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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'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Willie Crowther, Gardiner Perry, 1960
Page Views: 19,376
Submitted By: Guy H. on Feb 21, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (424)
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Climber debating the crux moves on Arrow.


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'. Bolts on this pitch were replaced in 2015 (see comment).

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
Rock Climbing Photo: Eating lunch after descending the Arrow Rappell li...
BETA PHOTO: Eating lunch after descending the Arrow Rappell li...
Rock Climbing Photo: Following through the end of the crux, totally mis...
Following through the end of the crux, totally mis...
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing up Arrow.
Finishing up Arrow.
Rock Climbing Photo: It was her first pitch ever.
It was her first pitch ever.
Rock Climbing Photo: Dede reaching for the key crimp at the crux on P2.
Dede reaching for the key crimp at the crux on P2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben leading the roof at the start of Arrow's pitch...
BETA PHOTO: Ben leading the roof at the start of Arrow's pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sarah Thanhauser on P1 on a nice day in February 2...
Sarah Thanhauser on P1 on a nice day in February 2...
Rock Climbing Photo: Setting up for the crux move . . .
Setting up for the crux move . . .
Rock Climbing Photo: Dom, demonstrating some quality sequencing through...
Dom, demonstrating some quality sequencing through...
Rock Climbing Photo: gblauer near the Arrow Crux. Left? Right? this tim...
gblauer near the Arrow Crux. Left? Right? this tim...
Rock Climbing Photo: Renee at the Arrow crux.
BETA PHOTO: Renee at the Arrow crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jennie stepping it up on Arrow
Jennie stepping it up on Arrow
Rock Climbing Photo: Jennie finishing up P2 of Arrow with Chris on bela...
Jennie finishing up P2 of Arrow with Chris on bela...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jennie making moves on P2 of arrow
Jennie making moves on P2 of arrow
Rock Climbing Photo: . . . and committing to the move.
. . . and committing to the move.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brendan on P1 Arrow.
Brendan on P1 Arrow.
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrow 5.8 pitch 2
Arrow 5.8 pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: PW putting the finishing touches on "Arrow&qu...
PW putting the finishing touches on "Arrow&qu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 of Arrow
Pitch 1 of Arrow
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrow, the little overhang that starts pitch 2.  P...
Arrow, the little overhang that starts pitch 2. P...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chad Shay following up arrow in the fall 2016
Chad Shay following up arrow in the fall 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the top of Arrow.
At the top of Arrow.

Comments on Arrow Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 30, 2015
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
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 Jason Antin
From: Golden, 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 Tradiban
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: Lafayette, 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: Silver Spring, MD
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
From: Litchfield, Connecticut
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.
By percious
From: Bear Creek, CO
Jul 29, 2014

The description says "Angle right to a notch." I think this is confusing. From the rap anchors, you can either step LEFT along the GT and then head up directly under the notch, which is pretty well protected, or you can hop over your belayer's head and angle LEFT up to the notch, I don't think this is as well protected, but others may comment otherwise.

When the going get's thin, there is 1 relatively new pin and 2 3/8ths bomber stainless bolts that protect through the crux. I'd say the crux goes at 5.10b, but I'm a lot closer to Yosemite than the local Gunks climber. Either way, it's protected well. You can also get a small cam in between the bolts.

Left or right at the final bolt? You decide when you get there!

By David Stowe
Jul 31, 2014

Bolted anchors were not there when the route went in and they are there for rapeling the route not as an anchor from which to belay. The first pitch comes up onto the GT ledge left of where the notch in the overhang is. Many climbers set a gear anchor in the right facing corner by Limelight or right in the middle of the face to belay from. From any of those spots the notch is up and right. The best way to do Arrow is to forgo the belay all together and run it in to one long rope stretching pitch. Great 200+ feet of climbing.

With respect to the grade of the crux being 10.b, not even close. I think that is more a matter of not being accustomed to Gunks climbing. There are a number of very solid and secure ways to do that crux at 5.8. If you want a feeling for what Gunks 5.10 thin face is try Never Neverland.
By ebmudder
From: Bronx, NY
Aug 4, 2014

Just onsighted this as my first 5.8 lead yesterday...very exciting. My partner belayed p2 from the rap anchors on the right side of the ledge...this is a nice location if you clip to the top ring of the anchor, since you can nestle into the shade under the roof and you're not in the way of anyone coming down...however you're pretty much out of sight/earshot of the leader.

[spoiler beta]
If you start up the corner right of the notch there's no good pro, but if you then step left about 4' there's a left-facing flake at eye level that takes a 00 cam nicely...just enough to get you under the notch.

At the crux I tested the potato chip with my left hand and decided to go right, which definitely was easier...will follow the other beta next time.
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Nov 11, 2014

I'm convinced the crux on p2 is 5.6 for me. Of course -- I'm 6'4. The crux is the overhangs off the GT ... secure but a fall low down would be bad.
By WillamR
Apr 3, 2015

I personally find the section between the two bolts to be the crux. I had used my small gear already and had nothing to proctect the section between the bolts and was feeling decently run out by the time I clipped the second bolt. This section is what I feel is 5.8 face climbing.
By Meg Grega
From: Holtsville, NY
Jun 18, 2015

Really beautiful white face after the roof on p2. The crux is super fun. I love the mantle up to the crimp. Arrow is one of my favorite 5.8s in the area.
By cliffmama
Jul 9, 2015

Turned out the bolts were rotten, presumably caused by galvanic corrosion in a mixed-metal bolt and hanger combination. Today Christian Fracchia of the Gunks Climbers' Coalition replaced them.

Video of rotted bolts on Facebook.

By Medic741
From: Red Hook, New York
Sep 30, 2015

Used a single set of cams up to #2 and a set of tricams with C3's down to the red one. Felt this protected the climb fine. If I were to double up I'd bring and extra .75 and .5.

Thank you to the FA climbers who decided to bolt this route. Definitely wouldn't have been able to enjoy this climb without these bolts. Great ethic here too, the distance between bolts really followed ADK/Gunks ethics and the clipping stances were really well thought out.

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