Login with Facebook
Checkerboard Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Checkmate T,S 
Circus Finish T 
Cross-trainer T,S 
Green Thumb T 
King Me T,S 
Knight's Move T 
Lone Piton T 
Pawn's Promotion T 
Punch In The Nose T 
Ring Leader T 
Ring Route T 
Sotol Roof T 
Worth the Effort T 
Unsorted Routes:

Knight's Move 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 350'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
Page Views: 2,201
Submitted By: Aaron Hobson on Feb 28, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: First 1.5 pitches


A beautiful corner system which ascends the North end of the Checkerboard wall. There are some sections of crumbly rock, especially near the top, but for the most part the rock is good, the pro is solid and the moves are exciting. A little bit of route-finding is required for the second pitch, which traverses to the right slightly as the crack system peters out.


To get to the start of this route bushwhack your way to the northern end of the cliff. The large shaded corner should be evident. The crack on the first pitch is hands to fist sized, if you're in a chimney, you're on the wrong route. About 60ft off the ground is a large ledge, optionally used as a belay.

To descend, scramble off and down to the north.


Standard Rack. There are fixed slings at the belay stance.

Photos of Knight's Move Slideshow Add Photo
First two pitches. Original photo by travisty.
BETA PHOTO: First two pitches. Original photo by travisty.

Comments on Knight's Move Add Comment
Show which comments
By Paul Davidson
Sep 1, 2009

Quite a fun route. Perhaps a bit stiff for a novice 5.8 leader. Couple of sections with route finding, trickier pro and small runouts.

I combined the first two pitches with a 70m. Might be possible with a 60.
By ascender30
Mar 20, 2011

GREAT route! I consider it a must-do if you trudge up to Checkerboard. Agree that you want to be solid at 5.8 to lead this one, but it's reasonably protected the whole way, with a couple of short, exciting sections. Fun!
By Forrest Wilcox
From: Las Cruces, NM
Aug 1, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

must do for checkerboard
By Forrest Wilcox
From: Las Cruces, NM
Aug 26, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

an important thing to do on this climb is to place gear way above in the dihedral before you go out right onto the slab where there is no pro for a long time. A red number 1 BD fits pretty well for the pengellum piece
By Marta Reece
From: Las Cruces, NM
Dec 20, 2012

If you go to the right on the ledge about two thirds of the way up the dihedral, you will find a rap sling there.

The dihedral is quality, but you don't get to do all of it as you need to exit onto the slab to the right to get around the roof. There is currently a piece of red cord below where you exit. You can belay from a short distance above it. If you wish to rap from there, you can put a sling around a chock in the groove on the right.

The Rosul-Dunning guide shows the next pitch as going left again and up another dihedral. We have found the move intimidating and went for the squeeze chimney on the right. There is some vegetation in the broken ground above the chimney before you end on a slab from which you can scramble to the Cross-trainer chains for rappel.
By Karl Kiser
Dec 27, 2012

The old Southwester Mountaineers topo accurately reflects the FA. It may be 5.8 PG (see Paul Davidson's remarks) but do not discount the climbing because it is more old school.
By Ian Harris
From: Las Cruces NM
Jan 26, 2013

We climbed this in two pitches, rappelling off of the chockstone in the 8-inch wide crack.
I have gone left after this before (as opposed to the chimney) but there is a very committing move to get to the high up finger sized crack.
Even after this, the next chimney/dihedral didn't look welcoming, but you can scramble over left to the Crosstrainer anchors.
Really nice climb. First pitches are quality.
By Marta Reece
From: Las Cruces, NM
May 4, 2014

An alternative Pitch 3 is to go right from P2 belay, traversing on a rounded boulder, and take the next chimney up. It is wide and filled with chocks, which are surprisingly not too unstable and can be climbed without much of a problem. Once the floor levels off, you can go up the right wall to the slab on the right. Go up it and cross over the chimney where it is filled with chock again, then climb up a steep face to the left of it to reach a slab leading to the boulder field on top of Checkerboard.

Taking Pitch 2 up to the top of the dihedral and continuing up to the left of the triangular roof is possible if awkward, but the crack found there peters out leaving the leader with an option of a tension traverse/lower to the right. The follower is somewhat worse off, having to climb unprotected over steep terrain with very small holds and a significant pendulum should he fall. A bail gear we found in that crack attested to the unwillingness of some to do this. Generally, this version of the route is not recommended.
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
and Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!