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Unsorted Routes:

High Plains Drifter 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, Sport, 5 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Mike Caldwell and Randy Farris, 1986
Page Views: 3,616
Submitted By: paco on May 1, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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Getting into the thin of it...

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Description 

High Plains Drifter is a high quality, mostly face variation to Fat City. Keep in mind that some of the bolts are spaced a bit. This is not a sport climb.

Approach via Fat City or The 44 and belay after the 10c crux roof. from this belay step left onto the slab and climb the THIN 10b crack straight up to the first bolt. The other and perhaps safer option is to continue up Fat Citys third pitch for 10 ft then cut left on an undercling to the first bolt. Taking the undercling makes the climb 10a but but watch out for rope drag! From here, make a tricky move to the first bolt and continue left and up fast three more bolts. This face section of this pitch is super clean and nicely exposed. Soon after the last bolt you'll pop onto a low angled easy slab. either go up and left to join Georges Tree 5.9 or go right to a seldom climbed 5.10? sickle shaped crack.

Protection 

High Plains Drifter is a mostly bolted one pitch climb however gear is needed for the start of the pitch and the pitches leading to it and after it. Bring your standard lumpy rack. Also, bring RPs and maybe some HB offset brass nuts if you plan to do the 10b thin crack(see below). Three of the four bolts are nice and new. However, the first bolt (which is actually an old, obsolete belay anchor) needs to be replaced.


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By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Jun 18, 2002

Climbed this last weekend and while it doesn't seem dangerous, I was happy I wasn't leading--seems to be a step up from something like Climb of the Ancient Mariner. In fact I was fairly terrified following! We opted to step in from 10 ft. up P3 of Fat City. Done this way, we both agreed that the crux was actually getting to the first bolt (the old 2-bolt anchor)--this is protected by a small cam beneath your feet. Also, after this 2-bolt anchor, we only found 2 more bolts (both new). Awesome, exposed climbing!
By justin dubois
From: Estes Park
Jun 26, 2002

I led this yesterday after following the 44. We belayed just below fat city's chimney and i was lucky enough to link the crux of Fat city into HPD.WOW! what a pitch.I went straight up the R.P. seam and it is without question the crux of the route. It does take good small brassies and stuff. The rest of the pitch is fun and a tad on the zesty side,enjoy.
By david goldstein
Aug 25, 2005
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

A superior finish to Fat City.

I found the bolted section more straightforward and less unnervingly protected than the RP seam start.While the seam has many decent micro nut placements, almost none of them are directionally insecure from the standard belay 10' after the FC crux; if you work at it, a decent directional can be had at the bottom of the seam however in order for it to really be effective, it needs a rope drag inducing short runner -- a good place for a Revolver biner.Linking this pitch w/ the FC chimney and crux would make sense since the rope would run much straighter and be less likely to flip out the RPs.
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Jul 16, 2007
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13

This is a great exit pitch for Fat City. Most of the face climbing is on tiny positive crimps. There is a route finding crux at the second bolt. If it does not feel like 5.10a, you are going to the wrong way. I would suggest placing a long sling on the last bolt and belay above for your second. There is a little bit of a pucker factor to the last bolt, since the climb traverses almost straight left.
By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 15, 2008
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

After doing a ton of lower outs, pendulums, and the King Swing on the Nose last fall following this felt pretty tame in comparison. However, I would be scared leading most likely. It just never seemed that difficult...a crimp always materialized and the feet were generally pretty decent. You just had to relax and find them all.

I think if you came looking for a relaxing "sport" climb you would be disapointed. But if you are looking for super crimpy, balancy, trust those feet, somewhat runout climbing (though bolted they are traversing and pretty widely spaced by modern standards) you are in for a fun time.

We belayed from the top of a horn that had a rap sling with rings on it about 10' right of the end of the hard liebacking on P2 of Fat City. We tensioned over to this stance from a #4 Camalot placement and then back again. It was actually kind of cool because it added another 20' to the traversing....except you had to place/pull cams ever so delicately as you went left and slightly down to the foot ramp up to the first bolt.

We didn't do the RP seam start so not sure if that deserves an 'R' rating. Maybe PG-13 for the way we went.
By tooTALLtim
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 11, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

There are some great RP placements to be had on the .10b start! I can't believe people are saying this is PG-13, nonetheless R.

If you got up via Fat City, the .10b off the P1 belay warms you up for the .10b start to HPD.
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Jun 22, 2011

Link this from the second pitch of FCC for a four star pitch. The RP seam is a little nerve racking (bring long slings, so you don't pull 'em out!), but worst case none of them hold and you take a massive but clean whip onto the bombproof gear, you have at the FCC roof. Excellent climbing.