Type: Trad, 400 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: Alan Watts
Page Views: 10,784 total · 71/month
Shared By: Monomaniac on Nov 29, 2006
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

20 Opinions

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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.


the depths of oregon
corvegas   the depths of oregon
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. Feb 10, 2007
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
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? Mar 5, 2007
peachy spohn  
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! Jul 22, 2009
Nick M
Driggs, ID
Nick M   Driggs, ID
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. May 30, 2013
Mike Rowley
Boise, Idaho
Mike Rowley   Boise, Idaho
I have been intimidated by this route for several years now and finally got the courage to try it this past weekend. What an amazing line!! There are no 5.12 moves on it, but it feels hard with 60 meters of rope pulling on you. Despite several foot slips, I managed to pull off the onsight!

This climb is totally safe if you are comfortable placing and trusting small gear. DMM offset Peanuts were absolutely money any place that I wanted pro. Next time I climb it, I won't bring a single cam. I used 3 on my lead, but they weren't that great and were really fidgety to place. The flake eats small nuts though. May 4, 2015
bheller   SL UT
A perfect line. Factor in the length, the exposure, the steepness, the areas of stubborn gear, and the sustained climbing, and this route easily warrants a grade bump from sunshine dihedral. Above the second to last bolt, in the steep red stone crux, a gear ripping fall that would eventually be caught by the bolt could smash you on the lower angle slab 40 feet below...be sure not to push that;) Oct 30, 2015
Charlie Egan
Portland, OR
Charlie Egan   Portland, OR
A harder version of the Lion Zion flake. Pure joy. Oct 18, 2017
Daniel Bookless
Portland, OR
Daniel Bookless   Portland, OR
This is THE CLIMB at smith you can not miss!
I feel born again. #newCreation Oct 19, 2017