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High Corner 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 225'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13 [details]
FA: Fritz Wiessner and Roger Wolcott, 1942.
Season: Rock season
Page Views: 3,566
Submitted By: Taino Grosjean on Apr 30, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (56)
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BETA PHOTO: The start of High Corner


A one-star climb just to the right of Shockley's Ceiling, this route is a hidden gem. A somewhat run-out and spicy 5.3 first pitch (definitely not for a 5.3 or even 5.4 leader), leading to an odd, crescent-shaped second pitch with really nice moves (5.2-5.3 G/PG), eventually leads to a beautiful offwidth/dihedral (5.5 PG) that just keeps coming at you. Make certain to check the guidebook topo; there's a 5.8 PG route that overlaps this one, and it's easy to get off-route.

P1: Climb up alcove to right-facing dihedral; follow the dihedral to a pine tree or continue slightly up and right to the base of some overhead right-facing corners. 5.3, 75'.

P2: Follow the right-facing corner system up and right in a "C" shape to the GT ledge; walk right along GT ledge to a large arete, walk around corner to grassy area underneath imposing dihedral. 5.2, 100'.

P3: Climb the dihedral to the top. Due to rope drag, you can build an intermediate anchor on the GT ledge almost directly above the rappel tree from P1 belay and bring up the second, then do a short (20 foot) traverse to get around the corner. 5.5, 80'.

Descent: Rappel off the Shockley's Ceiling rappel, or walk about 50 yards to climber's left to the bolted Ribs rappel. There is a rappel station just to climber's right of the P2 belay, but it's two rappels to the ground -- and the intermediate rappel station is nothing to write home about.


Approximately 60 feet right of Shockley's Ceiling, in a right-facing dihedral with a short "chimney" or alcove.


P1: The crux moves have protection. I put in 3 pieces in 75 feet. With larger cams (3.5, 4) there might be more protection.
P2: adequate, but fiddly.
P3: looks adequate, maybe PG; we had to bail off due to the last pitch being dripping wet.

Photos of High Corner Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jed trying his best (and succeeding) to make the c...
Jed trying his best (and succeeding) to make the c...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up P3
BETA PHOTO: Looking up P3
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down P2, to the belay station.
Looking down P2, to the belay station.
Rock Climbing Photo: Joel Ryan leading up the third pitch of High Corne...
Joel Ryan leading up the third pitch of High Corne...
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading up p3, forgot how great this was!!
Leading up p3, forgot how great this was!!
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out on p2
Topping out on p2
Rock Climbing Photo: Dhivash arriving at the belay at the end of the ro...
Dhivash arriving at the belay at the end of the ro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the "High Corner" Steep,Fun...
Looking down the "High Corner" Steep,Fun...

Comments on High Corner Add Comment
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By Michael G
May 19, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

Gear at crux on pitch three is fine. You can sling the chockstone at the crux, and get a cam in on the left face of the corner a little higher up. It is a little run out in other places on the climb, though.

Also, I was told that someone died on this climb a few years ago. Does anyone have information on that?
By GMBurns
Aug 12, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Just stay out of the thin chimney on the right of the corner if you want to keep it at the grade. Gulp!
By Mark Roth
From: Boulder
May 18, 2009

I think this was the scene of the first fatality in the Gunks in 1959. The old red Dick Williams guide mentioned it, and caused me to avoid this route for about 20 years. Bummer, cause the corner is super fun.
By kasual321
Jul 14, 2010

I have a question about the second pitch, if you start up from the tree with the slings on it (presumably that's the belay station for the first pitch), and climb up, there's, at least now, a cam stuck up there, where a right-facing corner turns into a small roof. I climbed up to the cam, but the move higher than that did not feel like a 5.3 (which one book said) nor a 5.5. I assumed that the direct way up is the 'Hi Coroner!'. So I traversed to the right a little, and hanging on to a few crimper holds and a few somewhat persistent ledges I moved up over a small overhang after about 7-10 feet of this. This was easier than straight up, but still did not feel like a 5.5. My question is: Is the route sandbagged, just right (and I'm just a wuss), or was I off-route (for High Corner, anyways)? Also, I wound up coming up directly below the third pitch beginning, but I did traverse right somewhat on a foot-wide ledge.
By Gunkiemike
Aug 5, 2010

k321, that cam is on P2 of Grim-Ace Face (just before the hard moves). Your traverse rightwards put you on High Coroner, 5.5ish but rather airy bit of climbing. IMO this is a better way to get to the GTL and P3 of High Corner than the wandering/rope draggy usual P2.
By Gini Kramer
From: North Haven, CT
Jun 17, 2014

I'd been looking at this route for a while and finally tried it yesterday. However, because of my aversion to ground falls, I immediately backed off the start, which is a kind of alcove/corner/crack/chimney/whatever that leads to a ledge with a large triee. So my partner and I went looking for another way to access the ledge. We found one about 15-20 feet to the right. A nice seam goes up and to the left. You can practically walk right up it. Which is what I did. I then walked to the big tree, set up the belay and brought my partner up.

P1 is, as described above, virtually unprotectable. But it's very easy climbing.
P2 is There are two places to set up a belay. One is by a rap tree. The other is up and to the left at the start of the right-facing corner you're going to follow. I recommend belaying there. That's because, toward the end of the pitch, there's a traverse to the right that takes you to the GT ledge. If you're beying belayed from the tree, your rope will form a giant C and you'll end up with epic rope drag.
P3 is considered the "money" pitch. It's harder than P2, but not nearly as much fun.
By Dan Africk
From: Brooklyn, New York
May 18, 2015
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I lead just the first pitch yesterday, and I did not find it run-out at all, certainly did not find protection "nearly nonexistent". I used 3 tricams (2 pink and a red), a nut, and some medium sized cams. PG at worst. I do think the crux is harder than 5.3. 5.4 or even 5.5 is more fair.

I really didn't like the hanging belay under the rap tree at the top of the pitch. I tried to build a gear anchor on the ledge above the tree to avoid the discomfort of a hanging belay, but I didn't like the options for gear placement, most of which involved a detached (I think) boulder, and would put the anchor on the ground.. If you really had to, or were willing to trust the detached boulder, you could manage to build an anchor, but it would be awkward at best.

If I do this again, I would either try to combine the first pitch with part of the second to find a better place to belay (up and to the left as Gini mentioned above), or maybe find a spot a couple moves below the rap tree to belay from. The Topo picture on the Trapps App shows a belay where Gini describes, roughly 20' above and 30' to the left of the rap tree. Pitch 2 goes to the right and up from this location.
By Eric Lutz
Nov 16, 2015

Re-climbed this guy today for the first time since 2002. I forgot how good the 3rd pitch is! Sling the chock stone before the crux and GO! Pitch 1 and 2 are just Meh. I linked the first two with a 70m ending at the GT Ledge right below Shockley's. Sling the tree at the beginning.
By David Kerkeslager
From: Brooklyn, NY
Sep 11, 2017
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

This was a scary morning. I started up Grim-Ace Face due to bad beta from a nearby climber, and (thankfully) backed down before any disaster. Then after consulting the Gunks App (which says nothing about the safety of the route) I started up High Corner. Definitely not adequate pro. Would not lead until you're more comfortable with the grade than I was.

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