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h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
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YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Willie Crowther, Gardiner Perry, 1960
Page Views: 11,589
Submitted By: Guy H. on Feb 21, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (245)
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BETA PHOTO: Eating lunch after descending the Arrow Rappell li...


This is one of those destination climbs at the Gunks. There are also other classic moderates in the same area (Three Doves, Annie Oh!, and Limelight).

The Arrow access trail is just past some white rocks on the left side of the carriage road, at an open area with a good view of the valley. This is about a 13-min. walk from the Uberfall, and a 9-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road.

At the cliff, spot the huge left-facing corner of Easy Verschneidung (Easy V) on the right; scramble up on ledges about 20' left of Easy V to start.

P1: Follow face and crack systems up and slightly left to a ledge system under a roof. You will notice a set of rap anchors to your right. A bit runout towards the top. 5.6, 100'.

P2: Angle right through the notch in the roof. After a few hard tugs, you will be below a beautiful white slab. Follow this slab, passing 2 bolts on the way to a final headwall. The crux reach is protected by a final bolt. 5.8, 100'.

Rap twice with a single 60M rope from bolt anchors.

70M rope beta: You can combine both pitches for a great 215' lead.


Standard Rack.

Photos of Arrow Slideshow Add Photo
Climber debating the crux moves on Arrow.
Climber debating the crux moves on Arrow.
Finishing up Arrow.
Finishing up Arrow.
Ben leading the roof at the start of Arrow's pitch two.
BETA PHOTO: Ben leading the roof at the start of Arrow's pitch...
Dede reaching for the key crimp at the crux on P2.
Dede reaching for the key crimp at the crux on P2.
It was her first pitch ever.
It was her first pitch ever.
Sarah Thanhauser on P1 on a nice day in February 2005.
Sarah Thanhauser on P1 on a nice day in February 2...
Renee at the Arrow crux.
BETA PHOTO: Renee at the Arrow crux.
gblauer near the Arrow Crux. Left? Right? this time I went left, pulled the move (with some difficulty).  I think right is easier.
gblauer near the Arrow Crux. Left? Right? this tim...
Setting up for the crux move . . .
Setting up for the crux move . . .
Arrow, the little overhang that starts pitch 2.  Photo: John Ely
Arrow, the little overhang that starts pitch 2. P...
At the top of Arrow.
At the top of Arrow.
PW putting the finishing touches on "Arrow".
PW putting the finishing touches on "Arrow".
Arrow 5.8 pitch 2
Arrow 5.8 pitch 2
Brendan on P1 Arrow.
Brendan on P1 Arrow.
. . . and committing to the move.
. . . and committing to the move.
Comments on Arrow Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 7, 2014
By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Sep 28, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a spectacular route! Onsighting it was the highlight of my 07 Gunks trip.

By Michael G
Jun 30, 2008

Can anyone give an definitive answer to this question: Left or Right at the final bolt? To the right feels easier to me, but maybe I'm missing the "key crimp" when I make the move to the left...

By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Jun 30, 2008

If you go slightly left of the final bolt, there is key crimp. If I remember correctly, you mantle and rock up for a long reach with the right hand. You can see the crimp in the first photo on this page. It is directly under the rope.

By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Jul 1, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

When I led it, I went right; if I recall correctly, I found a small sidepull to the right and rocked up on that to reach the ledge. Since I haven't made the move to the left that Guy describes, I can't say which is harder.

Afterward, I did ask Richard Goldstone (my partner for the day) if I'd been off route by going right. He told me he and some other long-time Gunks climbers got on Arrow one day to see how many different ways there were to make the crux move; they came up with 26. Heh!


By Mark Stein
Jul 5, 2008

Great route! Just did it 3 days ago. The crux at the final bolt took me four tries. I tried the left twice and didn't make it, then went over to the right and checked out the moves there. The chest high bulge made it feel awkward. The left seemed to me like the only choice, most likely because it's one of the hardest things I've climbed. I put my left hand on the "potato chip," my right hand on the low crimper and my right toe on a little knee-high chip and levered up, lifting my left foot up to a small slopey ramp, then slapping my right hand high for an edge. Then I could bring my right foot up to a solid, almost palm-sized ledge and I was home. Great.

By Tim Schafstall
From: Newark, DE
Oct 2, 2008

Left of the bolt gives you the full 5.8 grade. Right of the bolt is a bit easier.

Trust your feet !

By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Oct 3, 2008

By "full 5.8 grade," do you mean solid 5.10?

By Brian
From: North Kingstown, RI
Oct 6, 2008

To the right of the bolt is 5.8. To the left is 5.8 Gunks. ;-) Cheating beta for left move... Bring your right foot up almost directly below the bolt where there is a small foot placement. Mantle off your left hand which is palm down on the obvious hold to your left. Squirm up and reach the crimper with your right hand.

By Justin Dansby
From: GA
Oct 31, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Brian is right. The key foothold definetly makes the difference. You can't totally see it once you commit to the crimp but if you miss it this climb will feel grades harder.

By J Antin
From: Denver, CO
Aug 10, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I spent what felt like an eternity shuffling back and forth across that small ledge trying to decide which side of the bolt to pull the move on...classic!

By rgold
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
May 13, 2010

Left of the bolt is where the original route went. I've climbed that a few different ways. I think they are all 5.9, and no one would even think twice about calling them 5.9 if the bolt was ten feet below the move rather than in top-rope position. But the difficulty really does boil down to a single move.

This is one of many examples of the persistence of historical grading at the Gunks---the Arrow started out at 5.8 and that's where it stayed. Art Gran, in the first Gunks guide, seemed to have a bit of a thing about assigning high grades to routes done by climbers he didn't think were "good enough" to climb at that level; grading by climber rather than by intrinsic difficulty. The most famous example of this is a short, poorly protected lead called Jacob's Ladder (led by Phil Jacobus way back in the day; you could probably count the onsight leads in the intervening fifty years on one hand). Gran fell off on a top rope but still rated it 5.8 because that was his judgment of Phil's "ability." Enough good climbers fell off on top-ropes that that particular historical grade did not persist; the route is now understood to be 5.10.

Gran seemed to have it in for Willy Crowther, who made the first ascent of the Arrow, so 5.8 it was, and 5.8 it remains. With a top rope from the bolt, it really doesn't matter too much what the rating is.


By Tradoholic
May 20, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I linked both pitches with a 60m and rapped once with 60m doubles. Pretty cruiser not much gear needed.

By JohnWesely
From: Red River Gorge
Aug 6, 2010

Way overrated. Three Stars for the first pitch, two for the second.

By Zachary W
From: San Francisco, California
Nov 15, 2010

Don't plan on aiding past the bolt or relying on it for a top rope. Climbed the route today and saw TWO bolts total. This and the Dick Williams guide both seem to suggest there are three. The bolt at the crux is completely rusted, protruding, and the hanger spins freely. I paced back and forth on that ledge for quite a while before pulling through on the left for the onsight.

Really awesome climb though. Just don't test that bolt.

By Pete Wilk
Jun 20, 2011

Both of my seconds opted for right of the bolt after much consternation. I went to the left and didn't feel like it was too bad.

Note to 6-footers and up, you can reach the key crimp from the rest where you clip the bolt, though it'll be a stretch. Once you've found a comfortable hold for your right foot, it's not too much of a problem to move up to the jug above.

I don't recall three bolts; I remember a piton, then two bolts before the anchors. There is a fairly long (20' ?) runout a little after the roof but before the piton, though it is only 5.5-5.6 terrain. There are two good spots for pro above the roof but after that is the runout.

By Justin Compton
From: Longmont, CO
Jul 19, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Fun to do at night with a headlamp!

By TarikaM
From: New York, NY
Oct 18, 2011
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I love this climb! I think it's really rated what it is for just the one move by the final bolt, and the climb gets easier towards the right of it, but is more fun on the left. The rest of the climb is smooth, and wayyy easier. If you're anything like me (slighter built female), you're more likely to have a harder time with say a sustained 5.6 like the second pitch of High E, than to struggle too much with this. That's not to say it isn't a tricky move!

By Andy Weinmann
From: Alexandria, VA
May 1, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great line. Did the same thing AntinJ did...back and forth between the two options and finally settling on the left side. I'm 5'6" and this was a somewhat balancy and reachy move for me. Feet were the 'em up as soon as possible. My 6' friend has no trouble reaching the upper crimp without much effort...SOB! :-)

By micah richard
Jun 23, 2013

Led this onsite, Wow, what a great route! One of my first 5.8 gunks leads. Ape like moves at the roof notch down low were really fun, however, getting up to it risks a bad ledge fall. the lower angle section above is a bit run out, but reasonable. The business comes at the excellent white rock at the top once you reach the pin. Spent quite a while studying the moves at the second bolt, ended up pulling through just to the left. Real exciting! That move is no doubt 5.9, but with a bolt at chest level, who cares? You can bail and escape to the left on a ramp to the top if you can"t do the last move.

By Josh Smethers
From: Malvern, pa
Jul 7, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

What a great climb with a fun and happy first pitch. Crux is well protected with a bolt at your chest. Left or right of the bolt are both committing moves on lead.