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Hammer Dome
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Gemini Cracks T 
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Smoke Screen 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 600'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jay Smith & Paul Crawford. 1980.
Page Views: 450
Submitted By: Gargano on May 28, 2013

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caughtinside ponders the second pitch crux on Smok...

Description 

This quality route climbs through the face and cracks right of Gemini Cracks. The line begins in an arching crack and flake system that leads to a clean friction slab peppered with thin knobs. The route takes the thin crack right of Gemini and continues above for two more pitches.


P1: Climb through a right-arching series of flakes and cracks. Pull onto the face above as the arch system peters out. Climb past 2 bolts to a bolted anchor.

P2: Friction and knob climbing on a steep face. A fun and well-protected pitch. Go straight up and then trend right past 8 bolts to a bolted anchor.

P3: Climb the face past two bolts. Trend left to clip one last bolt before heading up to a bolted anchor. This anchor is shared with Gemini Cracks, positioned directly beneath the twin cracks.

P4: Climb the thin crack just to the right of the classic final pitch of Gemini Cracks; an exquisite and not to be missed pitch. This pitch ends at a shared bolted anchor with Gemini (5.10b/c; take a bunch of thin gear from smallish nuts through about a 0.75 Camalot ).

P5: Climb straight up from the belay about 10 feet to a ramp/dike. Next traverse straight left for 20+ feet until you can step up and clip a bolt. The climbing is easy here, but be cautious as a fall will result in a 25 footer directly onto the belay. Climb up from the first bolt passing a couple more bolts and a cruxy 5.9 bulge. After the bulge you can get a blue or yellow TCU (or something similar) in a horizontal crack before you need to run it out on pretty easy ground to gully of sorts. Get some gear at the base of the gully (around a #2 Camalot) and climb up to the top of the pillar that makes up the right side of the gully. There is a bolted anchor at the top. (5.9; bolts and a couple pieces of gear).

P6: Wander up and left to the base of an obvious headwall. Climb the bolted headwall. I don't recall whether there are bolted anchors at the top of this pitch, so it is probably prudent to bring something to sling a tree etc.

The fourth pitch really shouldn't be missed because not only does it climb an amazing crack, but it provides a great counterbalance to the smeary face climbing of the first few pitches. The fifth and sixth pitches are worth doing at least once, but are not as good as pitches 2-4.

Location 

Park where the road crosses the aqueduct east of Hammer Dome. Follow the aqueduct until it enters the Dome. Scramble up and left to the base of an obvious right-arching system of flakes and cracks.

Rap the route with a 70m line.

Protection 

Pro to 2.5". 8 QDs.


Photos of Smoke Screen Slideshow Add Photo
View of the first pitch of Smoke Screen.  <br /> <br />Photo: Corey Gargano
View of the first pitch of Smoke Screen.

Photo: ...

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By J. Albers
From: Colorado
May 29, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Smoke Screen actually continues for several more pitches. The fourth pitch really shouldn't be missed because not only does it climb an amazing crack, but it provides a great counterbalance to the smeary face climbing of the first few pitches. The fifth and sixth pitches are worth doing at least once, but are not as good as pitches 2-4.

Pitch 4: Climb the thin crack just to the right of the classic final pitch of Gemini Cracks; an exquisite and not to be missed pitch. This pitch ends at a shared bolted anchor with Gemini (5.10b/c; take a bunch of thin gear from smallish nuts through about a 0.75 Camalot ).

Pitch 5: Climb straight up from the belay about 10 feet to a ramp/dike. Next traverse straight left for 20+ feet until you can step up and clip a bolt. The climbing is easy here, but be cautious as a fall will result in a 25 footer directly onto the belay. Climb up from the first bolt passing a couple more bolts and a cruxy 5.9 bulge. After the bulge you can get a blue or yellow TCU (or something similar) in a horizontal crack before you need to run it out on pretty easy ground to gully of sorts. Get some gear at the base of the gully (around a #2 Camalot) and climb up to the top of the pillar that makes up the right side of the gully. There is a bolted anchor at the top. (5.9; bolts and a couple pieces of gear).

Pitch 6: Wander up and left to the base of an obvious headwall. Climb the bolted headwall. I don't recall whether there are bolted anchors at the top of this pitch, so it is probably prudent to bring something to sling a tree etc.
By Jamie S.
From: Gold River, CA
2 days ago

Beta alert pitch 2 and 3:

Be careful on pitch 2 and 3 if you're not a solid face/slab climber at 5.10+. Getting off the belay on pitch 2 to the first bolt is really scary. I was able to get below a big horn and throw a runner on it and then mantle it to clip the bolt. It really should get another bolt so you're not looking at falling straight on the belay doing 9+ moves. The 3 pitch is not super hard but is waay run out and scary.
By Salamanizer
Administrator
From: Vacaville Ca.
2 days ago
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Smoke Screen was bolted on lead, hand drilling at natural stances, probably before you were even born. Since then, it has become a minor classic with literally hundreds of accents. I'm not trying to be a dick. It just always sounds that way when you tell someone the truth about something they don't really want to hear. Anyway, if the route is scary and way runnout for you, or you don't feel comfortable leading above the anchor or whatever, then you probably should back off and climb something else, least you injure yourself or worse.

Remember, in climbing "There's as fine a line between Boldness and Cowardess, as there is between Prudence and Stupidity".
But to suggest adding a bolt, especially to a route that is not even considered runnout to most, is absolutely asinine.