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Routes in Sun Wall

Aerospace Cadet T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Black Out T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The T,S 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Irish Jig T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Labia T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Le Pump T,S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Legendary Nuclear Bomb, The T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Nick Danger T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Odyssey, The T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Out To Lunch T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Paco Bell T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
Pat Ewing T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Predator T,S 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Ruby Tuesday T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Scotty Pippen T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Titties & Beer (aka "World's Hardest 5.8") T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Two Legged Snake T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Unsorted Routes:
Type: Trad, 500 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Bob Rotert & Ted Anderson @1977
Page Views: 20,385 total, 153/month
Shared By: Bob Rotert on Dec 22, 2006
Admins: Ryan Williams, Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

You & This Route


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Description

I am in the process of adding some routes that I have seen reported with some FA inaccuracies in the newest Selected Climbs of North Carolina guide book. "Titties and Beer" is an example of this. The Shull/Lambert guide reports Randy Mann was on the FA of this route when it was actually Ted Anderson who was on the FA. It is important to recognize Ted as the name for this route was inspired by Ted and comes from a Zappa song. Ted Anderson is a huge Zappa fan and we listened to a lot of Zappa when enroute to our "many" climbing adventures together. We were also, of course, big fans of the objects of this song...

After we did the first ascent & named it Titties & Beer this route got dubbed "the world's hardest 5.8". The story behind that is after we did the first ascent we were telling Jeep Gaskin, Grover Cable & some other friends about the new route. They asked us how hard we thought the route was. We thought about it and it seemed pretty easy compared to some of the scarefests we had done & were doing on the Glass and elsewhere and we also thought 5.10 was about the hardest we could climb back then. So off the cuff I said "Oh, it's probably about 5.8." Future ascents later confirmed that I might have had understated the rating a bit. Hence it became dubbed "The worlds hardest 5.8" Goes to show its always good to have a concensus on ratings.... The 5.8 climber might need a beer or two after climbing the sensational, voluptuous, undulations on this route.

Regardless of the original stated rating, for its grade it is a very cool route with a lot of character for a Looking Glass climb. We originally did the route by starting from the left on the upper slab and traversing to underneath the prominent crack system where we placed a bolt and belayed. We also later added a 10+ or 11- R/X direct start that we toproped at first and I led at one point. This variation climbed direct up a step slab off the ground with little or no pro to below the belay below the crack. The route has some hard moves to gain the crack and that is what I thought was the crux on the FA. Continue on up the crack and belay near the top. From there move out left a bit to find a spot where you can move thru the bulges and start trending right and then up. It has been a long time since I have done the route but follow the natural line to the top. You might consult the guide book if you want a more accurate description of where the route goes.

Location

Right side of the Sun Wall.

Protection

Standard Looking Glass Rack
Andrew Hancox
Greenville
  5.10a
Andrew Hancox   Greenville
  5.10a
Bring lots of long runners on this one. We encountered bad rope drag on each pitch. The Selected Climbs topo was a little misleading I thought. The crack on pitch two is more like a flared hand crack than a true off-width. We stayed in the crack instead of the face and really enjoyed the moves. Stay more or less directly above the crack section, maybe a hair left, for the third bulge pitch anchor. Mar 9, 2016
Climbed T&B for about the 5th or 6th time yesterday - - I actually had a hard time with the route as I haven't climbed anything remotely hard in about 4 weeks due to a knee injury - - I managed to get it done though (and was glad my partner, Kenneth had fun). It was a great airy adventure for him and probably the hardest multi-pitch climb he had done. Here are a couple of tips for those getting psyched to do this great route:

P-1) getting up to the double bolt anchor from the ledge - this is cake - plug in a couple of pieces but this is super basic 5.4/5.5 type stuff (FWIW, I suggest racking up and leaving your packs, etc. under the climb Ruby Tuesday or Irish Jig. Walk ready to climb with your shoes, water bottle, rack and 2 ropes from there along the base, shimmy up the tree and gain the ledge under Out to Lunch, etc.)

P-2) you get a black diamond .4 (3 lobes) about 10' above the bolts - you can clip it short and then go back and extend once you have gear up in the crack - just fire through the early moves and don't get too pumped - - this is probably the crux of the climb and I'd say it does feel 5.10a - - the crack is super fun and backs off in hardness as you go up - about 50' up trend left onto the face and then up another 40' or so of easier slabby face climbing to get to the belay spot - save some medium wired stoppers and a couple of cams for the belay - a #2 Camalot fits nicely

P-3) you can go right or left but most go (climber's) left. you can protect right below "the move" - this move probably is 5.9 but it does feel hard - through up a high foot and get the second hand above - it's all there. Make sure to put a .5 camalot right above the move for your second so if they fall they don't cheese grater the rope across the rock - this is important. The move is a side-pull and a high step - just do it -it's fun - trend up and right to a great belay spot - takes medium size cams, or a slotted stopper - this is a short pitch.

p-4) keep going out to your right to gain the obvious water groove about 40' right of the belay - it's a one step move into the groove (5.7?) and then things get easy. Go up the groove for about 40' and then go right to another good belay spot - - all the hard climbing is now over.

p-5) this isn't really a "pitch" but it avoids Southender Gully which is a PITA. - traverse right about a full rope length - don't go up too much - aim for what looks like a totally loose bolder sitting on a ledge (it might be - don't mess with it) go under it to a giant ledge and find two shiny stainless rap anchors (these are roughly on top of Irish Jig and Ruby Tuesday) - - one rappel (2 ropes) gets you on the ground with plenty to spare (if you followed my P-1 advice, you are right at your pack stash and can hit the trail from here). If you can't find the aformentioned bolts you can go up and right and eventually hit trees - this is Southender Gully - - a bungle in the jungle for sure but you'll make it down. Check out Jeep's technique for using only one-rope on the route too (see above) - this is a very good trick but it absolutely assumes that you will finish the route. Sep 8, 2013
there is a way to weave through the bulges on pitch3 without actually going over the 'micheline man bulge'. go up and right from the belay and traverse the hang. pro is good. climbing is 5.8. you'll end up in exactly the same place. also. i prefer to access t&b from the southside, leave a rope at southender and on pitch4 head sharply for the bolts on irish gig. the advantage is that you don't have to drag a second rope. it's helpful if you're familiar with the tops of the routes between t&b and southender but if you're not the key land mark is the obvious head stone that sits in the ruby tuesday grove. the rap ledge is just below it. the bolts are on the southender side of the ledge, head height. first rapper goes down on a single and ties on the rope you left. same idea as any of the routes that end above sentry ledge on the southside. enjoy. May 27, 2011
Chuck Parks
Atlanta, GA
Chuck Parks   Atlanta, GA
If you're looking to get down via the Mainline rappel, be advised that the maple tree (or whatever it was) is no more. Apparently it was deader than it looked, and during a storm the whole thing broke apart. We arrived at the rap station in the dark to find chunks of tree everywhere, with the trunk broken off just above where the anchor was tied.

We relocated the tat to a cedar tree about 20 feet downslope of the old tree. The cedar is between calf and thigh thickness, and seemed healthy and solid. It held us. The anchor was thrown together in haste, and in the dark. So it could probably stand to be inspected and/or improved. Nov 10, 2014
Escotti Milhizer
Princeton, NC
 
Escotti Milhizer   Princeton, NC
 
This is an amazing route that is probably the most protectable route at Looking Glass. The crux is super protectable and pretty spicy for 5.8...but really fun. The decent can be a little tricky though. Sep 12, 2014
As the comments suggests, the difficulty of this route is subjective. This was my second time at Looking Glass and I felt the route was fun and not strenuous relative to other multipitch climbs. If you are comfortable leading trad at the 5.9 level and have a general feeling for the area then you will be fine.

The bulge is fun and protected by bomber gear at your waist. I can see how this could be be intimidating if you are pushing the grade at Looking Glass but it isn't too bad IMHO. Dec 29, 2013
Kyle Kimball
Asheville, NC
  5.10a
Kyle Kimball   Asheville, NC
  5.10a
Climbed it today- great climb, and probably one of the most difficult and long climbs I've ever done. The bulge move wasn't too bad, you just had to be able to do a pull up on bad holds- the second pitch was a fair bit harder, but thankfully well protected. We decided to do the mainline rappel, which was a bad idea. The traverse to get over to the trees was quite sketchy- very, very runout with moss and loose rocks on a lot of it, and I didn't realize the tree was all the way on the left, so I almost decided to traverse all the way back. Got our rope stuck on a flake on the second rappel, which was great, and so I'll have to back tomorrow to get it. Dec 20, 2013
michael s...
Denver, CO
  5.9+
michael s...   Denver, CO
  5.9+
Climbed it last Wednesday. Beautiful sunny day. Approached from the south side. Started from the bottom of the apron off to the left by a tree. Super fun awesomeness. Couldn't find any damn rap anchors though. We might have gone too high on the last pitch. Found 2 tricams and a nut with a sling over by Southender Gully that got us to the ground (barely) with a single 2-rope rap on two 70m. Nov 24, 2013
Great route with awesome exposure on the 3rd pitch! I thought the 2nd pitch was one of the best hand cracks I've seen in NC.
The mainline rappell certainly seems easier than Southender. However, the guide books says to make the first rappell "straight down 190'" which definitely got me off course. It seems the second rappell rings are probably atleast 40' to the left of "straight down". Ended up having to leave some nuts and a .4" cam for the second rap. Jul 2, 2013
cshuey77 shuey
Asheviile,nc
  5.9
cshuey77 shuey   Asheviile,nc
  5.9
Great route! This whole climb eats gear. The bulge move on pitch 3 was exciting! I agree that this climb is very committing for the 5.8-5.9 climber. Mar 12, 2012
Mr Singleton
  5.9
Mr Singleton  
  5.9
On the second pitch instead of exiting the crack and climbing the face out left. Stay in the crack for some great off-width climbing. I don't really no why you would exit the crack. Its fun climbing all the way to the end. ( this is certainly the crux pitch ) Feb 27, 2012
I like using the rap that Jeep mentions and think going in to do T&B via the southside trail is quicker/chiller. Never thought of leaving a rope at the base of the rappel. Good beta. Nov 30, 2011
Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
 
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
 
No way in hell is it grade IV, or Grade III for that matter. A competent team should take 2-3 hours. Mar 28, 2011
BirminghamBen
Birmingham, AL
BirminghamBen   Birmingham, AL
Not really. Whitesides, TNF of Looking Glass, maybe some of the routes on LK will yield better opportunities. Mar 28, 2011
S. F. Pitman
Boulder, CO
S. F. Pitman   Boulder, CO
I have a question. Is this truly a grade IV, at least the way the AMGA would recognize it? Obviously more goes into the commitment than just the length/number of pitches, but 5-100' pitches seems really short for the grade.

The reason I ask isn't to troll; I'm planning a trip to this area in about six months with the intention of getting several east coast Grade IV or longer routes in (for AMGA prereqs); this route looks awesome, but I want to know if it is actually a grade four on par with Gom Jabber or The Glass Menagerie (in commitment, not difficulty). Thanks guys. Mar 26, 2011
J-Wright  
 
Super fun!
As of Nov 2010, the Mainline Rap seems like the best way down - 180ft from the tree island to the shiny new rap bolts, about 200ft down to the walk-off. Nov 8, 2010
Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
 
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
 
I don't think that's a Maple tree you rap off. The tree is fairly obvious, but calling it a Maple (as the guidebook does) caused us to hesitate a little bit. Pretty fun route. At the start of pitch 2, do you guys climb off the left side of the belay or right side? I climbed off the left side and it was easy, but there was no gear. It looked like there was gear on the right, but it looked less direct.

I thought the Michelin Man move was the crux, but I'm short. Aug 18, 2009
Climbed T&B for like the 20th time yesterday. It's still good. The mainline rappel is definitely the way to get off especially if you hike in from the Nose area. Leave you approach shoes and pack at the base of Mainline/Aerospace. Here's how to find the Mainline rappel stations. Once you're in the 4th pitch water groove, follow it for about 300 ft (either belay or 4th class). Keep your eye out for first massive tree island on the left. Traverse below the tree island to gain the left end. There is a large maple tree with rap slings (static rope) and rings. As of 07/09 the static rope was still in good shape. Rap from there down 170' to a double bolt belay. Another full 200ft rappel gets you back down to the Sunwall slab. Enjoy! Jul 4, 2009
This is without a doubt one of the best routes on the Sun Wall. To avoid the somewhat tricky "Southender" rappel, head up and left to do the Mainline Express rappel. On another note, does anyone know the history behind the two bolts leading through a bulge to the right of the start? I climbed this with a friend and it goes. Just wondering if anyone had done it before. Feb 8, 2008
Rhett Burroughs
Rock Springs, WY
Rhett Burroughs   Rock Springs, WY
That SOB is hard. Kicked us off. A team of 4 is a horrible idea. Jan 10, 2008
Keith Leary  
 
Beautiful, Clean & Exposed. One of the best climbs in the country. Wish the rap was easer, though. Jul 19, 2007
Bob - Great story re the first ascent. I added the second bolt at the beginning of pitch 2 sometime in the early 90s. Your original belay bolt was showing signs of age (e.g. rust). I had intended to return to remove the older bolt thus leaving the route with no more fixed gear than the original ascent, but I never made it back. Jul 6, 2007
saxfiend
Decatur, GA
  5.10-
saxfiend   Decatur, GA  
  5.10-
The bulge on P3 is the hardest lead move I've ever seen anyone do. Hats off to Michael for leading, and to Bob for the bold FA! Jan 28, 2007