The route takes the beautiful arching crack just around the corner from Cornflake crack on the North Face. The arching crack ranges from 5.9 fingers at the bottom to an offwidth through the top of the arch over to the anchors. As I recall, the gear is excellent and there are plenty of stems on the lower part of the route. The crux is a strenous move or two through the offwidth ending in a lovely thin traverse to the anchors. The route continues as an aid climb for a couple of additional pitches.
North Face of Looking Glass. Obvious arching crack to the right of Cornflake
Wide range of cams and passive gear. Save a #4 or #5 camalot for the crux. Fixed anchors at the top
D.J. Shalvey leading with another climber at the s...
Diff Ritchie on the Seal in 1974
Me on P1 of the seal.
Happy to be at the anchors
pitch one variation: Killer Whales 5.11
Brent Roaten taking a rest in the 5.9 finger crack...
The beautiful arching line of the Seal.
Ryan Myers climbing The Seal
A view from up high just past the wide section. P...
Having fun on The Seal
MJ returns on the Seal. Adjusting helmet after hi...
Diff Ritchie on the seal in 1970's
From: Menlo Park, CA
Jan 18, 2008
You don't need any large cams (like #4 or #5 mentioned)
|By John W. Knoernschild|
Mar 6, 2009
This is one of the sexiest routes I have ever seen! I am heading out to North Carolina for just for this!
Aug 24, 2009
Never saw a spot for a #4 or #5, but I would bring doubles of #1, #2, and 0.75 camalots, plus several small camming units. Not PG-13, in fact this route will take just about as much gear as you can feed it. Warning possible beta spoiler will procede!
I would say that the crux was not the offwidth undercling at the top (all though placing gear is pretty strenuous through that section) but the thin section about 1/3 of the way up the route. You will know it when you get there. It is marked by the finger section getting to thin to use (at least for bigger fingered people) and your feet slowly dwindle to smears.
From: Vandalia, Appalachia
Sep 7, 2010
I used a 4 camalot right before the wide section, which was definitely the crux for me.
|By Joe Virtanen|
From: Asheville, NC
May 25, 2011
Great route, amazing moves. Didn't need doubles of anything really. Takes nuts (I used a lot of nuts and tricams so I didn't need doubles) and cams well the whole way.
Nov 18, 2012
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ E2 5b
It's not necessary, but you can get a big piece in the right end of the big slot if you want a more directly overhead piece during the crux. It's also a good directional for the second especially if you think they may whip on that move. That undercling always feel super slick and somewhat desperate to me. Fortunately my wife can walk the dog that pitch, so I rarely have to lead it :)
From: Oakland, CA
Mar 17, 2013
Great route, and stout for the grade. The thin fingers was the crux for me since I'm short, but that made the upper crux easier. You win some and you lose some. I didn't use any underclinging at the wide section, just some crimping and a side pull. No need for large gear, but it would be helpful for your follower.
|By Tom O'Shields|
Mar 26, 2013
I noticed the FFA was not noted. It was by Mark James in early summer 1976. All these north side routes were pretty sporty in eb's and swamis.
|By Jonathan Dull|
From: NC High County
Jul 24, 2013
The Seal! What a fantastic climb with perfect gear all the way through. The fixed stopper is still in place (7-20-13) before you start the wide section (crux), no need to bring a big cam or anything, just clip the fixed stopper and crank through the crux (It will hold; I fell on it!) You can bring a 1 or 0 C3 for the thin section that is bomber. Do yourself a favor and rack up for this gem! Definitely one of my favorite climbs at the glass..
- This is beta for the first pitch only.