Type: Boulder, 10 ft
Page Views: 1,834 total · 10/month
Shared By: Adam Hicks` on Sep 30, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This isn't actually on Distant Dancer Pinnacle, but the rock directly below it (west). Start on the right side working up the arete to a good hold. From there you get your left hand on a flake, do some funky footwork and cross through right hand to a small, thin flake. From this position comes the namesake move. There's an intermediate which is a tremendous help, but you basically have to throw your left for the far left flake, extending your upper body. I've seen the feet done differently for the match, but it is the crux of the route. From the big flake climb straight up on positive edges above the boulder to a topout on a slab. Have fun!


The crux of the traverse is a somewhat committing move, and if one wer eto pop off, one might smack back first into a tree. A spotter is recommended, as the topout above the boulder could result in a painful fall as well.


V5? I don't know but I've seen this listed as a V3 in a lot of guidebooks. A stiff V3 but a V3 nonetheless. Apr 3, 2004
Adam Hicks`
Adam Hicks`  
I don't think I've ever seen it listed. Benningfield alluded to an obscure V2 traverse somewhere in the area, but this ain't no V2. My grading of this traverse comes from the mouths of others. You see, I am a horrible grader, and don't know what to call anything. People tell me what's what, and that's what it is to me.

As far as I'm concerned it's way harder that any of the other V3's at flagstaff. The muscles needed to land the Iron Cross move alone make it harder than V3, and there's climbing before AND after that.

Of course, grades are all subjective, and if you do it as easy as a V3 then congratulations for being a stud. I guess the rest of us aren't so luckily endowed with manliness. Apr 14, 2004
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
grades schmades AC. how 'bout a comment about how that iron cross move can really wreck your shoulder ... or how the meddling boulder behind you for the finish takes away from the quality of the problem ... or how a number of holds on this over the last couple decades have crumbled away making it harder ... or at least tell us it's a great or terrible problem ... or ask why this thing became known as the iron cross traverse ... or what it used to be called ...

i'm with you adam, I think its harder than V3. you took the time to add it to the database, so i'm not going to argue. we all know grades are subjective, so I will leave it at that. Apr 14, 2004
Adam Hicks`
Adam Hicks`  
Why thank you Samet for the humor. I gots a question for Chip: Why's it called the Iron Cross traverse? Apr 21, 2004
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
Adam, I suspect it was a word of mouth thing ... ie:"Have you done that little traverse with the iron cross move?" which melded into "Have you done The Iron Cross Traverse?" A reasonable name for a problem that went undocumented until CO Bouldering and went nameless in that guidebook.

I've heard some people comment that they never called it that back in the day. What did you guys call it anyway? The Short O Traverse?

Apr 22, 2004
You're right Chip who cares about grades! It's actually good to hear people think this is harder that V3.In retrospect this thing kicked my ass when I first moved here. Luckily I now have it ruthlessly wired into submission. Maybe thats why I thought the grade seemed inflated. May 21, 2004
Mark Vigil
Boring, OR
Mark Vigil   Boring, OR
Committing, but once you commit, it's not a V5. Mar 21, 2018
I have a question: if one starts approximately in front of the tree using a right sl flake/finger bucket, left on rail crimp. From there, go straight up to either the arete or smaller crimp for left, and then go big with right hand on the thank God hold, continue to the top up the hand crack to finish (sorry for all the beta, but maybe necessary to distinguish it from the traverse or Above Iron Cross?). Is this a variation of the traverse or a different problem? I don't have a book that is newer then Horan's old bouldering book - yes, I am an old guy! Jan 6, 2019