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Laurel Knob or Looking Glass this weekend?
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By Mike Marmar
Sep 2, 2014
My girlfriend and I will be in Cashiers, NC for a few days and are hoping to sample some of the local climbing fare. We are comfortable on multi pitch 5.9 and single pitch 5.10.

Laurel Knob and Looking Glass both look really cool, but having flown here, we only brought one 70m rope. Are two ropes mandatory at Laurel Knob? Also, it looks like most/all of the multipitch routes at Looking Glass require two ropes. Is that true, or can we manage the descents with a single 70m?

Alternatively, if a local is keen to show us around we would love to meet up. We have a double rack and a rope. We will be arriving Thursday around noon, and leaving Sunday afternoon.

Thanks!

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By Rob Dillon
Sep 2, 2014
Whitesides is good to go with one rope. You'll enjoy the feeling of commitment.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Sep 2, 2014
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Laurel Knob is not an option. That place is a furnace right now. It is SW and low in a valley, so it bakes! You can try to beat the sun by climbing and leaving by 11am, but not worth the effort it takes to hike. Single rope options are also very limited.

Looking Glass doesn't need two ropes and is much more pleasant this time of year. You can hit the Nose area early in the morning and then the north face after lunch. Both places have the grades you mentioned and are either single pitch or can be rapped with one 70m. The north face is hard to beat in the summer since it also provides rain protection on a few of the 10s and up.

Considering the poor weather outlook, your only options are Cathy's Creek, the North Face of LG, and the gym. You could possibly do the Boulder Problem in the Sky at Whitesides, but P2 is an 11- one-move wonder, or bail from P1 anchor.

FLAG
By Will Carney aka ElGato
From Tallulah Falls, GA
Sep 2, 2014
Gato Negro
Tallulah Gorge has a couple multi pitch routes(Digital Delight and Mescaline Daydream) in your range. Not advised on a hot forecast day unless you're on em pretty early. About a forty minute drive from Highlands/Cashiers. If you head this way, let me know and throw somethin on the grill for you for postclimb.

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By Mike Marmar
Sep 4, 2014
Thanks for the tips guys. Whiteside looks amazing, but with the forecast it might be a little committing...we'll see. I think Looking Glass might be the best option. Eyebrow climbing...funky.

Out of curiosity, from my hotel room I can see a pretty big water streaked granite dome, looks to be at least 300 or 400ft tall. Here: maps.google.com/maps?q=35.1088...

Anyone know if it has been climbed? I can't tell the angle of it too well from here but it looks steep.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Sep 4, 2014
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Mike Marmar wrote:
Thanks for the tips guys. Whiteside looks amazing, but with the forecast it might be a little committing...we'll see. I think Looking Glass might be the best option. Eyebrow climbing...funky. Out of curiosity, from my hotel room I can see a pretty big water streaked granite dome, looks to be at least 300 or 400ft tall. Here: maps.google.com/maps?q=35.1088... Anyone know if it has been climbed? I can't tell the angle of it too well from here but it looks steep.


Welcome to Cashiers Valley! Just about every cliff face has been climbed in this area at some time or another. Most or many cliffs in the area are on private property. You should take a ride to Whitesides on 64. The sharp bend right before the entrance road to Whitesides provides an amazing view, and so does the summit hike of Whitesides at the northern end. It is easy to pick out Laurel Knob.

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By Rob Dillon
Sep 4, 2014
I think I snuck out of a wedding one time and soloed that thing. Behind High Hampton? Has some rusty old bolts on the line.

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By Scott Phil
From NC
Sep 5, 2014
I've heard that High Hampton will allow you to climb there if you're a guest. I was able to tab along with a guest years ago, but don't know if they still permit it. It is worth asking.

FLAG
 
By Mike Marmar
Sep 5, 2014
Interesting, might have to check it out tomorrow if it doesn't rain (again).

We went to Looking Glass today. What a beautiful cliff. I think I got the full NC climbing experience: 25ft above my last pro, on a blank slightly wet slab, and it started to rain.

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By Ernest W
From Raleigh, NC
Sep 5, 2014
Ah yes, welcome to NC climbing!

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By Jim Corbett
Sep 6, 2014
Pretty much every big cliff has been climbed, which is not the same thing as being climbed out. Sounds like you may be looking at Rock Mt. behind High Hampton, which in the '70s and early '80s was the most popular of the crags. Then goof balls started showing up in the lobby of the HH in their hot pink printed lycra and management said, umm, no. That's where Crack of Shit is.
I ran into a couple of kids at the lookout on 64 right after one of Thomas's books came out (ed. 3 I think?). They had a bright shiny new copy and were trying to orient themselves, and it fell to me to tell them that every piece of rock they could see had routes, and none of them were in that book. 'So what use is this?' one of them wailed. Indeed.

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By Mike Marmar
Sep 6, 2014
Makes sense. They are a little, um, conservative with the dress code here.

So now I'm sure I got the full NC experience. We went to check out Whiteside and attempt to climb Save the Shrimp. We ended up starting about 100ft to the right of the route by accident (having seen a shiny bolt). Whatever we climbed was dirty and poorly protected (but thankfully only around 5.7), and of course it started to rain =).

I had to bail on a single (bomber) pink tricam in a hole =/

Before heading out, we traversed over to the top of the main cliff to take a look. What a face! Steep, blank, and huge.

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By Scott Phil
From NC
Sep 6, 2014
Mike Marmar wrote:
So now I'm sure I got the full NC experience.


Hmm, let's see . . .
Rain. check
got on the wrong route. check
poorly protected and run out route. check
Saw an incredible cliff/line when you had run out of time. check

Yep, that is NC climbing that we all know and love.

What did High Hampton say about their crag? Do they allow any climbing there?

Hope you and your GF get to come back--hopefully during the cooler months when we can go for weeks at a time without rain. Even without the rain, route finding and run outs will still keep you entertained.


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By ViperScale
Sep 6, 2014
Who wants to go tri-cam hunting next week i need a new pink tri-cam for my rack?

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By Mike Marmar
Sep 7, 2014
Scott Phil wrote:
What did High Hampton say about their crag? Do they allow any climbing there?


They seemed a little unsure, but said that the hotel probably doesn't allow climbing due to "insurance reasons". They did mention that the owner once had a friend take him up the cliff for his birthday.

Anyway, we definitely hope to come back some day, and we have friends from the area. A lot of rock to explore for sure.

FLAG


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