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i. High E
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High Exposure 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Hans Kraus & Fritz Wiessner - 1941
Page Views: 120,031
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Feb 21, 2006  with updates from Dan Africk

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Jake's first lead!

Description 

High Exposure. The climbing itself is flawless, but when one considers that the FA was done by pioneers Hans Kraus and Fritz Wiessner in 1941, it's even more incredible! The name, of course, is completely appropriate for this must-do Gunks mega-classic.

The High E buttress is an obvious right-facing arete that is visible from the drive in from New Paltz. It is located about halfway along the base of the Trapps, right of the MF area and left of Bonnie's Roof. The High E access trail 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.

P1: Begin the climb in a chimney/stemming corner left of the arete. Climb up this corner, only until it is possible to traverse up and right across the face, then climb up the face to a fantastic, spacious triangular belay ledge (this is the GT ledge) right on the arete below a large roof. Belay from natural gear or sling the huge boulder on the ledge. 5.4, 180'.

This pitch was originally split into two by belaying in the corner before heading out onto the face, but it can be easily combined into one with careful rope management.

P2: This is the money pitch, and is just about as exciting as 5.6... or 5.7 or 5.8 for that matter... can be. Climb up from the ledge (it's easiest to begin at the left side) and traverse right to the obvious place to turn the corner and make "The Move" to pull the roof - the exposure is immediate and the rock is steep! Continue up the face past gear, jugs, and fixed pins, trending left back towards the arete, until you top out. Exhilarating! 5.6, 100'.

Communication between the clifftop and the GT is notoriously difficult here, so plan accordingly.

Descend climber's right from three bolted rap stations with one rope.

Also consider the Directissima variation instead of doing the original first pitch. Done this way, the climb checks in at 5.9, but you get what you pay for -- a first pitch that rivals the second in terms of quality.

Protection 

Standard Rack.


Photos of High Exposure Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber from Pennsylvania completing the f...
Unknown climber from Pennsylvania completing the f...
Rock Climbing Photo: Girl, Linda, dangling after falling off the crux o...
Girl, Linda, dangling after falling off the crux o...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking Down on the GT Ledge.  Climbers on High E....
Looking Down on the GT Ledge. Climbers on High E....
Rock Climbing Photo: me second time up high e, took the sharp end this ...
me second time up high e, took the sharp end this ...
Rock Climbing Photo: A great final pitch
A great final pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber preparing to start the exposed and excitin...
Climber preparing to start the exposed and excitin...
Rock Climbing Photo: High E looking even better after some digital phot...
High E looking even better after some digital phot...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at TK after pulling the crux
Looking down at TK after pulling the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber takes the long whip on High E when she mis...
Climber takes the long whip on High E when she mis...
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch of High E.
First pitch of High E.
Rock Climbing Photo: Who knows the story behind this sign?
Who knows the story behind this sign?
Rock Climbing Photo: Susan pulling the crux
Susan pulling the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the second pitch.  Which way should I go?...
Climbing the second pitch. Which way should I go?...
Rock Climbing Photo: Dec 29th, 2014. 35 degrees out.  Photo credit: Jor...
Dec 29th, 2014. 35 degrees out. Photo credit: Jor...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bringing up his second.
Bringing up his second.
Rock Climbing Photo: High E crux
High E crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Greg Maka.
Photo by Greg Maka.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wider view of climbers on first (or optional secon...
Wider view of climbers on first (or optional secon...
Rock Climbing Photo: Belayer on the GT ledge, taken on rappel from The ...
Belayer on the GT ledge, taken on rappel from The ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading High E, photo by Lance Levine
Leading High E, photo by Lance Levine
Rock Climbing Photo: High E never looked so good.
High E never looked so good.
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the GT ledge.
View from the GT ledge.
Rock Climbing Photo: the frozen topout during a winter ascent
the frozen topout during a winter ascent
Rock Climbing Photo: Taliah coming over the top
Taliah coming over the top

Show All 74 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on High Exposure Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 20, 2016
By Kurtz
Aug 9, 2016

CONDITION REPORT 
As of 8/9/16, there's a beat-up fixed nut at the P2 crux in an odd orientation. It's kind of hogging the whole crack but you can get a so-so C3 in next to it to back it up should you feel the need.
By GoBotRocker
From: Spfld, Ma
Jul 4, 2006

A great top pitch. If you have solid leading skills, don't talk yourself out of leading it. Yes it can be intimidating the 1st or 5th time pulling throught the crux from under the roof to the side wall. Oh well, that's Gunks 5.6 and this climb has bomber hand holds all the way up the 3rd pitch, great gear and enough air to keep you talking/smilling/skitzing and bragging about that pitch forever...

Once you pull around the roof and are onto THE WALL don't forget to breathe and smile.

The bad thing about the 3rd pitch is it's not 500' long.
By Paul Shultz
From: Hudson, Ma
Mar 8, 2009

#4 Camalot recommended for going through the roof. a #3 will work, but a 4 is much better. One of the best routes I've ever done anywhere. You're surprised how good the holds are on the second pitch and they just keep going!
By JSH
Administrator
Sep 29, 2009

It should also be noted - sling whatever piece you place before The Move long; legend tells a story of a climber whose rope was chopped when he fell above the move, and his rope was pulled across the sharp lip of the roof. The legend says that he fell to the ground (!) but suffered only a broken ankle.
By Jay Harrison
Jan 17, 2010

This is also a great route for Moonlit climbing. The first pitch is rough - maybe use a headlamp for it, but after that, moonlight shines on the rock you're heading for and your shadow falls behind you on both 2nd and 3rd pitches. There's a bit of uncertainty whilst crawling under the big roof toward the crux, but after pulling around, it's all silvery holds and out-of-the-way shadows to the top.
By doligo
May 17, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Be careful not follow to the corner all they way up on P1 (which is slimy and wet) as many leaders tend to do. You can also do the P1 of Modern Times if you want to skip the forgettable 5.4 climbing and keep the grade consistent.

After you top out on P2, extend your anchor to the lip of the buttress above the V-notch crack so you can see and hear your second.
By marcin
Nov 8, 2011

Very nice 5.6. Pulling throught the crux from under the roof is incredible. We used #4 cam before we went for the crux. After that move holds are great. Don't forget to turn around and take a look at the view. Rating depends on your skills. Two days ago the guy didn't make through the crux and was dingling for nearly an hour screaming to his belayer at the top of the last pitch. So make sure you extend your anchor to the edge so you can hear your second. And as a climber, go over some self-rescue techiques. You never know when you might need them. Afterall this climb is 5.6.
By Sarah K
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 19, 2012

This was my first climb/lead in the Gunks and it was a great introduction!
Some people have mentioned that it can be hard to hear your second at the top of the route and recommended extending your belay to the edge. We had some mild wind, probably around 10 mph, and I couldn't hear my second from the edge at all while he was below the roof. Only after lowering myself about 20 feet down the face of the last pitch were we able to communicate.
By Joe Grossmann
Nov 4, 2012

Just go there and climb it. Do NOT ask anybody for the beta before! This way you'll remember doing "The Move" for the first time for the rest of your life! First time I followed. Though I was leading it the second time, it was only half as exciting as the first time. Still an awesome climb!
P1 is not that great. If you can do 5.9s, climb Directissima to the GT ledge and then go up the High-E pitch. This will make a memorable climb for sure!
By Dana Bartlett
From: CT
Feb 10, 2013

legend tells a story of a climber whose rope was chopped when he fell above the move, and his rope was pulled across the sharp lip of the roof. The legend says that he fell to the ground (!) but suffered only a broken ankle.

Definitely not a legend. Early, mid '80s? Anyway, free fall to the ground from just above the lip, crashing through the trees saved his life. I don't know the extent of his injuries, but I believe they were not particularly serious and far less than would be expected.
By Dana Bartlett
From: CT
Sep 7, 2013

High Exposure was rated 5.7 in the 1964 guide. But it is 5.6.
By oldfattradguuy
Apr 24, 2014

Why is there no mention of the keg parties held on the belay ledge in the early 80's?.

Also, the story about the ground fall is true.
By Grant Gibson
From: Cincinnati, OH
Apr 24, 2015

Fun route. If you've never climbed a route with exposure then sure you might be a little nervous making the "move" on lead and finishing the rest of the second pitch. Since I was the "guide" and had to manage 3 ropes and three followers on the climb the most entertaining part of the climb was running into "Ben" the local soloist and hearing him talk about soloing. Let me tell you, good times. Not sure if it was the wind or what but his hair looked like he had stuck his finger in a light socket. Complete respect for him.
By Mongo
Jul 15, 2015

High-E, legendary parties in the 70's and 80's. I climbed it several times. it is the elusive 5.6. Every ascent was done with nuts, well before SLCD's.
I was there the day the climber fell, scary times until word of the extent of the injuries were spread around.
My most memorable time on it was with my girl friend and two of her college room mates, they decided to soak up some sun by topless sunbathing on the GT ledge... a true High Exposure... Note to self: I got to find those pictures.
By thebmags
Oct 19, 2015

One of the few things in life that exceeds expectations, absolutely incredible
By MojoMonkey
Jul 28, 2016

I've seen on multiple occasions climbers clogging up the last pitch because of some unexpected difficulty that neither of them can communicate to each other. It usually leads to lots of ineffectual shouting until someone else can intervene as vocal relay, at least. Reference, probably the most infamous High Exposure shenanigans: rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum...
By Gunkiemike
Jul 30, 2016

How many tugs on the rope should the fallen second do to communicate "I've fallen off the move but if you could please lower me about 6 feet I'll give it another shot"?
By Jeff Crawford
From: Brooklyn
Oct 7, 2016

One of my favorite climbs for the grade and exposure. If this is your first time in the Gunks, remember that the climbs are stiff/sandbagged, so the crux and overhang may feel like 5.8/9. I prefer to break the climb into three pitches to reduce rope drag; separating pitch one into two pitches. Climbing the first pitch in a left-facing corner up the crack is a great warm-up with big jugs. After climbing left under the roof on the first pitch, there is a noticeable ledge big enough for two people to stand on and a sizable horizontal crack at head-level that takes ample protection for an anchor. You will want to bring a long 7/8mm cord (i.e. untied cordelette) for the anchor before the last pitch. For building that anchor, I usually loop the cord between two boulders for one point, place a #3 on the right between the boulders, and then girth hitch a double-length sling around the thin point of the boulder on the left. On the last pitch before making "the move" around the roof to the face, you can protect the move by placing a #4 to the right under the roof and extending a double-length sling. Save a #1 and #2 C4 for building the top anchor. You may use one of each of those in final pitch climb. Alternatively, you can walk higher up and anchor a tree. I would recommend bringing three .75s, two #1s, two #3s, and one #4, in addition to the standard Gunk rack. Check out a video of the 3rd pitch here:
By Dan Katz
Nov 20, 2016

Tied into the sharp end, and got on this for the first time on Friday. Seriously incredible second pitch - And to be honest, I really enjoyed the first pitch as well! It's not brilliant, but escaping the corner is sort of neat, and there's a certain drama that continuously builds as you approach the iconic ledge.

Others have mentioned that either a #3 or #4 can be used to protect "The Move" - I was glad to have both. The #4 slots in well right under the roof, and the #3 can be placed virtually immediately after pulling The Move - Great mental pro, and good protection for your second, in case they blow it.

If you've never been on it, be ready - The 20ft or so following The Move are much more pumpy than the Move itself.