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Monkey Traverse
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Monkey Traverse, The 
Shallow Slot 
West Overhang 

The Monkey Traverse 

Hueco: V4 Font: 6B

Type:  Boulder, 10'
Original:  Hueco: V4 Font: 6B [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 12,769
Submitted By: Craig Quincy on Nov 18, 2003  with updates from Dan Rosen

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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.



Photos of The Monkey Traverse Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Yer feet may explosively blow off on this one here...
Yer feet may explosively blow off on this one here...
Rock Climbing Photo: Early '90s.
Early '90s.
Rock Climbing Photo: Traffic at the Monkey.
Traffic at the Monkey.
Rock Climbing Photo: Having fun on the monkey traverse.
Having fun on the monkey traverse.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan Flynn beginning the Monkey Traverse.
Ryan Flynn beginning the Monkey Traverse.
Rock Climbing Photo: Messing around on the Monkey Traverse.
Messing around on the Monkey Traverse.
Rock Climbing Photo: Stitched together panorama shot.
Stitched together panorama shot.
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo taken 10/30/04
BETA PHOTO: Photo taken 10/30/04
Rock Climbing Photo: Winter conditions.
Winter conditions.
Rock Climbing Photo: Messing around on the Monkey in the Nikes.
Messing around on the Monkey in the Nikes.
Rock Climbing Photo: Monkey business.
Monkey business.
Rock Climbing Photo: Chuck Lepley on The Monkey Traverse.
Chuck Lepley on The Monkey Traverse.
Rock Climbing Photo: Chuck Lepley on The Monkey Traverse.
Chuck Lepley on The Monkey Traverse.
Rock Climbing Photo: Doing laps on sunny day.
Doing laps on sunny day.

Comments on The Monkey Traverse Add Comment
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By Chip Phillips
From: Broomfield, CO
Dec 8, 2003

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.

By Colin Lantz
From: Nederland, CO
Apr 3, 2004

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.
By Helldorado
From: Boulder, CO
May 9, 2009

A relatively fun traverse, however the grease and crowds make for a moderately taxed afternoon.
By Chris Archer
Jul 1, 2009
rating: V3-4 6A+ 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?
By Chris Beh
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.
By sarah.s
Sep 30, 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!!!!!!
By jmansfield Mansfield
May 18, 2010

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.
By James P.
From: Fort Collins
Sep 4, 2010

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.
By DerekC
From: Boulder, co
Sep 17, 2012

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.
By cboss
From: SLC, UT
Oct 5, 2017

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.

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