From the switchbacked trail descending from top of Misery Ridge (or ascending toward the ridge if you took the Asterisk Pass approach), find a climber's trail heading downhill toward the north face of Monkey Face. Gear up near small pine trees.
A Smith classic. Despite its name, this is not the original ascent line. That ascent line (begins near the northwest corner of the pillar and goes to top via West Side Cave) is an archaic bolt ladder which no longer gets climbed (see book for more details). A. Watts' guidebook describes the route in five pitches:
Pitch 1: 4th class. From the small trees move over exposed 4th class rock towards the low-angle ramp running at the base of the north face of Monkey. Find a single bolt.
Pitch 2: 5.5 (trad). Move up the low-angle ramp toward the notch between Monkey Face and below the Springboard. Make a few 5.5 moves to reach top of notch. Move to the other side of notch onto the exposed face (a #3 Camalot works well in a crack here). Climb up past a drilled piton and one bolt to Bohn Street - a wide ledge with plenty of belay bolts.
West Face Variation (5.8) allows you to substitute those standard first two pitches to Bohn Street Ledge with some quality climbing (either 2 or 3 pitches) from the west side. Highly recommended!
Pitch 3: A0. Move up from Bohn Street following the obvious bolt line towards the mouth cave. The bolts are new and bomber. There are approximately 18 bolts. The wall goes from vertical to slightly overhung.
Pitch 4: 5.7 (bolted). This pitch is named "Panic Point". It is only about 20 feet long but the exposure is extreme. From the east side of the mouth, step out of the cave and climb up to a large boulder (Monkey's nose) about 20 feet above the cave. There is a pair of bolts which can be clipped before stepping out of the cave and the rest of the route has very closely spaced bolts.
Monkey Off My Back provides a variation finishing pitch (all the way to the summit) at 5.8.
Pitch 5: 5.4. Move left and up onto the nose of the Monkey and then make a wide step onto its forehead. Easy and unexposed scrambling leads to the spacious summit.
Do a short (but akward) rappel from a pair of bolts right below the summit (you'll see them while scrambling on the way up) to the pair of bolts atop pitch 4 (i.e. bolts are in Monkey's nose). Do a double rope (60 meter ropes) rappel from the "nose" bolts all the way to the ground. This is a "free air" rappel for about 100 of the 180 total feet. It is one of the climb's highlights.
A light traditional rack (depends on your comfort climbing the exposed 5.5 pitch). A few small cams ( #3 Camelot provides a "bomber" piece once you cross over through the notch). A few mid-sized wired stoppers. At least 10 (preferably more) QD's for the bolt ladder (depends on personal comfort), etriers, two daisy chains, two 60 meter ropes, and possibly a short cheat stick for shorter climbers. The second has the option of jumaring or prusiking up the bolt ladder pitch to save time.
Additions and Corrections[ Post an Addition or Correction ]