The Knobs is one of the nicer western PA climbing areas. It's a lot like the Lost Crag as most routes are only 30-40 feet tall and the routes climb to the top of large gritstone boulders. Unlike the Lost Crag, however, most routes are mixed climbs as bolts were only placed were traditional pro is not available and in general, you'll need to bring a full rack for a day of cragging here. There are routes here of all grades, but to fully enjoy the place, climbing 5.10 is a plus. Every route is unique and many are quite technical. There are few top rope options, unless you first lead up one of the routes to reach the top of the block.
Another plus is that the area is very secluded. It's very rare to see another party up there. Also, the old growth forest that surrounds the blocks tends to keep all routes very shady in the summer months, and therefore quite enjoyable even on hot days. Due to the shady nature, this is not a good area to visit after a recent rain.
Note: The bolts on most routes were placed in the 80's, however as of 2009, most of the bolts were replaced on the most popular routes. Please be aware, some of the anchors on the tops are still the original bolts. It is recommended to use the new anchors when possible. Also, most of the anchors are not located on the face at the top of the climb. Most anchors are found once you top out the climb.
The driving approach to The Knobs is the same approach as for the Lost Crag if you are approaching from the bottom of the hill. Follow Dunbar Road out of Dunbar toward Ohiopyle as it runs along Dunbar Creek (on the right side). When the road turns left away from the creek, take the gravel road and continue to follow the creek to a parking area in State Game Lands 51. Park here, and follow the gated dirt road up the hill for approximately 1 mile. When you reach a wooden bridge, continue to the 2nd road/clearing on the right. Take this 2nd road and follow up a short hill. As the angle gets less steep, look for a small trail off to the right. This will follow an old logging road to the cliffs. As you follow this trail, take the left path whenever possible.
Start just to the left of the mossy edge of the arete. Climb up passing 2 horizontal cracks to reach a nice stance at the base of a short and dirty slab. Get gear just below the slab, it's the last pro before the top. Top it out. ...[more]Browse More Classics in PA