The Brass Monkey
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"In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round indentations.
However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey."" - Albert Jack, "Red Herrings & White Elephants The Origins of the Phrases We Use Every Day" (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2004), page 12.
Start up the southeast corner of the buttress climbing great edges and patina past 2 bolts onto a stance. From this stance balance your way up the main face of the wall keeping your cool before clipping bolt 4. After bolt 4 the business hits as you step out right, and find a good crack that takes wires and cams. Be sure to take in the wonderful position in the canyon when you reach the anchors!
A good warm up or cool down if you're in the area. This route climbs the mottled face 100ft east of "Castaway". The crux seems to be at 3/4rd's height just past the last bolt.
100ft east of "Castaway". Directly after the 3rd class used to gain the ledges east of The Sail.
4 bolts protect the face while wires and a rack to 1.5" supplement the rest. Rappel the route.
BETA PHOTO: Crude map of the climb. I'll try to get a better p...
|Comments on The Brass Monkey
|By Perin Blanchard|
From: Orem, UT
Mar 16, 2012
Alas! I really wanted to believe it.
Snopes on Brass Monkeys
"Somebody's fanciful imagination is at work cooking up spurious etymologies again. In short, this origin for the phrase 'cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey' is nonsense because..."
|By Greg G|
From: SLC, UT
Mar 18, 2012
haha touche Perin! Better luck next time for the naming game I guess!
Regardless the route is a fun romp up surprisingly good stone. It was drilled on lead with bolts 1,3,4 drilled from free stances and bolt 2 from a hook. Trying to keep the ground up tradition alive in little cottonwood.