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The Grand Traverse

5.11a, Sport, 400 ft, 4 pitches,  Avg: 3 from 7 votes
FA: Clay Frisbie, Tim Childs, Jackie Allard, Chandler Schooler
Arkansas > Sam's Throne &… > Valley of The Blind

Description

This climb is roughly 300'+ of superb traversing over a valley below. Most rappel after the third pitch because the 4th pitch (5.11d) tops out of the amphitheater and requires a rack to #4.

Location

After hiking down to the bottom of the hill at VOB, fork left and follow the wall until it ends at the amphitheater. First bolts are up on your left side at the end of the trail.

Protection

The second pitch is 12 bolts so bring at least 14 draws. Runners help to reduce rope drag that can get pretty terrible on the second pitch.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Picture of the GT amphitheater.
[Hide Photo] Picture of the GT amphitheater.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

JD Borgeson
Little Rock, AR
[Hide Comment] If you are going to take the time to put a classic route on the internet, why not do it justice by describing the pitches and how to get there? because your description is basically useless for anyone wanting to climb this that never has before, and now nobody can post a proper description because you had to do it first. Mar 3, 2017
Dan Provasnik
DeSoto, MO
[Hide Comment] You could just post the pitch descriptions and directions in the comments. Then maybe the admins would update the description. Or use the improve this page link in the upper right-hand corner to message the admins directly. But what would be WAY more useful is if you take a picture of the route, add topo to it, then put the GPS coordinates for the route in the description or comments below. :) Jan 12, 2018
[Hide Comment] It took me about two hrs to find the Traverse. I used the Climbing Arkansas field guide to find the entry point. Head south from Sams Throne 1.3 miles till you see a bridge. Park on the right from heading south. Then back track North about 100ft and look to your left. You will hopefully find a tree with a white mark on it that looks like a vertical rectangle with a line across the middle. Follow the path down for maybe 2-300 ft and on the left you will see a seasonal waterfall, or obvious waterfall rock formation. This is the Unclear Y in the path as heading to the right will lead you to VOB. It took me awhile to see the stack of rocks right in the middle of the waterflow about 40ft downhill from the waterfall, on the left of the approach path. Cross the stream and take the path. One section of the path is blocked by a massive tree that fell across the path, but you can down scramble and keep going. Keep going until you see bolts and you know you are on the right track. You'll pass Heart of Darkness that stands out like a sore thumb and then the grand traverse. There will be path heading down to the right that takes you to the far side of the traverse and two large boulders...crawl up the boulders and do a series 5 traverse up and to the left, and you'll see the starting bolts on the left. You can belay from there or further away on the boulders before the series 5 traverse. I don't have exact distances or anything but if you have half a mind to do the route. It shouldn't be to hard to find. Sep 9, 2018
Matthew Myers
Fayetteville, AR
[Hide Comment] Is this grade 5.11 just because of pitch 4? What are the first three pitches like? Feb 19, 2019
Chase Webb
Little Rock, AR
[Hide Comment] The first pitch is around 10d/11a but IIRC this section is well protected and involves vertical climbing, while the rest of the route traverses. Pitch 2 and 3 are both in the 5.10 range. Feb 20, 2019