Trad, Alpine, Grade III,
Avg: 3.7 from 3
FA: Chace and Stone,1985
> Alpine Rock
> RMNP - Rock
> Glacier Gorge
Seasonal Closures March 1-July 31. Per this RMNP website
, "Initial closures occur in March and April, when raptors return to the region and scout for nesting sites. Areas containing general habitat preferred by raptors are closed during this time. Once raptors have selected nesting spots, the initial closures are lifted or adjusted. The specific areas which raptors choose for nesting sites are closed."
For additional information about raptor closures, please visit the Rocky Mountain National Parks area closures website
Named after the rogue-trickster Stone Monkey of 16th Century Asian literature, this climb provides one of the best difficult trad leads in RMNP.
On the left side of the wall find a 5.9 dihedral leading to Middle Earth ledge, or an easier variation just left of this (it is possible to third class to ME ledge in this area).
Climb an easy ramp that forms the right of two prominent dihedrals, belaying before a right-facing flake. Climb the flake (5.9ish) to its top, then scratch right across a blank wall to a semi-hanging belay (good 5.10, no pro, exciting swinging opportunities for both the leader and second). Climb the flake system up right and continue to a good ledge and belay. Pitch 5 is the business, a 5.9 undercling to a right-facing corner which leads to the sustained, under-vertical tips crack (crux). The climbing is more face climbing than a finger crack, although there are finger jams to be had - if you have tiny digits, you will be happy. Small gear (many RPs), good shoes, and positive thinking will bring you to another nice belay ledge, with hard-to-find anchors but nice wildflowers. Above is a longish 5.8 crack pitch which leads to easier climbing to exit.
Early season the crux crack can seep. This has much average climbing, but the crux pitch is stellar.
Double set RPs to 3" cam. Extra RPs, small wired nuts, and TCUs. Good edging shoes.