Type: Sport, 90 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
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Shared By: ScottH on Feb 26, 2006
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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Nine Gallon Buckets ascends an obvious line of huecos between Cool Ranch Flavor and Overboard. This climb is long and pumpy, and enjoyable the whole way up. There are three sets of anchors on this climb. If you stop at the first, it is 5.9. The second anchor comes after a section of 5.10c, and the third after an additional section of 5.9. You can lower off the highest anchor with a 60 M line.

P1. Begin by heading up steep ground to the first bolt (some will want a stick clip-- the moves are not totally trivial), then follow the massive huecos up and left to the first set of chains (5.9).

P2. Continue heading up and left as the pockets get smaller and sparser. The crux arises soon after leaving the first pitch anchor and involves some tricky sidepulls. Remember to look left if you feel like you are running out of positive features on this pitch! After passing an intermediate anchor the difficulty of the climbing eases, but the pump remains to the final anchor (10c).


Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Good clean fun. Link everything in one great 35m pitch. Getting to the first bolt is balancy and committing, so be careful. Apr 18, 2007
chris tregge
chris tregge   Beersconsin  
You can do both "pitches" easily on a 60m rope. Be sure to tie a knot on the belayer end, or better yet, have your belayer tie in to the rope. Jun 2, 2007
Jeffrey Hyman
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Jeffrey Hyman   Santa Fe, New Mexico
Great Route, Even after the crux when it eases up, it is still blast. Dec 19, 2007
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Agree with all of the above statements. If you can climb to the first bolt you might as well take it to the third anchor because even if you fall up high you will not hit the ground Jun 11, 2008
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
I think a comment needs to be made regarding the opening sequence of this route. Yesterday I was once again a witness to a sketchy and scary fall that occurred before the first bolt had been clipped.

The first 15 feet of this climb are fairly serious and poorly protected. Just because you can climb 5.9 does not mean that you will be comfortable getting to the first bolt. A stick-clip is highly recommended if you aren't totally solid and confident. This is bolted like an old-school climb, and if you've climbed 5.9s elsewhere you're probably going to be in for a surprise.

Many people will find this aggravating and frustrating, but do yourself (and your ankles) a favor by taking some precaution here. Sep 22, 2008
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Seems like Peters comment could be said about almost every route I got on at Smith. An alternative to the stick clip is wait until you are a solid 5.10+ climber then get on it. I watched a kid fall above the first or second bolt and miss the ground by two feet. Not sure why he came so close but it is a dangerous game and you need to be careful. Sep 22, 2008
Mark Gibson
Seattle, WA
Mark Gibson   Seattle, WA
I also agree with Peter. Stick clip the first bolt as the hardest bit is getting off the ground and you really don't want to blow the opening moves. And, if you can climb 5.10 you MUST do the upper section. After grunting through the sidepull/undercling crux the climbing eases considerably, finishing on some of the coolest honeycomb pockets you will ever have the pleasure of sinking your meathooks into. Mar 25, 2009
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
The first move of this route is the hardest, imho- after you reach the first hueco, its positive, but not over before the first bolt.

The upper crux is balancy and fun and well protected. May 23, 2010
Eric Olson
Minneapolis, MN
Eric Olson   Minneapolis, MN
If you are climbing to the top anchors (3rd set), two notes: 1) a 60 meter rope is *just* enough to lower a climber; and 2) I would *not* recommend cleaning the whole route while lowering from the top anchors - this will result in a HUGE swing upon unclipping the lowest draw. We cleaned to the first set of anchors on lowering, then re-climbed the lower part to clean up to there. Jul 13, 2011
I was climbing this route two weeks ago and pulled off a fist sized rock when I tried to use an obvious undercling near the crux. Thankfully nobody was directly below me.

A few days before I also saw someone pull off two decent sized rocks on the zebra wall.

I thought this was a really good reminder that even the most climbed areas at smith are susceptible to rockfall.

And yet out of the 15+ other people at the wall, no one was using a helmet. May 29, 2012
Alex Quitiquit
Salt Lake City
Alex Quitiquit   Salt Lake City
Don't know about the debate on stick clipping, but if you are climbing at smith rock, then you know that you are climbing at smith rock. Climb to the bolt, clip it and move on. Even if it's 5.9 to the first bolt, the route is 10c so heads up... Look at the tags, climbing is dangerous. Whoops Aug 16, 2012
Corvallis, Oregon
donggua   Corvallis, Oregon
solid smith rock 5.10, good route May 12, 2013
Brian Martin
Bend, OR
Brian Martin   Bend, OR
Instead of going left to knob and undercling it is possible to go straight up at crux on crimps. I found this to be easier. Apr 19, 2015
dave Hause
carrboro, nc
dave Hause   carrboro, nc
A veritable bolt ladder with a low first bolt makes this a comfortable route for anyone climbing at this grade. Jun 21, 2015
Z Winters
Mazama, WA
Z Winters   Mazama, WA
A local was explaining to me how the start has changed over the years: broken holds, eroding base. If in doubt stick clip it, but honestly the hardest move is two feet off the ground so it's not bad to boulder it. Harder for short people. 10a off the ground, then 5.8 to the first anchors and 5.10 above. Definitely go to the last anchor, what a fantastic route! Really super fun climbing! Mar 20, 2016
Patrick Beeson
Portland, OR
Patrick Beeson   Portland, OR
Really enjoyed the variety of holds on this route: huecos, crimps, pulls, underclings, the works. If you have a 70m rope, and you should, go to the top anchors. I found the crux just after the first anchors. Seemed a little soft for 10c on the second pitch. Nov 13, 2017
Patrick, no need for a 70. A 60m rope works just fine. Nov 14, 2017
Tiffany Samson
Seattle, WA
Tiffany Samson   Seattle, WA
If you're well practiced on bouldery moves, the start doesn't require a stick clip. When in doubt, be safe. I found moving through the bottom huecos more awkward than the Light on the Path start. The actual crux is more puzzling - the 10c section less enjoyable, but the huecos are good for warming up or just fun climbing. If top rope climber falls or takes, the unlevel ground may cause belayer to slowly slide left and swing footless to the base of Overboard, just barely missing an Overboard belayer. This happened to me and the next group - fun but uncontrollable. Apr 30, 2018
John Clark
San Francisco, CA
John Clark   San Francisco, CA
Fun jug hauling with a 10a crux and a 10c crux May 29, 2018
Dom R
Bend, OR
Dom R   Bend, OR
Fun hueco climbing, feels like a red river gorge climb. The low crux is pretty quick for us taller folks, I actually thought the weird step left as you pass the first bolt was harder than getting off the ground. Nov 10, 2018