REI Community
Gunsmoke Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Corner Problem 
High Noon 
Shanghai Noon 


Hueco: V3 Font: 6A

Type:  Boulder, 80'
Original:  Hueco: V3 Font: 6A [details]
FA: John Bachar
Page Views: 27,071
Submitted By: M. Morley on Jan 1, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (199)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
John with fantastic static tension hitting the cru...


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.

Photos of Gunsmoke Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Myself on the 1st half of Gunsmoke Traverse
Myself on the 1st half of Gunsmoke Traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Myself towards the end of gunsmoke figuring out th...
Myself towards the end of gunsmoke figuring out th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Bruckman doing a lap.  Early '80s?
Dave Bruckman doing a lap. Early '80s?
Rock Climbing Photo: Ian performs a mandatory figure 4 to top out after...
BETA PHOTO: Ian performs a mandatory figure 4 to top out after...
Rock Climbing Photo: A well earned rest....
A well earned rest....
Rock Climbing Photo: Gunsmoke
Rock Climbing Photo: Nailing the short person crux.
Nailing the short person crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: You can get a good rest if you do a heel/toe cam w...
BETA PHOTO: You can get a good rest if you do a heel/toe cam w...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gunsmoke- long view.
Gunsmoke- long view.
Rock Climbing Photo: Hannah gives mom a spot as she nears the crux. Cop...
Hannah gives mom a spot as she nears the crux. Cop...
Rock Climbing Photo: dyno
Rock Climbing Photo: GS
Rock Climbing Photo: Carol with some short person's beta for what becom...
Carol with some short person's beta for what becom...
Rock Climbing Photo: Heading for a rest in the corner.
Heading for a rest in the corner.
Rock Climbing Photo: fun problem
fun problem
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching crux #1 Photo by T.Tennessee
Approaching crux #1 Photo by T.Tennessee
Rock Climbing Photo: Self portrait; just after the start
Self portrait; just after the start
Rock Climbing Photo: races in reverse
races in reverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris pumping and soaking up the sun on the Gunsmo...
Chris pumping and soaking up the sun on the Gunsmo...
Rock Climbing Photo: left wall.  (photo: Dave Verdugo)
left wall. (photo: Dave Verdugo)
Rock Climbing Photo: I wish I could do this traverse
I wish I could do this traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on the Onsight
Me on the Onsight
Rock Climbing Photo: Gunsmoke V3, Topo
BETA PHOTO: Gunsmoke V3, Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Marc on Gunsmoke.
Marc on Gunsmoke.

Show All 29 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Gunsmoke Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 6, 2017
By Murf
Nov 12, 2002

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!
By Gary Kleiger
Mar 20, 2003

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.
By Adam Stackhouse
Mar 8, 2006
rating: V2 5+

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...
By veritus
From: redlands, ca
Feb 19, 2008
rating: V1 5

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.
By Diego Rivera
From: Boulder, CO
May 12, 2008

Let's just call it 11c, that's what it is, an 80ft route.
By Andy Liu
From: Eastern Sierra
Jan 30, 2010

By Ian G.
From: PDX, OR
Feb 27, 2010

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?
By Theo Colameco
From: Boulder,Co.
Mar 20, 2010

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!!!
By T B
Aug 31, 2011

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.
By Justin Sarvela
From: Duluth, Minnesota
Jan 20, 2013
rating: V3 6A

Saw "The Birdman" there last weekend...
By Crotch Robbins
Feb 10, 2014

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.
By The Billy Goat
From: fontana,ca
Jan 4, 2016

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.
Rock Climbing Photo: fun stuff, about less an 1/3 completed.
fun stuff, about less an 1/3 completed.
By Ben Ricketts
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 8, 2017

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.
By Crackson
Apr 6, 2017
rating: V3 6A

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.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About