Black Arrow, 5.10+, 4 Pitches

Black Arrow, 5.10+, 4 Pitches

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 34.88960°N / 111.8137°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.10 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 4
Sign the Climber's Log


2nd Pitch
2nd Pitch (crux)

There are two relatively longer routes located in the Dry Creek Spires area. Both are situated on a large south facing wall whose western tip is labeled as the “Dry Creek Spire” itself. But this whole wall is really just part of a large buttress coming down from the height of this area. Both are good 5.10 routes, Black Arrow and Happy Ending, and are on the south facing wall of this buttress.  Black Arrow is just to the left of a large corner chimney system, Happy Ending is several hundred feet to the right in its own corner chimney system. Corn Dog Tower, offering a decent 5.10 two pitch romp to the top, is independent of the wall and in between the two before mentioned routes.
3rd Pitch
3rd Pitch

The second pitch (5.10+) is the crux on Black Arrow and offers a sustained finger section at the grade in soft rock with few rests. I don’t layback much on lead and found it a challenging pitch. The first pitch is short and is used just to land you atop the (standard Sedona) limestone band. The third pitch is an exceptional (but short) 5.9/5.10a type of pitch offering a hand sized splitter to a relatively easy but fun traverse left and finishes with a crux mantel move past a bolt. The last pitch is a short traverse back the other way with its crux also coming via a mantel at a bolt. There are four pro bolts on the route. The stations are all fixed and we just made the ground with double 70’s from the top. Burcham and Bastow are the FAer’s.

The Dry Creek Spires area of Sedona is divided into three sections, left, middle (Dorsal Fin) and right. These sections are spread out among heavy brush. The majority of the routes are located to the right including Black Arrow. Park at the paved trail head and walk down just a few minutes to the first wash and head southeast (right) up the wash. Take a right at the first fork and follow this wash all the way up until you can easily see Corn Dog tower from below (independent slim tower in front of a south facing wall). Bushwhack up the hill side to the base of the deep chimney on the left side of the wall behind Corn Dog. There are two bolts through the limestone band above which is the start of Black Arrow.

Route Description

Black Arrow, 4 Pitches, 5.10+

1st Pitch- 40’- 5.9+/You could combine these first two pitches. Climb through two bolts on the limestone band to access a crack to the left and surmount the limestone band where there is a fixed station.

2nd Pitch- 100’- 5.10+/ The first half of this pitch offers easy going hand jams through a left facing corner which moves left again. The second half is sustained fingers. I placed a ton of small gear from C4#.4’s through Metolius #0’s at the top. I mostly went fingers in, but a few lay back sequences are required. When the crack shuts down, reach for a handle up and left that pulls you over to a blind fixed belay (2nd rappel if using a single 70m rope).

3rd Pitch- 80’- 5.10-/ Take the obvious hand sized splitter to the roof above. Traverse on a ramp out left to below a bolt. Make a crux, but positive and fun, mantle move at the bolt. Fixed belay on the ledge.

4th Pitch- 40’- 5.10-/ Traverse out the hand crack/ramp up and right and make another mantle crux move at another bolt. This mantle is best done by bouncing off of your right hand right at your waist. In other words pull your right hand down and left to find the purchase you want, will be an awkward sloping move otherwise.

Climbing Sequence


We made it to the ground with double 70’s, a single 70 should stop at the top of pitch two. A single 60 might have to use the first pitch station for a third short rap. When you add the pitches length up above, much of that is traversing.

Essential Gear

A 60m rope gets you down, just depends on how many raps you make. Double rack from #0 Metolius to C4 #2. I placed no wires. A few slings for the traverse pitches. South facing, in April stays in the sun most of the day. No doubt a great winter climb.