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Knight's Move 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: George Hurley, Bob Culp, 1966
Page Views: 3,739
Submitted By: Matt Bauman on Jan 1, 2001

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Pulling through the crux into the upper V-slot.

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  • Description 

    This is high on West Ridge in Eldo, just south of Rincon Wall. Start just left of Chockstone in a big left-facing dihedral.

    P1: Climb 60 feet and traverse left with tricky but good holds/flakes, climb up over bulging slot (crux) and take the V-slot another 50 feet up steep terrain to tree and belay (can continue to anchors but rope drag exists).

    P2: Take finger/hand crack straight up easier (5.5) terrain to large anchor tree.

    Eds. P3 can be taken to the walkoff ledge.

    Rappel 160 feet to ground or [be very careful!] 100 feet to top of Chockstone (10a) and then another 60 feet to the ground from there.


    Stoppers and a good selection of cams.

    Photos of Knight's Move Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: tricky move into v-slot
    tricky move into v-slot
    Rock Climbing Photo: The dihedral on the first pitch in the shade, with...
    The dihedral on the first pitch in the shade, with...
    Rock Climbing Photo: near the top of "1st pitch"
    near the top of "1st pitch"
    Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber starting up the the dihedral.
    Unknown climber starting up the the dihedral.

    Comments on Knight's Move Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 19, 2016
    By Joe Keyser
    From: Scottsdale, AZ
    Jan 1, 2001

    Did this climb with Ben yesterday...very fun route. We did it in 3 pitches, belaying before the v-slot. Didnt even think about trying to combine those 2, but, sounds reasonable. Just look out for loose rocks, one really bad one about half way up pitch one...
    By Scott Thompson
    Sep 9, 2002

    Did this a while back--a very fine route! The traverse at the end of P1 (or middle of P1 if combining) is tricky indeed. The holds are very positive flakes, but these are loose in spots and pro is pretty much nonexistent. You could fish in some small nuts or I believe I used a 3.5 FR in a larger spot, but this gear is pretty much pychological only, because everything is loose. The moves across these flakes to the belay nook are pretty spooky with the minimal gear. There was a fixed stopper around the corner, which made me feel very secure, but without it, it woulda been kinda sketchy. The crux comes right off this belay nook. There is great gear here, but you'd still crack your ankles pretty bad if you fell--the ledge is just a few feet below you for the moves, and the ledge is very sloping and angular, ouch! A great route overall, good pro and varied moves.
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Sep 9, 2002

    I've done this route in 1 and 2 pitches. With the nasty traverse section mentioned above, you might not like to belay and risk a factor 2 fall, especially if you're climbing with your novice brother-in-law or something. That dihedral pitch is really a blast at this grade. You look up and just wonder but moving through you find terrific though brief climbing. That second belay spot is not so terrific.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 9, 2003

    I would not recommend belaying before or after the leftward traverse, just keep on going! You can get to the big tree and do this as one long pitch or belay somewhere before the big tree. But you must runner this carefully to avoid rope drag.

    You can also do a second pitch past the tree with slings, and walk off left down the Gully below Shirttail Peak. I don't recommend this as the rock gets very loose beyond the rap tree.
    By Jay Hippel
    From: Denver, CO
    Jun 3, 2003

    Did this route on Sunday in 1 pitch, no problem. Placed 1 piece right before the traverse and put extra long runner on it. Traverse is easy with good holds, but getting up into the V-Slot is a bit scary and exposed. I am about at my trad limit at 7-8 and the crux was more than enough excitement, a fall would not have been nice. Belayed at tree and scrambled off top. Can you rap down to Chockstone and rap from there to the ground with a 60m rope? Rappelling is a better option if possible. Good climb overall, scary at parts.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Jun 19, 2003

    I agree with George & Jay, keep going to the tree above the V-slot or all the way up. I went to the two small trees and belayed, but should've just kept going to the top. Interesting little move getting into the V-slot, and the fixed stopper is nice to clip before you start it. Easy to protect. This is a good warm up climb for others in the area.
    By Darren Mabe
    From: Flagstaff, AZ
    Sep 8, 2003
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    I should have done this climb (and gotten it out of the way) years ago. It didn't do anything for me, but make me confident at climbing through choss.

    Loose rock on much of the route. The last 5.4 'pitch' was the best of the route.

    I yanked one of the fixed nuts starting P2. Booty. The other one is still in the loose chockstone. At the end of P1 along the chossy traverse, I was able to 'garden' a .75 Camalot placement that might hold a fall, but a 3-3.5 Camalot lower down would back this up.
    By Matt Juth
    From: Evergreen
    Sep 9, 2003


    Don't you remember me complaining about this one! I should have given you a better warning. Yuk! I made the mistake of bringing a relative beginner up it.
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Sep 9, 2003

    My brother-in-law climbed this on his 3rd rock climbing day (5th climbing day rock or ice) and didn't fall. Admittedly, being a theoretical physicist may help. IMHO, it ain't that bad for novices & I feel it's better than Osiris (which gets 3 stars at 5.7).
    By Darren Mabe
    From: Flagstaff, AZ
    Sep 10, 2003
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    I didn't fall on it. I wouldn't want to, I only had a few pieces in the whole pitch. I think physicists can understand that if you yard on a loose block/hold, it will follow the law of gravity. Or if they place a piece of gear behind a wiggly chockstone or loose flake, it 'might' not hold. I am convinced that there are some novices that are not aware of these phenomena. I am glad I did this route, but should have done it a long time ago. I can think of other 'novice' climbs that have better rock and pro.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Sep 20, 2003

    This climb is a little too loose and awkward to be called 3 stars. It is a good warmup for the other climbs in the area.
    By SirVato
    From: Boulder
    Sep 23, 2003

    The traverse at the top of P.1 is easily protected with a # 4 cam and then I found 2 bomber nut [placements] at the end of the traverse. [Be] very [careful] of the loose rock on this route. I didn't belay at the top of p.1 because it was so bad. If you use long runners you can combine both pitches with a 60 m rope to make one long excellent pitch. Again be VERY [careful] of loose rock!!!!!!!!!!!!
    By Christa Cline
    Sep 29, 2003

    I wouldn't belay at the top of the first dihedral either. Too much loose rock and not enough space. I did the entire route in one pitch. With extended runners, rope drag will not be a problem. You need a 60 m (!) rope to rappel down to the Chockstone rap rings (and no further !!).
    By Frances Fierst
    Oct 23, 2003
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    Although I will agree that this is not one of the overall top Eldo climbs, I will say that it is a GREAT climb for the grade. Rossiter gives stars to only 16 climbs in the 5.7 range. If you throw out the "S" rated climbs like the Bulge, you are down to only 12 climbs. Many of his other starred routes have received less than favorable reviews here also. So this leaves the 5.7 leader with very few quality choices. I would recommend the Bastille Crack, Rewritten, Verschneidung, and Mescaline over this climb. However, if you are a newer trad leader like me, this is a great climb to build confidence and to work up through the grades.

    The short traverse through the rotten rock is certainly not unique to this climb. This is Eldo for god's sake. There are rotten bands and loose rocks on most Eldo climbs. I found adequate pro in the rotten section (and I am a big chicken on lead), and great pro everywhere else on this climb. There were a lot of great moves, a little exposure, great views high up on the West Ridge, and an easy descent with two raps to the ground. Overall, one of my top 5 Eldo 5.7 climbs.
    By shad O'Neel
    Nov 14, 2003

    I always find it amazing how much excitement Eldo 5.7's can give. Then to top it off, imagining Culp and Hurley in 66 in their boots with a rope tied around the waist venturing up the second pitch....hard men. No fixed nuts remain, the exitement is full on, less sustained, but I thought tricky as Long John's Wall, but, of course, only an opinion.
    By Clint Locks
    From: Boulder
    Oct 2, 2004
    rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    Crista's comments make a lot of sense...(maybe because) we did that, too. IRich-I'm concerned, however, about encouraging a #4 cam to protect the traverse of P1: if you do come off, that's a LOT of camming power from the monster #4, employed on some quite suspect rock. Consider a large tricam with a shoulder-length sling, instead. For what it's worth, as of 01/2/04, there are 2 fixed nuts at the crux, after the traverse. We did the climb in 1 pitch, too, being generous with our sling extentions. The first 40 feet are just a blast! After just getting off 'Ignominity', the cruise was a real treat. Keep your head at the crux, though.
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 21, 2004
    rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    A fun climb with lots of interesting moves.

    I got a good #1 Camalot in sound rock at the start of the traverse; there is still a fixed wired nut in the crack at the end of the traverse.

    I also did the climb in one 160' pitch up to the rappel tree; extra finger-to-hand-sized cams and a few extra runners are useful if you do this. Rope drag isn't a problem if you extend the runners on the first half of the climb.
    By Scott Edlin
    From: boulder, co
    Apr 6, 2006
    rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    Frances' comments are pretty much right on.

    I led up to the Chockstone anchor for P1. This made for a long and questionably protected traverse to the slot to start P2. I'd recommend not doing this but combining P1 and P2.

    The slot is weird but protectable low with nuts and higher with Aliens. The dihedral is a blast! The phrase "sprouting holds" came to mind. I belayed just above the two small trees (fixed cam) and was just able to see my second in the slot. I would recommend this for communicating with an insecure second.

    Knot the ends if you are rapping from the big tree to the Chockstone anchor on a 60m - it'll barely reach with rope stretch. Also be aware that this rap will run your rope directly over the crux of P2 of Chockstone (don't throw your rope and watch for gripped leaders). I have no idea where the supposed walkoff was.

    The loose blocks in P1 and the slot below P2 will probably not pull, but they shift and are useless for pro. I managed to jam a vertical endwise #10 hex in the rotten band but it probably would've pulled - best to sling the big horns and find better small cam placements.

    While 5.7 was probably on the money in '66, most contemporary leaders would probably feel it to be 7+ moving up the slot. This and the wiggly blocks probably do not make this a good choice for a first 5.7 lead.
    By Jo Holloway
    Apr 13, 2006

    This isn't such a bad climb except for the considerable mental crux moving through the crumbling siltstone shelf (people belay from that?!) and into the V-slot. The instability of that area is only going to increase over time, so perhaps a sliding time scale would be appropo:

    7 1966
    7+ 2006
    9 2016 after that siltstone shelf no longer takes the force of a climber pulling on it.
    By Mark Cushman
    From: Cumming, GA
    Apr 13, 2008
    rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    Bleh. Yet another V-slot route, but a bit more dangerous due to the loose rock everywhere. Did as one single pitch to the rappel tree, climbed up and walked off towards Shirttail peak, this was much quicker than rapping.
    By Stich
    From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Oct 4, 2008

    By comparison, P1 of "Purple Haze" at 5.7 is a lot more fun and clean. Not bad doing once, but a bit grungy. I ended up chimneying to get into the P2 V slot. Agree that combining P1 and P2 is the way to go. None of the rock at the top of P1 inspires confidence. It's a red, rotten band like you see all over Eldo.
    By Mark Roth
    From: Boulder
    Nov 3, 2010

    I loved this route! It's 5.7 if you use/trust the loose blocks. Even then it's STIFF. There are tons of loose chockstones and other suspect rock, but if you work hard to avoid it most moves can be done using only the solid rock but probably adding a couple of number grades in difficulty. And if you look hard, there is solid gear as well. The traverse on the other hand is just plain dangerous (classic!). Traverse beta: LOOSE WEIGHT!

    From the tree, rap ~60 feet to the bolt anchor @ the top of Chockstone. Then ~100 feet to the ground.
    By Cindy Mitchell
    Nov 4, 2010

    LOTS of loose rock especially at the traverse. Make sure your belayer is wearing a helmet!
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Dec 20, 2010

    I did this for the first time yesterday, self belayed. I thought it was very exciting and airy. Maybe as a 5.7 climber I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. The only loose rock of any significance is the block you hold onto (lightly) as you step left to the V. I don't know what the "tons of loose rock" comments refer to. Once you have stepped left, you are pretty run out (assuming you didn't put any gear in the red band), and you have to work to stay calm and fiddle some gear in. There's a very good micro cam on the right wall, a good nut, and a 0.5 Camalot higher in a horizontal. The initial moves up the V are at first perplexing--wiggle up a bit and it's over, and holds magically appear on the left wall.
    By farkas.time
    From: Albuquerque, NM
    Jul 17, 2011
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    I'm a new trad leader, and the first pitch of this was absolutely perfect for me. Every inch can be protected with a variety of gear, and the climbing is good fun.

    Watch out for rotten rock at the top.
    By Greg D
    From: Here
    Apr 10, 2013

    Overall, a fun route and worth doing. Much better than it looks. Yes, some loose rock here and there that is fairly obvious. But, fun climbing with an interesting crux. 170' to the big tree. Drag was not bad. Two easy raps down the fall line.
    By Matt Rhodin
    From: Denver, CO
    Oct 19, 2016

    This is a fun route. I lol'd when I looked over at the chalked holds on the traverse and at the prospect that anything in this band could take solid gear.

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