Trip Report    

Monkey Face, Smith Rock

A0 climb, Tyrolean climb, great views

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Climb leader was frustrated. Yosemite trip and Lost Arrow Spire Tip climb canceled due to first for campground closures due to COVID-19 and then by wildfire in California. So he decided to go for the next best thing - Pioneer Route on Monkey Face at Smith Rock. After last minute email coordination on Friday, group of four headed down to Oregon.

Overnight camping was closed at Smith Rock, so we camped at the Skull Hollow Campground 10 minutes to the east. Early next morning, parking lot was already starting to fill when we arrived. We grabbed our packs and started hiking in, breathing a sigh of relief as one group after another peeled off the trail to head to their destination of the day. We arrived at the Diving Board, happy to find no one there ahead of us as we viewed the route from across the mouth of the monkey.

One team headed down to base of the Pioneer Route while the second team started rigging up rappel from the beefy anchor on the rim and dropping down to the alcove below the notch. Team one led up, past the notch, and to the ledge below the bolt ladder. Team two followed closely behind, setting up on the ledge as well. Another team had come up on the West Face, freeing the route to our left but never getting in our way. 20200927_100315.jpg

Bolt ladder was relatively closely spaced and easily managed. Climb leader was amused to find quite a few of them loose. Care was taken to avoid leaning outward. There was some struggle getting over the lip into the mouth, but there are bolts waiting for the leader right there. Recommendation was for the follower to re-aid the route due to overhanging route, but it probably could have been jugged. 

Bolt Ladder.jpg

Stepping out of the mouth is scary, but holds are solid and bolts very close. Keep moving. There are many options on the last pitch, but none were straightforward. One team went right and up the face while second team went over the nose, stepped across, and then traversed up the "forehead."

Returning to the mouth, we tied off the other end of the static rope to the beefy steel L beams to set up our Tyrolean Traverse. We all managed to get something stuck and needed help from others, but all eventually made it across the 30 feet gap.


Ton of hikers taking pictures and a lot of shouting to coordinate transmission of pictures.

Great day, great team, and satisfied climb leader.