This stellar crack system is one of the best routes on the Monkey, and easily the best crack of its grade at Smith. The crux crack pitch can be climbed in two pitches, but is much more classic and challenging as one mega pitch. Be sure to use a 60m rope for this option.
Considered by many to be 12b, the crux pitch requires a multitude of skills and abilities, not the least of which is the ability to place gear while pumped. The final traverse in to the West Face Cave will feel pretty desperate with 50m of rope hanging from your harness.
North Face of the Monkey. Approach via Misery Ridge, and traverse the 5.6 choss band below Spank the Monkey.
At least 12 draws, and all the finger-sized cams you can scrounge. The crack takes nuts as well, if you want to pump out fiddling with gear.
BETA PHOTO: Hanging out at the belay.
From: the depths of oregon
Feb 10, 2007
the fa was done by dean caldwell and joe kindler in 1967 via the bolt ladder, then in 1968 tom bauman and bob ashworth did the regular start. alan lester really got the FFA via the bolt ladder in 1983, alan watts didnt free the line till 1985 but via the regular line.
From: Morrison, CO
Mar 5, 2007
If Lester climbed the bolt ladder then he didn't free the route (unless he climbs 5.16c), so how can he be credited with the FFA?
|By peachy spohn|
Jul 22, 2009
This is the best route I have climbed at Smith!!! It is much longer than full Henious, amazingly exposed, solid rock, and beautiful position.
Small nuts were really useful and a number six metolious is the biggest cam you would need...lots of small cams and stoppers.
Oh yeah, and this route is AMAZING!
May 30, 2013
Wow. Serious wow. I don't comment much, but this is as beautiful of a line you'll ever see; truly inspiring. Though it can be as intimidating as hell, I'd encourage sub-5.12 climbers (like myself) to consider it. It's truly a mixed route, with 2-3 key bolts protecting some* of the tricky sections. There's not a 5.12 move on it, just sustained .11 with lots of rope weighing you down. While the hardest climbing requires gear and comes at the top when you're pumped, it's so steep and there's so much rope out to absorb your fall that it makes a great, great place to push yourself. The rock looks, feels, and protects better than many other cracks on the tuff. The money pitch of the "North Face" is called the "NW Corner", which can easily be done alone. As of 5/13, a fixed line gets you out to the belay, avoiding having to lead a 5.6 choss traverse.
So, go for it! Heck, TR it via the west face cave first, accessed most easily by Monkey Space pitch 1. You'll see, it's all there. Many completely capable climbers have it on their long-term bucket list, but they really could climb it this week. Of course, it requires being comfortable placing gear while pumped, and being comfortable with clean, soft, but long-ish falls on said gear.
I think the best part of climbing is when, with enough effort and faith, you can really surprise yourself with what you can do. I think this route could be that for a lot of folks. Enjoy.