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Monkey Lip 

YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, 65'
Original:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Dana Hauser 1990
Season: East facing
Page Views: 1,562
Submitted By: bheller on Jun 23, 2009

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The line

Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed MORE INFO >>>

Are you feeling Apey? 

Clip the first bolt out of the blocky overhanging alcove and begin climbing out the left-diagonalling roof with generally positive grips and tiny delicate smeary feet. Protect with a couple cams until you reach the first and only rest on the route at about 20 feet up under the little overlap. Not that you even need the rest at this point. Continue climbing left as the difficulty increases with the underclinging becoming more powerful and the smeary feet demanding precision. At the point where the route ceases to be an undercling traverse and becomes more of a vertical left facing flake, bolts mysteriously appear. This is where the route originally ended when Steve Hong and Robert Rotert first climbed it. It is probably 11+ to this point, but the anchors are long gone. At this point the route still hasn't offered any real rests and the climbing continues to be pumpy and sequential as the feet worsen. A little above here, where the headwall kicks back to a gentle overhang, the crux lurks. Memorable, bouldery moves guard the chains. The crux proper is probably only v5, but this is really the only route I can think of in LCC that warrants a significant grade increase due the lack of rests and sustained nature of the climbing.


This route is located on the side of the thumb, up and right from the starts of the standard thumb routes. (S-crack, etc.) You can scramble up the 5th class gully to the right of the standard thumb starts for about 150 vertical feet or so. After the gully scramble, on the wall to your left you'll see a short attractive splitter to a right-leaning flare (this route is Spring and Fall) and up and right about 100 feet is the alcove with the left leaning roof coming out the top-this is Monkey lip. A hard to spot bolt can be used to protect the starting moves. Lower from the anchor at the top. Note: In the Ruckman's guidebook the bolt count is wrong, the difficulty of the first half is erroneously marked as 12c, and the topo sketch is wrong (its drawn in as right facing feature and its most certainly left facing).


You have your options for cam size to protect much of this crack. If you chose to skip the bolts bring a standard rack of cams- no nuts needed, and double-up to hand size with a key #4 BD instead of the starting bolt. Otherwise just use a single set of cams to hand size and draws. Anchors at top just over the lip(the monkey lip?).

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By jonathan knight
Jun 28, 2009

Not clipping the bolts with the exception of the one down low is the new wave now. No mullets and tights just better gear and stronger climbers.
By Brent Barghahn
From: SLC, UT
Nov 5, 2016

All bolts on this are older and various states of rusty, but the final bolt is now bent and pulling out. The hanger was loose and rotated upside down just before I fell on it, bending it partially out from the wall. The previous bolt is only 4 feet below, so it's still safe to lead.

What do people see as the future state of this route? Is this now deemed as a gear only line as per Jonathan's comment, or is it fair game for bolt replacement? While the majority of bolts are near the crack, the last two bolts do protect the final moves. The only gear options I noticed would leave you pulling a crux move to the lip with your last gear 15 feet below. A serious and impressive lead!
By bheller
From: SL UT
Mar 8, 2017

I think we should ask Dana what he thinks about it...I think he lives in CO now, I ran into him a few years back...

If anyone reading this knows him and has his contact info, would you pass on this message?

It seems it could be a good candidate for bolt reduction at a minimum.
By Brent Barghahn
From: SLC, UT
Aug 30, 2017

All bolts and the anchor have been replaced. Only the first bolt of the upper section was removed as it was adjacent to good hand sized gear. Feel free to still skip them all!

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