5.11+-ish. Although I have a decent reach, I did not think this line is particularly height or reach dependent. The section past the second bolt is much more "footwork" dependent, there are in fact plenty of very small balancy holds for the hands as you move R. and up to the clipping jug.
If you belay below and to the L somewhere down R. along the PC 101 alcove ledge, I recommend climbing "over" the tree and sick flake with the rope passing to the R of the tree, with minimal gear proteting this straight forward climbing, this will reduce the rope drag that will occur if you climb around the tree on its left and/or placing gear in the sick flake crack as for Sooberb.