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YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Charlie Fowler & Jack Roberts
Page Views: 6,890
Submitted By: Bryson Slothower on Apr 3, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (109)
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BETA PHOTO: March, 2002

RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek MORE INFO >>>


This is one of the best cracks anywhere in the desert. 150 feet of perfect hands to a thin crux just below the anchor. The route is long and sustained but there is a perfect rest below the crux moves. This is a good lead for those looking to break into 5.11 desert routes.

Gunsmoke is obvious from the parking area, it is the furthest left of three cracks on the broad face at the top of the hill. Start atop a ledge about 10 feet off the ground. Jam up and left in a good hand crack then move straight up following the crack which thins slightly (#1 Camalots). Continue in perfect hands for about 100 feet to a rest just below the crux. Plug in a couple of small cams (0.75 and 0.5) and fire through the bulge with good finger locks to a three bolt anchor.

Rap with two ropes.


#0.5 to 3 Camalots, extra #1s and many #2s #0.75 for the crux.

Photos of Gunsmoke Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Soon before the Gunsmoke cleared...
Soon before the Gunsmoke cleared...
Rock Climbing Photo: At Maverick Buttress with Jim Donini
At Maverick Buttress with Jim Donini
Rock Climbing Photo: Photobombing mavericks at 'Maverick Buttress'!
Photobombing mavericks at 'Maverick Buttress'!
Rock Climbing Photo: Gunfight at the Hackattack Corral
Gunfight at the Hackattack Corral
Rock Climbing Photo: Keo high on Gunsmoke.
Keo high on Gunsmoke.
Rock Climbing Photo: Keo Bolton jamming his way up Gunsmoke.
Keo Bolton jamming his way up Gunsmoke.
Rock Climbing Photo: Finger crack start variation. Photo by Blitzo.
Finger crack start variation. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up "Gunsmoke". Photo by Blitzo.
Looking up "Gunsmoke". Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sending it!
Sending it!

Comments on Gunsmoke Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 17, 2017
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Dec 1, 2003
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

A really great route with a little of everything. The route can be done lead and lower or rap with a single 70M rope.Pretty easy for the given grade of 11a, but maybe my small fingers reduced the apparent grade of the small crack up top.
By Anonymous Coward
May 10, 2004

2.5 Friends work very well on much of this route. Most of the 1 BDs are baggy and I only placed one. A better rack would have a few 2.5 WCs and 2 BDs in addition to several 3 WCs, (2 or 3) 3.5 WCs and the aforementioned smaller stuff for the top.
By Anthony Everhart
Aug 29, 2004

There is a direct start that makes the route much better and a real 11a. Doing the regular start this would be my recomedation for someones first "11a" onsight. For the direct start bring a few 1,2& 3 tcus.One 70m gets you up and down.A. Everhart
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Oct 17, 2005
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Great route. Mostly good hands, but the first third was bigger than I thought. Definitely bring a handful of #3 Camalots. The top crux seemed WAY soft for a desert 5.11. Just a few layback moves between good feet and your done. The hard part is just endurance.
From: moab, utah
Dec 25, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Another steller line at the beautiful maveric buttress. Fun and long makes this route one of the have to do's in this area a 70 meter rope works well on this route withe plenty of 2's and 3's for gear .5 and .75 for the top work well.
By Mike Willig
Apr 9, 2007

What a fantastic route. Don't forget to turn around and look down the canyon while you're climbing....spectacular!
By Steven Lucarelli
From: Moab, UT
Oct 15, 2007
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Easy for 11a even as an onsight. Probably closer to 10c.
By Linus Platt
Mar 7, 2010

Left Start 11c FA Platt '91
By greg t
From: Chevy, Silverado
May 19, 2011

left start is superb! dont bother lay-backing the top "crux" there are plenty of good stemming feet. One maybe two off-finger jams then the rest is $$.
By Princess Mia
From: Vail
Apr 29, 2012
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Well having small hands made this route a royal nightmare for me. Way harder than most 11a. The start was fists that tried to spit me out, then it was rattely cupped hands forever. Finally towards the top of the splitter I got one descent hand jam. The top was easy, jam straight in and use abundant feet on the right face.
By Richard Shore
Apr 17, 2013
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Bring at least three or four #3 camalots. Even with this and three #2s I soloed the first 30 feet before placing a piece to conserve gear. Large hands will love this route. Enduro hands/cups is definitely harder than the supposed crux up top. Move fast!
By Charlie S
From: Ogden, UT
Feb 16, 2014
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Bring a number of 0.75's for the final section. I brought 3 and placed two. I'm also a total chicken on sandstone lieback.

If you're light on the 3's, you can coax a #4 in on the starting 30 feet. A handful of 1's, 4-5 #2s, 1 #0.5, and 3-4 #3's.

A nice long route. A 70m will get you back down to the starting ledge with length to spare.
By Mary Lane
From: Nevada
Aug 9, 2015

Fun Fun Fun!! Usually lead 5.9-5.10b and this is a fantastic route to lead. Definitely not 5.11, maybe a move or 2 at the top, but it protects fabulously. Just sustained. I took (5) #3s & used (3) after bumping them. #.75 & .5 were my crucial gear pieces and save a .4 or .3 for the very top once you hump over the bugle if that kind of thing scares you. You definitely do not need a #4 to protect this climb.
By Big Bert
From: Golden, Colorado
May 17, 2017

Awesome route!! Great rests in the right places. Its nice to having doubles of BD 0.4, 0.5, and 0.75 for the crux (didnt placed them all but had the option). Bring doubles in #1's and 4x #2 and 4x#3's. Leave the #4 on the ground unless you want to carry useless weight. 70m rope gets you down all the way. ENJOY!!!

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