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Change of Heart 
High Plains Drifter 
Knobs, The 

High Plains Drifter 

Hueco: V6-7 Font: 7A+

Type:  Boulder, 35'
Consensus:  Hueco: V7 Font: 7A+ [details]
FA: Dale Bard, c. '80's
Page Views: 9,971
Submitted By: Tim Steele on Jan 14, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (83)
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Pouya on his send of High Plains Drifter


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.


Center of the north Face.


Pads and spotters

Photos of High Plains Drifter Slideshow Add Photo
Opening moves.
Opening moves.
Marc? on High Plains, spotted by Bill Ramesy
Marc? on High Plains, spotted by Bill Ramesy
Flashing HPD, just before the "Drifter" ...
Flashing HPD, just before the "Drifter" ...
Me on high planes drifter v7
Me on high planes drifter v7
Jordan drifting through the crux.
Jordan drifting through the crux.
Plain High Drifter
Plain High Drifter
An Austrian onsighting High Plains Drifter.
An Austrian onsighting High Plains Drifter.
Pouya on his send of High Plains Drifter
Pouya on his send of High Plains Drifter
In the crux.
In the crux.
High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter

Comments on High Plains Drifter Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 26, 2015
By Tommy Klinefelter
Nov 10, 2008

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
From: ABQ, NM
Feb 25, 2009
rating: V7 7A+

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.
By Justin Edl
Mar 10, 2009

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
From: ABQ, NM
Mar 25, 2009
rating: V7 7A+

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.
By Kent Dunham
From: Alberta
May 28, 2009

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.
By C Miller
Dec 1, 2009

High Plains Drifter on Youtube -

By Andy Liu
From: Eastern Sierra
Jan 30, 2010

By cbtacy
Aug 11, 2013
rating: V6 7A

10 years ago there was a good crystal on the left hand sloping edge at the crux that made the "surf" crux move easier.

I would tend to agree that it was probably stiff V6 back then - and is probably soft V7 now.

Regardless of the grade, however, what matters is the quality. And this is, IMHO, one of the greatest boulder problems in the world. Period.

Do it.
By 5.samadhi
Sep 1, 2013

the surf crux? I thought the driveby was the harder part...thats the part that I finally stuck after falling off a few dozen times :D
By Tavis Ricksecker
From: Bishop, ca
Apr 15, 2014
rating: V7 7A+ PG13

All time classic. If you can stick the sloper, it's in the bag.
By ebanich
Feb 26, 2015
rating: V5 6C

For the Buttermilks, this climb could reasonably be called V5. Bachar Problem Left (V5) is harder for sure, as is Change of Heart (V6) and Pope's Prow (V6). Honestly there are a few V4 problems in the Milks that are harder. Calling it everybody's first V7 is a little bit unreasonable.
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