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Modern Times 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Dick WIlliams, Dave Craft, & Brian Carey - 1964
Page Views: 26,414
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Feb 21, 2006  with updates from Kurtz

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (264)
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Gwen Schwimmer on the first pitch.


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'.

Bring up your partner, then scramble to the top.


Standard Rack.

Photos of Modern Times Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff Arliss dispensing with footwork.
Jeff Arliss dispensing with footwork.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato firing the wild crux of Modern Times.  ...
Mike Amato firing the wild crux of Modern Times. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Modern Times Roof
Modern Times Roof
Rock Climbing Photo: Someone heading "out" the 2nd pitch (tak...
BETA PHOTO: Someone heading "out" the 2nd pitch (tak...
Rock Climbing Photo: In the middle of the P1 overhang.
In the middle of the P1 overhang.
Rock Climbing Photo: Below the overhang on P1.
Below the overhang on P1.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Modern Times Direct and variations
 One great ...
The Modern Times Direct and variations One great ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Modern Times
Modern Times
Rock Climbing Photo: In the roof
In the roof
Rock Climbing Photo: Just finishing the roof
Just finishing the roof
Rock Climbing Photo: Alan Brunelle going for it! August 31st 1992.
Alan Brunelle going for it! August 31st 1992.
Rock Climbing Photo: Alan Brunelle getting ready for the roof, August 3...
Alan Brunelle getting ready for the roof, August 3...
Rock Climbing Photo: A View from the crux move of Modern Times
A View from the crux move of Modern Times
Rock Climbing Photo: JD and I climbing Modern Times. This picture is a ...
JD and I climbing Modern Times. This picture is a ...
Rock Climbing Photo: 1976 pulling the crux roof. Exit Stage Left and Ge...
1976 pulling the crux roof. Exit Stage Left and Ge...

Comments on Modern Times Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 24, 2017
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 27, 2006

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: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Regardless of its traditional grade, let's call a spade a spade. I think this route is 5.9... even in the Gunks.
By Adam Catalano
From: Albany, New York
May 9, 2006

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.
By GabeO
From: New Haven, CT
Oct 23, 2006
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 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: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 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 T Roper
Apr 21, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

follower needs to be solid or know how to prusik!
By rgold
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Sep 6, 2008

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+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 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 Jason Antin
From: Golden, CO
Aug 10, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 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!
By Kalil Oldham
From: Brooklyn, NY
Aug 26, 2009

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 Michael Schneider
Jun 16, 2014

Direct (finish) 5.10,(harder if you are short, but i'm 5'3"): there is a whole pitch as well:
See picture, showing variations. (Try The Trophy Hunter finish,5.11?)

Stay left after the crux, go up the slab /face to the bush under the white capstone
(the bush must be in the way nowadays but provides 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 don’t touch the block that is sitting on the ledge.
By Kurtz
Aug 23, 2015

A large cam is very reassuring as you move through the P2 crux. #4 works but a #5 fits with less fiddling.
The High Exposure rappel station (climbers right) gets you down in 3 single rope or 1 double rope rapps.
By Jon Po
From: Mahwah, NJ
Apr 4, 2016
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I sewed this climb up and didn't use anything bigger than a number 1 camalot... Do yourself a favor and leave your big cams on the ground!
By Isara
May 27, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I've been climbing almost 10 years and this was quite possibly the greatest climb I have ever done in my life!! It was just...not even real. Absolutely the most intense position I have ever been in...and I top-roped the second pitch! 300' feet above the trail (seems more like 700' because the actual floor is so far down) upside down, exposed, struggling through a V1-V2 crux. Don't forget to look down! Thank you so much Jazz and Mylene for randomly picking me up and putting me on this!!
By Jay Harrison
Jun 29, 2017
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I found this route unappealing. Hadn't done it in 25+ years.
The first pitch is pleasant, but not particularly inspiring jug-hauling, with one exception: the overhang, which is poorly protected (good gear in bad rock). In places, it is getting overgrown. The climbing on other routes nearby ( The Last Will be First ) is better.
I knew the approach to the crux is on a manky stacked tower; but that tower, and many of the holds through the crux, are in much worse shape now. It's a matter of time before that entire route collapses.
Anywhere else in the world, this route would be rated 5.9 or 10a; I think the only reason this route gets attention is its sandbag rating. One can argue there is no move harder than 5.8 on this line, and I would agree. However, if one actually went by this qualification, 5.11 would be highest grade on Earth. Strenuousness counts, and this route by any standard is much more strenuous than 5.8.
Bottom line: if this route were graded 5.9 or 10a, it would not get nearly the attention it receives at its current rating. At 5.9, no one would argue the grade (compare the climbing on this to, for example, Bonnie's Roof or Ant's Line ). At 10a, the only comments would be how over-graded it is.
By SethG
Jul 24, 2017

I climbed this route on Saturday just to make sure nothing had changed before I made a comment in response to Jay. I can't speak about 25 years ago, but the "manky stacked tower" on P2 hasn't deteriorated in the past five or six years, and I doubt it has changed at all. You are climbing on a big pile of blocks, but the blocks are huge. It would take a lot to dislodge them.

I happen to agree that the route isn't all that great until you reach the final roof... but once you do, wow! I find it thrilling every time. It is one of the best. Wild and committing. And definitely 5.8.

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