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Piedra River - Lower West
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Mild Hops 
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Noodle Wall 
November Reign 
Practice Wall 
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Refuse To Suffer 
Ruled By Force 
Smokin' Stems 
Solo Slab 
Southern Cross 
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Unsorted Routes:

Smokin' Stems 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 75'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 5c [details]
FA: S. Price/ Jason Lombard
Page Views: 1,171
Submitted By: s.price on Dec 2, 2010
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BETA PHOTO: Smoking Stems. Challenging trad route.


The crux depends on which local you ask. I think the last 15 feet are the crux while others feel the roof start is it. Climb it and decide for yourself.

Smokin' Stems is a beautiful, right-facing corner with great rock and moves. As the name suggests, it has lots of stemming. The FA was done to the top before the chains.


This is 150 feet past Chocolate Corner, just left of ascent/descent gully and very obvious from trail. The area at bottom of the climb is known as base camp. It is a great place to get out of the rain.


There is a fixed piton in roof at start, then use small to medium cams & stoppers to chain anchors. The piton was placed during an aid ascent circa 1999.

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By s.price
From: PS,CO
Jul 18, 2011

Thanks to Jason Lombard for installing the chain anchors.

By Lombard
Apr 10, 2014
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c

The pin was actually placed just before I redpointed the route, on the same day I put the chains at the top. Hands down the best trad route in the canyon with decent gear, soft stone (it is the Piedra after all), and a couple cruxes, depending on who you talk to. And the pin is still solid.

By Lombard
Apr 10, 2014
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c

And not too sure on the rating. I never did think 11+, but surely 5.11 redpoint. I have seen some solid climbers shake their way up it dancing kind of like Elvis.

By s.price
From: PS,CO
Apr 10, 2014

The pin was there a few years before you redpointed the route.
My FA of this route to the top (before chains) was in 2000. The pin was there and was placed by Alex Barrows or Mike Clinton depending on who you ask.

By Lombard
Apr 11, 2014
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c

No biggie, Steve, but the same hammer that put the pin in hand drilled the holes for the chains, on the same day. Just clarifying. Maybe the old one came out just like this one might, as we are climbing some of the softest stone around. Hope to see you around.

By s.price
From: PS,CO
Apr 12, 2014

Certainly possible J. We had hangers stolen up there so who knows what else went on.