The iconic Monkey's face has allured me (Nick) for years. I've often found myself staring at it on the bathroom wall of our local climbing gym. A retro picture of the misshapen monkey's head hung above the Wallnuts toilet years before we even began contemplating this road trip.
When we arrived in Smith Rock, Oregan, my only ambition was to stand on top of that monkey's giant head! No sooner than our second day there, I set our bearings straight for Stone Kong.
Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
Not wanting to be cheaters, Daniel, Dave and I agreed on climbing the iconic Monkey Space route, which, at 5.11b, is the easiest free climbing route to the summit.
We thought it would be a quick afternoon if we simply simulclimbed 5.8 pitches on the West face up to the start of the 5.11 climbing. However, our plans were foiled when we arrived at the base of the climb. Our midday start was not early enough to beat the crowds, and we had to wait in line. Rather than a quick lap up the route, we ended up averaging more than an hour per pitch due to the slower party ahead. Fortunately, this gave us more time to take in the views (which included some huge whippers from the party before).
Despite the delays we had an excellent day out. The climb was scenic, and the day ended off with a heart stopping moment. To descend the pillar, climbers do a 140' free hanging rappel, straight from the monkey's chin! We can now happily say we've conquered the Monkey!
We are Daniel, David, Nick & Erik.
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