Start with sharp patina crimps and make some long pulls slightly up and right to gain a couple of slopers. Make a dynamic move off the slopes to gain better holds and an easy, but airy summit.
This problem is a North American classic and a must do for the visiting boulderer.
As a note of trivia, John Sherman referred to this problem as a benchmark standard for V6 in the first edition of his Hueco guide when he initially introduced the V-scale. It has since crept up in grade.
In reply to Sherman calling this problem a benchmark for V6, I think he was referring to Change of Heart, just left. Until the mid 90's, most people (including the lone guidebook at the time) had the two problem names reversed, until Bard finally clarified the mistake.
By LeeAB Administrator From: ABQ, NM Feb 25, 2009 rating: V77A+
A word of note as to the V-scale. The standards for V6 from Shermans Hueco guide with some thoughts
Left El Murray...impossible, well not quite but very hard, now it is impossible
Center El Murry...easy, wel now it is impossible
Bucket Roof...By the time the guide book was out, "NO TOUCHY"
High Plains Drifter...Regardless of which he was refering to HPD or CoH, harder than Center easier than Left
Pinch Overhang (Horsetooth Resivor)...I always thought this was supposed to be V5
Some people could just switch my opinion on Left and Center and it would still look pretty much the same.
LeeAB, AFAIK Pinch is considered V5 if you jump start it, but V6 if you stert with your feet on, dynoing to the lip instead of jumping off the ground.
As for the V6 rating of HPD, I have a friend who claims that this thing used to be V6 but holds have deteriorated/polished/broken over time and thus he claims that the problem now fits the standard for V7. Is that true? Awesome info/discussion guys!
By LeeAB Administrator From: ABQ, NM Mar 25, 2009 rating: V77A+
I would have guessed that Sherman, with his taste for and knowledge of history would have jumped, of course I guess you'd have to ask him, he says he is arthritic so it could have been that he had a really hard time getting his foot up on the lip to mantle. After all as originally conceived and stated the rating system is based off of him and guaranteed 100% accurate as long as you have the same height, ape index, weight and medical issues.
As far as holds changing over the years, I first did the problem about 10 years ago and as far as I can tell it really has not changed in that time except that the holds are greasier. Of course with the grainy nature of some of the holds in the second half of the problem I would believe it if some of them had crumbled over the years.
I definitely think this route is a solid standard for V7. One of the unfortunate things about an ultra-classic like High Plains is that with all that traffic, the pressure to spray down the grade is high. If this route were less known or in a lesser traveled area it would be the benchmark V7 for the area.