John with fantastic static tension hitting the cru...
Classic. Like Yosemite's Midnight Lightning, Hueco Tank's Ghetto Simulator or Boulder's Monkey Traverse, Gunsmoke requires little introduction.
The Gunsmoke Traverse is L-shaped and is usually done from left to right. Start as far left as possible, move right along the wall for about 50' past 2 crux sections, turn the corner (third crux), and continue another 35' along rails to a final bulge. If your guns aren't too smoked, reverse your moves back to the start.
GUNSMOKE IS LIKELY THE SINGLE MOST CROWDED ROUTE IN THE PARK, and it's not uncommon to find a dozen or more people there at any given time. Several other quality problems can be found in the vicinity, including the classic stemming problem Streetcar Named Desire (V6) and The Chube (V2). Southern exposure makes this a hot one during mid-day - best done in the late afternoon.
This is just such an excellent problem. It is one of my favorites. I only wish it wasn't so popular as the area can be quite crowded with beginners.
V2: This problem, while long and strenuous, has no truly difficult moves on it. Also, in the interest of rating problems to suggest the difficulty, and not use it to boost one's ego (see Happy Boulders), lets call this one V2.
Except for a move or two turning the corner, this boulder problem is completely safe, positive and very fun. I remember being "lapped" by the Birdman...
By veritus From: redlands, ca Feb 19, 2008 rating: V15
V grades are based on the single most difficult move. Nothing on this traverse is more difficult than v1. Just because its super pumpy and not many v4 and under climbers can do it doesn't mean its v3. If it was in europe it wouldn't be given a bouldering grade.
Has anyone ever been to this problem and seen the crazy guy who sits in the corner and keeps attempting a lockoff move and then stepping off. I was there once and he tried this same move about fifty times. He would mumble to himself in between attempts. He was there every time I've been to Gunsmoke, but last week he was absent! Did anything happen to him?
Back in 90 I was in J-Tree, having been witness to the Birdman on this problem, me and my partners were exultant, when said Birdman climbed on our top ropes out in the Big Moe alcove.Not on said Big Moe but on another line across from it. Up the climb and then down the climb, again up another time then down again. Quiet as he was,he spoke with his climbing, his precision.Hearing the Birdman still stomps this line is Awesome !! Thanks for the inspiration Birdman!!!
I found this traverse in maybe 1981? when it was virgin. Pretty exciting find. Guess its good to see plenty enjoy it... but most crowed in the Tree? Whoa. After a few weeks of having it to myself, I showed it off to some of the Uplanders I was hanging out with at the time, and we worked it for a few months (weekends) after that, before anyone else knew of it.
It got it's name one day when John and Mike approached me while loafing at a campsite in Hidden Valley and asked me if I knew anything about the traverse near Barker. To which I replied... um yes. John commented that he thought it was Yaniro's secret work out area.... and asked if I had named it (Hadn't). I had told him I considered calling it Joe's Garage (Zappa... which John had inadvertently turned me on to one day hanging out at Mike Brown's tent in Tuolumne). Don't remember if it was John or Mike that mentioned there was already a Joe's Garage. John asked what I thought (John was always a class act) about "Gunsmoke"... "Cause when your done... your guns are smokin'". I concurred (he had a talent for naming stuff... like Cellulite Eliminator in the Meadows) and so it was.
There's a new (to me) foothold at the crux move (from left to right) which brings the difficulty of that span down a couple of letter grades for those with shorter wingspans. I haven't been to Gunsmoke in a while so it must have been added in the last three or four years.