Modern Times pulls a pretty wild roof on the second pitch -- hard to believe it's only 5.8+.
Use the High Exposure access trail to reach Modern Times. This is about a 17-min. walk from the Uberfall, and a 13-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road.
Start 30' left of High Exposure below a slabby left-facing corner.
P1: Climb the corner and angle right to a dirt ledge. Climb up and a bit left and pass an overhang (crux) to the GT ledge. 5.7, 150'.
P2: Go 20' left and climb to the top of a huge flake. Traverse right to a notch in the roof at the top of the wall (there's a small tree growing horizontally out of the roof). Pull the roof (crux), continue up right past more overhangs, and traverse right to a belay on a small ledge. 5.8+, 100'.
Fun face climbing on the first pitch, and classic, pumpy Gunks overhangs on the second. This route would be solid 5.9 at many other climbing areas. Two kneebar rests can be found on the second-pitch overhangs to ease the pump factor.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO Mar 7, 2006 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Regardless of its traditional grade, let's call a spade a spade. I think this route is 5.9... even in the Gunks.
The roofs seemed much easier the second time. A) Because I was following this time and B) because I used the killer undercling to reach over the first/largest roof. Gaining the final ledge is the crux for me, as the flakes in front of you are super loose (like don't grab them at all) and it requires a high right foot and SCARY manteling, with huge swing potential.
As good as it's gonna get. It's a "reach and pullathon".
By GabeO From: Denver, CO Oct 23, 2006 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
I believe it really is 5.8, but not if you try to pull the last roof too early. You really want to do a low traverse, and then mantle once you get to where the hands and feet are better.
By Mr. Malloc Nov 17, 2006 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
The most sand-bagged route in the Gunks. So many people have fallen off this route. The most exposure you can have without a license.
Try the exciting variation that I call Post-Modern times, if you dare...and you feel up to a 5.10a or 5.10b pump-fest. From the tree that sticks straight out from the cliff in the last pitch....instead of going up and right...go straight right...your hands stay at the tree level as you traverse for 20 feet. As you go, do chin-ups to place big (Yellow and Blue Camalots) in the perfect crack. As you traverse, your foot holds move farther away and then come back again. Just before you get to the grassy section, pull up through the 1-foot roof and finish on the clean face above.
Tell me how you like it.
By MJMobes From: The land of steady habits Apr 21, 2008 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Buy the guide to the Gunks by Zach Orenczak and Rachael Lynn and your prayers will be answered...Modern Times is now 5.10 b/c.
By eric larson From: aurora, co Dec 16, 2008 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
"Modern Times is now 5.10 b/c" damn.. that's a wee bit inflated.. compared to other solid 10s in the gunks this felt much easier.. pumpy sure, but no individual moves were that hard.. Moves on, say Feast of Fools, are harder, and I felt the route was just as pumpy.
Besides, half the fun of this route is that it goes at 5.8+.. sandbagged a bit.. sure.. but that's the best part! The + just means exciting!
By J Antin From: Denver, CO Aug 10, 2009 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
I agree Eric, the sandbag is fun ~ at least AFTER you climb it. Is it really 5.10 now???
BETA>>> Gabe is right! First time around, I tried to pull the last roof early and mantle up, mainly because the small horizontals to my right did not look very good, needless to say I went for the big ride. On my second try, I stayed low and moved further right before moving up and I found it to be MUCH easier!
Wild, wild crux. Went up, in the notch (just right of the tree), couldn't get feet up; went up again, tried to use crimpers up on the slabby face, came back down; finally traversed right 10 feet or so and pushed out the huge mantle. Wild.
By Colin R From: Ottawa, ON Nov 20, 2011 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Feels solid 5.9 especially since you will likely be placing gear at the crux. But hey, it's the Gunks so it doesn't shock me that people say it is 5.8.
This route is incredible. I will say that the first pitch is (relatively) boring, and most of the second pitch is boring, but that roof pull is out of this world. I think I will try and climb this route every time I am at the Gunks. I used a GoPro and got a great video of the roof:
Great video, Dave. Classic Gunks, where gravity plays tricks and it's never entirely clear which way is up (or down, for that matter). Love the helmet scraping sounds (glad that's not your head---ouch!) Some viewers may want to take some Dramamine before watching (LOL)!
By Colin R From: Ottawa, ON Jan 14, 2014 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Seriously nice video Dave - thanks for the share. Definitely gives the viewer the sensation of squirreliness one feels when climbing the route....
My theory about why the 8+ grade is retained low for P2, and the grade of P1 seemes (to me) elevated at 7 for P1 ... is for enthusiasts for the route to avoid admitting that most of the route is much easier than the one crux sequence - (unlike Son of Easy O). My memory was that most of the climbing on both pitches is in the 5.4-5 range, with a brief 6 (or maybe 7- ?) overhang on P1.
Not that the lengthy 5.4-5 sections are boring -- I found them interesting (but not brilliant) for 5.4-5
I think what makes P2 notable is not just the crux moves and exposure, but the whole (photogenic) setting of the big roof.
Direct finish (5.10b, harder if you are short): Stay left after the crux, go up the slab /face to the bush under the white capstone (the bush must almost be in the way nowadays and might provide a gear placement). Find the amazing hold just above the lip, right of the bush (v1). Above this are two sharp holes that a short person may need to get to the horizontal. Get the gear, move up smooth cleaned white rock . . .
(v1) the left exit is short and stout; use crimps /side pulls to gain the ledge above, but donít touch the block that is sitting on the ledge.