Smoke & Mirrors
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Photo by Roger Poage
leading at the first bolt.
This is a great route that should see more traffic, I've never even seen chalk on it. It starts above and just slightly left of Body Tremors between the South Face of Tower One and There's a Cowboy Up There. Look for three bolts and excellent face climbing with awesome exposure. It is a bit harder than it looks from the ledge but there are decent gear placements between new bolts. There is a sling anchor at the top of the pitch on Wrong Way Up that allows you to rap back down to the Italian Arete ledge or continue to the top of T1 and do the dirty deed. Your second should be solid at the grade due to a potential swing after unclipping the last bolt. The route cuts hard right after the last bolt with scant pro for about 20 feet.
Three draws, TCUs.
Roger Poage, amid the difficulties.
Roger Poage just past the crux, above third bolt.
Leading at the crux (bolt #3).
Irina Overeem, onto the 'bucket' just past the cru...
The Pepperland ledge that holds the bases of Memor...
Looking down on the ledging at the start of the ro...
BETA PHOTO: Looking across the ledging above the Chockstone Ch...
|Comments on Smoke & Mirrors
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Nov 26, 2001
The route will become a better route with more traffic or cleaning. At the moment (11/23/01) there are still a few questionable holds and quite a bit of lichen. The route is bolted, but is by no means a sport climb. You will either place gear between/after bolts or have some significant runouts.
The rap from above can get you back to the start of the climbing with a 70M rope, I had 2 meters to spare at the end, and you would NOT want to try it as such with a 60M. I believe that a shorter rope could be used to rap down to a lower point in the saddle and then again off to Body Tremors or Italian Arete, but I do not know what the second anchor would be.
|By Bryson Slothower|
Dec 11, 2001
You can rap with two ropes from slings with rings down to the Italian Arete. Start by rapping down the slab towards the saddle then cut left down the face and into the top of a large chimney with two Metolius rap bolts. Another two rope rap puts you at the base of Body Tremors.
|By Bryson Slothower|
Jun 5, 2002
If you only have one rope, you can scramble down to the saddle where Ruper ends then scramble back right to the top of Chockstone Chimney, rap to the base of Body Tremors then rap west from a tree with slings near the top of Mickey Mouse Nail Up to the top of Dodo where there is a bolted anchor and one more rap to the Vertigo ledge
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 16, 2003
I thought this was a really fun and continuously difficult pitch! The position of this climb is fantastic, and many Eldo climbers don't even know it exists. A cool (but very easy) finish is to continue to the summit of T1 and then do the standard downclimb of the sharp NW arete, all this is easily done in one short pitch from the rap anchor.
Does anybody know how this route was established? Did Mic free solo it and then add the bolts, or rope solo it? Pretty amazing either way.
|By Mic Fairchild|
May 29, 2003
It'd be a great (and different) world if all routes were done as free-solo first ascents. This little pitch represents my ideal for a new route: great position, interesting climbing, and bold creation. This climb was done after EXPLORATORY SURGERY (WRONG WAY UP the downclimb). The route was unviewed, unrehearsed, and uncleaned. The route was submitted to the FHRC and was the only climb approved for bolts in the summer of 1998. -- Sic Mic
Ed: So yes, free soloed then retro'ed a year later. Once I got back to the base the first time, immediately climbed again to scope bolt placements.
|By Mic Fairchild|
Oct 20, 2003
From the stance after doing the crux (the third bolt), it is possible to follow the line more directly straight-up instead of traversing too far right. The leader can get natural pro at a "hole" above that bolt, and continue straight up to include climbing that is more 'in character' above the crux. The belay for this corner variation is just a few feet uphill of the standard belay/rappel stance described elsewhere. I have also found that Body Tremors makes a nice approach pitch to S&M, so a link-up like Super Slab-Body Tremors-S&M makes a three-star day. Enjoy!
|By Richard M. Wright|
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 29, 2003
In 1986, while on the Redgarden Wall, I watched Mic solo the West Buttress of the Bastile. While it looked stunning from our vantage point, my suspicion is that if all FAs went in on a solo-first basis, we'd not have a lot to climb. Not so many climbers either.
|By steve dieckhoff|
Oct 30, 2003
Actually since Smoke & Mirrors was first done as a solo and later bolted I think this shows that good routes would be done. There are quite a few examples of routes that were first done as solos - Blind Faith is probably the best known around here. Sometimes the person returns to it to add bolts after getting input from 'the community'. I imagine that you all would be surprised to know that even I've done this (in Arizona). Mic did a good route with S&M. A better anchor on top might not be a bad idea.....
|By David Conlin|
May 23, 2004
This is a nice way to finish Grand Giraffe, rather than the standard finish (which I've never done). I didn't think this felt any harder than 10a onsight. Pretty sustained, good pro where you need it. Nice climb.
|By Steve Matthys|
May 27, 2004
Was an accident on this route recently, not sure on the details.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Aug 29, 2004
Brandon Fritts here - I am back on the scene and doing good
|By FC John|
From: Fort Collins, CO
Mar 18, 2007
Did this route on 3/17 as a night cap to a Rover->Ruper->Italian Arete day. S&M was a great route that will improve with some clean up as it sees more traffic. Similar climbing but with more fun moves to Laughing at the Moon. Finding the start took a few minutes as the bolts are painted, but keep heading up from the Chockstone Chimney to the climbers left until you see the bolts.
|By Guy H.|
From: Fort Collins CO
Apr 6, 2008
It is possible to get in some small gear after the crux, if you are worried about your second. There is a small, horizontal crack (blue Alien, green C3) and a small nut placement before you traverse right.
We finished up and left to the top of the Yellow Spur. This is a fun and well-protected face climb that would be a good finish any route.
Sep 13, 2011
How to find this route: Approximately 15-20 feet up from the Chockstone Chimney rap rings you can traverse into a series of semi-detached flakes (for lack of a better word - they are really more like small spires) on the north side of the gully. Climb behind the flakes at 4th or low 5th class, aiming for the highest one. When you can't get any higher or further west in the flake system, look straight up for the red-painted bolts. The first one is 8-10 feet off the ground, the second around 20, and the third around 40. Because they are camoflauged, they are really hard to see.
Also, instead of cutting hard right we went straight up after the crux. Seemed relatively mellow, and you can belay up at the normal Yellow Spur final belay.