Type: Sport
FA: Alvino Pon & Mark Pell, 1994
Page Views: 3,577 total · 17/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Feb 8, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

22 Opinions

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Access Issue: Rim Rock Trail Closure Details


Monkey Puzzle climbs the large overhang right of Puzzled Monkey and is the first route you pass on the way up to the Brown Cloud crags. A clean, vertical face gains a good stance below the roof. From this stance, a pair of large jugs sets up a cruxy move to the lip with the left hand - from here on out the puzzle begins. I had an opportunity to try and solve Monkey Puzzle with Pat Burwick and Greg Purnell, on separate occasions in February. While I thrashed away, the younger, smarter pair threw a heel hook on the left and swam over the roof. Monkey Puzzle is a fine problem that just begs to be misinterpreted: trying to overpower it will likely fail whereas solving the technical puzzle will let you pass on superb kinesthetic movement.


Seven draws (eds. currently 6) and a rope.

Originally, this was done on gear on the lower face. The upper bolts were placed ground-up.
Adam Peters
Salt Lake City, Utah
Adam Peters   Salt Lake City, Utah
I did this route in the winter as an after thought at the end of the day. I had been a little intimidated to try it given its short nature and grade, but upon getting on it I learned two things. This route is definitely not 12c, maybe 12a'ish. It is really 5.9 climbing to a V4 boulder problem. Two, over the lip there is a blatantly enhanced hold. Funny, I didn't even have to use this hold to make the move. And we figured other beta, a right heel under the roof works too. Not to say, this is a pretty fun route, so you should get on it. Don't be intimidated. Aug 3, 2007
I felt this climb landed about 12b however the new guide goes as far as downgrading to 12a. Personally I thought it was harder than Golden Cliffs' Pseudo Bullet which the new guide has decided to upgrade from 12a to 12b. Hmmm just shows personal strengths and styles really differ when deciding grades. Dec 11, 2008
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
Jay Samuelson   Denver CO
Thanks to whoever put in the time and effort to make this climb safe again by replacing the bolt, we appreciate it.

And I agree, this a fun route. Decent face climbing up to a cool roof. I couldn't tell if the sidepull/undercling was drilled or not (assuming this is the hold Adam is refering to), but I ended up not using it either. Regardless, fun little route that delivers a pump, and a little sandbagged at .12a if you ask me, but you didn't. Mar 17, 2009
Luke Childers
Luke Childers  
Nice line for Table Mt. I think a good 12b rating would do the trick for me. Worth giving a run for sure. May 5, 2009
Alvino and I put up this route on the lead with direct aid under the roof from a pin, a zero TCU and small nuts, but there were originally no bolts at all on the lower face, which was adequately protected clean, also with TCUs and nuts. We hand-drilled our bolts, and the one above the lip was placed with great difficulty from a Chouinard hook and a small RP. Establishing the fixed pro took two visits trading leads about five times, then Alvin was the first to get the redpoint on our second day of free attempts. At the time this route was put up in the early-mid 1990s, it was probably the hardest ground-up free climb at Table, an area known primarily for rap-protected sport routes. Early repeats had the difficulty consensus as high as 12c, trending down to 12b once the heel-hook beta got out. Adam Peters mentions a hold above the roof which he said is blatantly enhanced. This may be the reason the climb now goes at 12a, but this alteration was not done by us or it would have been noticed by our knowledgable hard-climbing friends of the era from the Denver/Boulder area. We're pleased this route has become popular now that it's at the beginning of the walk in instead of the end, as it was in the old days. Mar 1, 2013
Mark E Dixon
Sprezzatura, Someday
Mark E Dixon   Sprezzatura, Someday
There are currently 6 bolts.

The 5th bolt, just over the lip of the roof is placed so that the bolt-side carabiner is cross loaded over the edge.

I added a quicklink and a Fixe ring so that you can now clip the 5th without worrying about biner breakage. It might also come in handy for strategic retreats but isn't in place for that purpose.

If someone was really inspired, he/she could replace the ring with another beefy SS quicklink, but it hardly seems worth the effort. I would have used two links but was limited by what was in my pack.

Tricky beta - have fun! Apr 20, 2016
Boulder, CO
Branty   Boulder, CO
Really fun! My favorite route at North Table. A longer draw on the bolt/quick-link at the lip is helpful for us shorter people! Dec 23, 2017