Type: Boulder, 10 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 15,688 total · 83/month
Shared By: Craig Quincy on Nov 18, 2003 with improvements by Dan Rosen
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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The stellar Monkey Traverse is perhaps the most chalked piece of rock at Flagstaff.This pumpy and technical traverse is highly recommended and worth the effort required to beg, borrow or steal the requisite beta. The traverse is most often done right to left, but the return trip earns extra credit.

The traditional version climbs at mid-height and logically breaks into 3 sections each separated by a no hands rest. The first section is juggy and overhanging. The second section climbs through a bizarre sequence on brilliant holds to a no hands knee bar rest. The last section requires tricky balance and tops out the far left hand side. Making the top out is a little dangerous and has claimed at least one broken wrist.

Location: 40.000785, -105.296554.


Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
This problem is among the most climbed upon chunks of stone in Colorado, if not the world. Apparently, someone annointed The Monkey Traverse THE problem to meet at, mingle around and be seen cruising after work, because it is quite a scene on most pleasant afternoons. If you prefer to avoid the crowds when bouldering (imagine 2 or 3 people on the problem all afternoon), come up one morning and work out the nuiances in the shade. You will have it all to yourself and, provided you don't have a distaste for traverses, I suspect you will agree with the 3 star quality rating.

It is unclear who did it first, but I suspect Bob Culp played on it in the early late 1950s or early 1960s. Pat Ament certainly did the same when he started tooling around on Flagstaff around 1962. Originally referred to as The Long Traverse, it is unclear to me where the "Monkey" moniker came from. Maybe someone else can shed light on this???

A low version to The Monkey Traverse cruises a series of fairly obvious small edges 4 or 5 feet off the ground. There are a couple cruxes, but nothing too desperate. The real crux for the low version is the fact that there are no rest holds or stances until you pull up and over on the far left. Although I have not done this variation, the word on the street is that it is an endurance V10, probably having no moves harder than V7.

Cheers Dec 8, 2003
Colin Lantz
Nederland, CO
Colin Lantz   Nederland, CO
P.A. in H.O.B. '84 already refers to "Long Traverse (alias the Monkey Traverse)". It would be interesting to know where the "Monkey" came from. IMHO - Low Monkey is V8/V9 - harder for tall folks and for those that are turnout challenged. I do believe that the Low Monkey Traverse is a Skip Guerin FA. Apr 3, 2004
Boulder, CO
Helldorado   Boulder, CO
A relatively fun traverse, however the grease and crowds make for a moderately taxed afternoon. May 9, 2009
Chris Archer
  V3-4 PG13
Chris Archer  
  V3-4 PG13
The monsoon season has apparently claimed another casualty: the good right hand lieback that starts the Low Traverse is gone. Anyone know when it pulled or where it ended up? Jul 1, 2009
Chris, that low hold broke not long after that 3 Chris sesh we had back in April. The one where you showed me all the beta on the Monkey low.
That opening dyno is pretty nasty, now. Jul 1, 2009
Watch out for the pillar on the first third of the traverse! Yesterday, it snapped and crackled when I grabbed the top of it. Later, when we tested it from the side, we were able to see it flexing under weight. This pillar is 100+ pounds, be careful!!!!!! Sep 30, 2009
The pillar is still cracked even after hundreds of peeps have been hanging on it. I hope it doesn't break before I get to complete it. I'll see if I have a photo of the crack for reference. May 18, 2010
James P.
Fort Collins
James P.   Fort Collins
Monkey comes from the fact that on any given day you will find people swinging; arms only from the first part of the traverse. Often a novice climber will miss the feet during the first 12ft of the problem, but the hands are so good you can swing. Anyway, this is my favorite problem in Boulder. I have completed it twice, but I had spotter and direction. Sep 4, 2010
Boulder, co
DerekC   Boulder, co
I left my shoes (5.10 Anasazi) near the start of the problem on 9/16. Please shoot me an email if you have them. Thanks. Sep 17, 2012
cboss   SLC, UT
That was my wrist in May 2002, and my MCL, back when the rock was under the topout. It was probably my 100th ascent of the MT, and I pitched off the final crimp surprisingly. I ended up down the hill on the path to the Beer Barrel, my dog barking and right arm broken in two places.

Some girls helped me to my truck, but I had to drive it down the hill as they did not drive stick. I took my cast off two weeks later to do Bastille Crack on a beautiful May afternoon. I still have trouble turning door knobs to this day from that stunt.

Not my best climbing story. Oct 5, 2017
Tombo   Boulder
Long Traverse is what it was known as in '81. No idea why calling it Monkey Traverse bugs me so much. Feb 8, 2019
Mark Roth
Mark Roth   Boulder
In '81, I was told it was called “the Monkey Traverse.” Apr 18, 2019