Type: Sport Fixed Hardware (9)
FA: Mark and Scott Tarrant, 1994
Page Views: 1,835 total · 9/month
Shared By: Anonymous Coward on Mar 2, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

13 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


"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.


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... Mar 4, 2002
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward  
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. Mar 11, 2002
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
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. Oct 21, 2002
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
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. Oct 23, 2002
Wayne Crill
an Altered State
Wayne Crill   an Altered State
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.

Highly recommended! Mar 30, 2011
Ryan Kempf
Boulder, CO
Ryan Kempf   Boulder, CO
Cleaned this line up yesterday and have a few suggestions. Take a 70m rope, head down and right 20ft from the Sidewall ledge on the ramp, and belay below the dead tree (obvious cleared area). If you take gear for the bottom section (.8), extend everything you place. I would also suggest extending bolts 1,3 & 5. This makes a beautiful 35m pitch! Watch your ends lowering/rappelling.

I am 5'10" and dead even on my ape index. The 1st crux requires good footwork and body tension, I can do it completely static with my height & reach. The 2nd crux is more powerful, thin and crisp; it's a damn good boulder problem. Mar 26, 2014
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
Feels harder than Fire & Ice. Pretty awkward and burly. The first crux is not well-protected by the 2nd bolt. For those who are too short to clip the 3rd bolt before committing, there is a 45 degree slab awaiting your ankles if you fall. Not my favorite bolted pitch in Eldo. Feb 11, 2018
Lisa Montgomery
Golden, CO
Lisa Montgomery   Golden, CO
I think Ryan Kempf's comments above are right on. If you belay at the right end of the Sidewall ledge near a tree, you avoid "Sick Flake" and have an unobstructed path to the first bolt on Barrel of Monkeys. I placed only a gray or red Alien leaving the belay, as the climbing to the first bolt was easy (although it is about 50 feet of runout climbing). A 70m rope is required for this belay.

If you want to prehang draws/slings, you can climb the first two pitches of Ignominity and find the 2-bolt anchor of Barrel of Monkeys to the left on the face. Alternatively, you could climb the first two pitches of Sooberb and access these anchors. I highly recommend extending bolt 3, so that you can clip before committing to the first crux. A scary ledge looms below, and you wouldn't want to blow it. Extending bolt 5 reduces drag. Jan 6, 2019