Type: Boulder, 80 ft
FA: John Bachar
Page Views: 34,225 total · 163/month
Shared By: M. Morley on Dec 31, 2001
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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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.


Crash pad.


If there is a huge crowd at Gunsmoke, go check out "The Chubb"(V2). It's in a group of three boulders a little further up the trail and to the left from Gunsmoke. Bring a crash pad! Nov 12, 2002
Gary Kleiger  
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. Mar 20, 2003
Adam Stackhouse    
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... Mar 8, 2006
redlands, ca
veritus   redlands, ca
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. Feb 19, 2008
Diego Rivera
Boulder, CO
Diego Rivera   Boulder, CO
Let's just call it 11c, that's what it is, an 80ft route. May 12, 2008
Andy Liu
Eastern Sierra
Andy Liu   Eastern Sierra
Ian G.
Ian G.   PDX, OR
I may be referring to the "birdman" but...

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? Feb 27, 2010
Theo Colameco
Theo Colameco   Boulder,Co.
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!!! Mar 20, 2010
T B  
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. Aug 31, 2011
Justin Sarvela
Duluth, Minnesota
Justin Sarvela   Duluth, Minnesota
Saw "The Birdman" there last weekend... Jan 20, 2013
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. Feb 10, 2014
The Billy Goat
The Billy Goat   fontana,ca
My fav route at Josh. Been pulling it for years and always come back to it. Easy to get and lots of space to try different sections.
Jan 4, 2016
Ben Ricketts
Salt Lake City, UT
Ben Ricketts   Salt Lake City, UT
I love this problem/route. I've had so much fun on this thing over the years. Thanks for adding the historical note TB. Comments like yours really add to this site. Feb 8, 2017
It is possible to top this out in two ways. The first is to use the holds on the farthest right section of the traverse and then downclimb the tree. The second is to top out up the horizontals just before the end of the traverse on the left. Apr 6, 2017
Rico Tan  
I saw Birdman for the first time today! Still out doing his thing! 11-12-2018 Nov 12, 2018
master gumby  
hang out spot for the end of the day and good to maintain fitness and get a good pump in. Finally got it clean. Dec 10, 2018