This is a public discussion in Narrow Neck Crags.
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Info request - Knight's Move beta
Does anyone have some beta/info to provide on Knight's Move at Narrow Neck? I tried to do this climb on the weekend but downclimbed the first pitch after about 15m as I wasn't really sure where to go. The description on the guidebook was too vague for me and I couldn't see any carrots to guide the way, so got worried I could get into a 'point of no return' if I went the wrong way and get into trouble. Are there any carrots along the way or is it mostly trad? I went up the first 3m, went around the corner, got to the big ledge, then traversed it quite a bit to the left but was not sure where to start going up... is it basically anywhere and just use trad gear until you get to where the big trees are? I also bumped into someone who got lost on the 2nd/3rd pitch (not sure exactly which) when they started the right diagonal. Again, any more info to avoid getting lost there? I'd be really keen to go back but I just feel better (safer) if I know I'm where I'm supposed to be (I know, I'm a bit of a novice in trad climbing). Thanks!
Was years ago and we were never quite sure we were on route. I vaguely remember traversing left with little gear forever, then going up a small corner type feature to a tree from memory and set a belay. Traversing back right we didn't take the original route but went up earlier on new carrots. But it was probably ten years ago, so my memory could be all wrong. Not exactly a novice trad climb. Easy but bad gear.
As a resurrected dinosaur from the pre-Camian era, and recent rediscoverer of 50's climbs, I can firstly say, wise move on the retreating. Next, check the first ascent date, 1960. Third, hear from the Master himself, John Ewbank's 1967 commentary on this climb "One of the longest, finest and natural lines on the cliff. Also one of the earliest ascents, as with all of the climbs prior to 1962, put up in sandshoes. The bolts which have been placed by subsequent ascents show only too well how some climbers are unwilling to accept climbs as they are, and must instead use bolts to bolster their lack of mental strength, needed on a particular climb. Originally done with nylon slings, soft tape for the rounded knobs is the shot, making the bolts unnecessary, as they were even before tape. This climb is a perfect example of the saying "Climbing is for every man, and to each his own", so if you don't like the look of the amount of protection on a climb, then leave it alone, or else climb it and accept it for what it is."
You might get some modern trad pro into 60s cracks and chimneys, but don't be surprised if walls and slabs need 10m+ leadouts, because that's the way it was.
Thanks both! I hadn't seen the quote from John Ewbank before I went, otherwise I would've known better what to expect. I'm very new to Australian climbing (having climbed for 10 years in Brazil) so still getting the grips of the style here. When the guidebook indicated it was mixed I was expecting something more like Tom Thumb, where there are a few carrots to show the way. I'm quite happy with 10m run outs as long as I feel I know where I'm going and that's what put me off at Knight's move. Put thanks heaps again. I guess I'll leave it for now until I get a better sense of the rock and style here. Also, where is this quote from Graham? I tried to find more info on the climb before I went but couldn't find anything. If I had read this before I would've known better
Pretty sure its from Rockclimbs in the Blue Mountains, J Ewbank 1967 ed. Do a search and you can download it from Sydney Rockclimbing Club site..
I think theres a couple of variants as well just to add to the confusion...
Hi Macciza, Graham has forwarded me Ewbank's guidebook. It's a gem!!! Thanks for pitching in and adding to the conversation. Yes, the guy I met later who got lost higher up mentioned that he followed the wrong set of bolts and ended up in a much harder climb... That's basically what I was concerned about... Still keen to give it a go, though. The more I look into it, the more I want to climb it
Yeah looks like it would be a bit of fun... so long as you remember the massive difference in climbing between when they were put up and today. Approached in an old school manner but with modern gear probably still isn't quite the same
Congrats on keeping old lines alive, can join you on it once my knee is working again if you want ...
Most certainly! Always keen to meet new climbing partners (particularly being new to the area!) Let me know when you're back into shape ;-) And yes, I absolutely love the old style climbs!!!