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Routes in Looking Glass Rock

Regular Route S 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13
Type: Sport, 400 ft, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 28,210 total, 317/month
Shared By: Nathan Tomlin on Aug 16, 2010
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details

Description

AKA- East Rib: 3 pitch bolted route (sparse) up the SW ridge. Absolutely amazing 100% free-hanging rappel down through the amphitheater! Need two 50m ropes for the rap. Beware rattlesnakes at the base of the climb!

Location

Climbs up the eastern ramp.

I found out about the route from 2 other webpages and stole the great info they had:

Protection

  • P1: 2 bolts to a 2-bolt belay
  • P2: 3 bolts to a 2-bolt belay
  • P3: straight up for 1 bolt to a 2-bolt belay, though I also saw at least 1 other bolt to the right, so probably other options exist.

Rappel anchor is ~15 feet down from the top. Either walk down or use bolts at top to rap or belay someone down to the rap anchors.
Super fun rappel and swing. As several others said, definitely a great place to get new climbers introduced to climbing outdoors. Though it's easy climbing, it's quite exposed and can get very windy, so tying in is advised.

As mentioned below, it's a popular area. We've found that sharing a rope with another group for the rap and swing is a great way to get everyone down and swinging in a timely manner. Sometimes groups include non-climbers (who are equally entitled to swing time as climbers, right?), so it's a good idea to try to communicate with other groups early on. If you want a climb/rappel/swing all to yourself, then this probably isn't the place for you. If you want to be the first group on the rock, then expect to get an early start.

Hardware update: We added a quick link to one of the bolts (11/4) so that you can rappel into the window without any sketchy maneuvering. Nov 12, 2017
Jim Fox
Westminster, CO
Jim Fox   Westminster, CO
Went to climb this on 3/23/15 & there was a very active, somewhat aggressive snake on the very first step of the climb. I had read posts on MP saying that there were rattlkesnakes at base of climb, so I was unwilling to get too close to it. My climbing partner said he heard it rattling but I did not (he was by the snake and I was at our car). Anyway, it didn't look like any rattlesnakes I have seen before and was about 5-6 feet long. The most common rattler in the Moab area is the midget faded western rattlesnake, but they typically don't get over 2 feet long. At any rate, I never got very close to him but took a picture with a zoom lens, which I later posted on MP. An astute climber identified it as a gopher snake, which I looked up online and confirmed that is what we saw. This may be what previous posters have seen as well, given the reported length.


There were 1 or 2 other snakes hiding back in holes at the base and they were possibly rattlers- they had triangular heads but I never got a real good look at them... Mar 27, 2015
justino  
Sorry Emily to disagree with you, but no! If folks are trying to rap off the anchors it is rude to clog up the only descent option with “swingers”. Sharing is caring... Nov 13, 2017
Garrett C
SL,UT
  5.4
Garrett C   SL,UT
  5.4
How does this have a PG13 rating? Multiple bolts on low angle slab, nothing run out, and bolted belay stations. It seems more bolts have been added between the stations since the original publishing. At the top you can walk around down low angle slab and do the repel to the ground. A single 70m dynamic rope hit the bottom just fine. Great repel and even better swing.

This is a very popular area. Please climb it, do the repel, swing, and then pull your rope. On 11/4 we followed a party of two who climbed and set the repel, then called their friends whose car pulled up and several families worth of people then proceeded to do the rope swing. We waited patiently at the top, but after the party below us was beginning to send their party on the swing a second time, we had to yell down. Please be conscientious of others who also want to enjoy this amazing repel. I didn't think this would need to be stated, but apparently so. Nov 5, 2017
As said above, one of the best experiences I've had in moab, because of the rap and swing. Climb was nothing to stand out but it was great to see my friends, first time outdoor climbers, succeed, wearing tennis shoes. I counted 3 bolts between each belay. Easy but very sandy with 1 small featureless slab that was spooky.
The small scoot down to the rap anchors can be belayed from bolts above, if you wish. Kinda exposed for new climbers.

We saw zero snakes on 10/30/17. We swung by jumping from the obvious bird poop ledges. Oct 30, 2017
Sarah Schlaefke
Salt Lake City, Utah
 
Sarah Schlaefke   Salt Lake City, Utah
 
The anchors you can use to not-sketchily rap to the Looking Glass swing anchors are just bare bolts. Either be prepared to do the Texas Rope Trick (with a sling and extra locker) or bring quick links to leave and make this a better place! Oct 27, 2017
Alex Zucca
University Heights
 
Alex Zucca   University Heights
 
Bring around 15 draws and you can simul-climb the entire route. Only 1 section was harder than scrambling, a sandy featureless slab. I would call it 5.7 Oct 23, 2017
Gerrit VanderLugt  
  5.4
The climbing is super easy. It'd be perfect for a first multi-pitch or lead. It's a little tricky getting down to the rappel station and actually starting the rappel. There were WAY more bolts than I was anticipating given the protection rating and what the guide books say. I didn't feel run out at all. The climb isn't that fun, but the rappel and swing are some of the funnest things I've done in Moab. Oct 19, 2017
Karissa Sampson
Boulder, CO
5.3 R
Karissa Sampson   Boulder, CO
5.3 R
Fun solo, climbing is no harder than 5.3 at most. Bolts are spaced out but the climbing is straightforward. Good for taking less experienced partners up on rope. Rappel makes this worth it. Aug 5, 2017
Attempted Looking Glass on May 3. Saw about seven rattle snakes at the base of the route. One was literally on first step of the route. There is a harder, crumbly, and sketchy unprotected alternative start to the right around the toe. There were also snakes on that side, though.

We opted to leave the snakes alone and headed back to Moab. May 9, 2017
Whoever chiseled a foothold on the crux slab move has made this route completely trivial. Industrial tourism at work! Oct 15, 2016
Daniel H. Bryant
Colorado Springs, CO
Daniel H. Bryant   Colorado Springs, CO
Climbed 7/6/16 around 11am, hot but no snakes found, either way be careful.
There are 3 bolts in the 'window' and an empty hole, and there are 3 bolts above the 'window', but only 1 of those had a rap ring and the bolts are protruding 1/2 inch above the hangers (so we just walked down the ramp into the 'window'). All of the bolts felt solid.
I took 2 ropes for the rappel, but you can get by with a single 70m, so it is more like a 115' rappel.
It is worth the climb just for the rappel. Jul 8, 2016
Will Bradford
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
 
Will Bradford   Winston-Salem, North Carolina
 
I would call this climb a 5.2 to 5.3… I am a very cautious climber and I would almost say this is not worth roping up for, save for a few smears on P2 that might bump it out of fourth class.

P1 and P2 can be easily linked with a 60 if you belay from the platform, as many comments suggest doing.

Be careful if you choose to do the rope swing- we suffered sheath damage that went down to the core of the rope where the double fisherman's apparently got caught between the anchor and rock (best we can figure…) May 13, 2016
KG
SLC, UT
  5.2
KG   SLC, UT
  5.2
Great route to take beginners on.

I rapped from the lower anchors in the notch and made it to the ground with a 70m sterling like some others have commented on doing. Having 2 60m ropes would allow you to rappel from the higher anchor though. May 8, 2016
Adam Lendi
Denver, CO
  5.4
Adam Lendi   Denver, CO
  5.4
Photosphere of Looking Glass Rappel

This was a really great climb for my girlfriend, a newer climber, and I to build her confidence and teach her about multi-pitch and lead belaying. The climb was easy, yet very rewarding once you got to the rappel and the rope swing. I stopped half way down the rappel to shoot the above interactive photosphere. Enjoy!

Finally, if Rick or Alex who rapped and swang with us on 4/18/16 catch this post, please PM me so I can get your email. I'll share my pictures and hopefully can get yours back. Apr 20, 2016
The climb is one star, but the rappel is four stars. Often you end up clipping a bolt as you are just walking up the slab, perhaps a great route to practice simuling. The rap is amazing! Apr 11, 2016
Eli B.
  Easy 5th
Eli B.  
  Easy 5th
Not sure if this can even be called grade 5, but the Rappel is AWESOME! Fun way to spend an afternoon or introduce a beginner to multi-pitch climbing. Apr 3, 2016
curt86iroc
Golden, CO
  5.4 PG13
curt86iroc   Golden, CO
  5.4 PG13
easy climbing (more like scrambling) but well worth it for the amazing rappel!! belay the first pitch from the top of the first block. Oct 4, 2015
A number of the old stud bolts and sleeve bolts (all of which were sticking way out or were spinners) were pulled and replaced by Glue In SS bolts. The same hole was used in all placements.

Though this route is easy and often soloed, it is important to keep in mind that often the fixed hardware on these routes can not be entirely trusted. It may be a good idea to place gear where possible.

The rap anchor was fortified as well. A fun outing! Sep 18, 2015
Gopher snakes are GREAT snakes that eat all sorts of things we humans despise!
They often coil and shake their tail to rattle near by vegetation in an evolutionary effort to convince predators they are venomous. With the onslaught of we humans this is not working out so well. Still, a great snake! Mar 27, 2015
Brian marsh
carbondale, CO
Brian marsh   carbondale, CO
i left 2 stuck ropes hanging from the rap on 2/18. id be forever grateful to someone if they were returned. Feb 19, 2015
Brandon Mathis
Durango
Brandon Mathis   Durango
We hit up the looking glass on a windy day in December. Incredible outing. Good multi pitch intro. Amazing rapp. Rope swing is a must.
Enjoy!

4cornerstv.com/channel/brea… Dec 24, 2014
cstebbins024
Laramie, WY
cstebbins024   Laramie, WY
The rating is 5.5 but it is probably more like 5.2. However falling to one side or the other would be quite the fall. Watch for snakes as mentioned. Quickly climb up to the first ledge and belay there. Otherwise your belayer will be standing right by the snakes. The climb is fun, rap is better, but the rope swing makes it all worthwhile. After the rap walk up into the amphitheater looking for a ledge with bird poop below it. Rig your rope tightly to your harness and run toward the Looking Glass and jump. Super fun! Oct 10, 2014
Take the rattlesnake warning seriously: there were two there in just the small approach from the car. Sep 8, 2014
Nathan Tomlin
Boulder, CO
 
Nathan Tomlin   Boulder, CO
 
Holy rattlesnakes! Rattlesnakes live in the holes at the base - there were 2 right on the ledge for the first foothold of the climb when we got there. The group ahead of us didn't see them at all, which is really scary because they could come out at any time. A 6 foot non-rattlesnake also lives in the hole a couple feet left of the start.

A few minutes after we got there, the rattlesnakes went back in their holes. We were worried that after the leader went up, they would come back out, and the belayer wouldn't be able to follow (or belay or keep their pants clean). So we ended up free soloing the first 10 feet to a nice ledge free of snake dens where we could belay in peace.

If you leave your bag at the base of the climb, I would move it far away from the rock, but that's just me.

Oct 17, 2013
Brandon Ashby
Kamas, UT
Brandon Ashby   Kamas, UT
This has become a standard for me now when I am in Moab. There always seems to be a beginner climber or two in my group when I make the trip to Moab and I always take them here. This is an easy climb with fantastic exposure. An absolutely thrilling, picturesque rappel back down truly makes for the perfect afternoon adventure. I don't care how hard you climb, if you don't find this fun you aren't into climbing for the right reasons. Never had a bad day with friends at looking glass... Aug 13, 2013
ErinnB
Lone tree CO
  5.5 PG13
ErinnB   Lone tree CO
  5.5 PG13
The rope swing was a lot of fun. I highly recommend it!! Aug 9, 2013
Josh Schutz
Estes Park and Telluride, Colo
Josh Schutz   Estes Park and Telluride, Colo
Be really careful about the rattlesnakes. We came across 6 in the rocks right at the start of the first pitch. Apr 26, 2013
Brian Aitken
  5.4 PG13
Brian Aitken  
  5.4 PG13
Can easily be done in two pitches with a 60 or 70m rope. A 70m rope gets you to the ground for the rappel... no need to double up. Aug 1, 2012
Stan Jones
Benbrook, TX
  5.4
Stan Jones   Benbrook, TX
  5.4
When I pulled the ropes, the ends of the second 60m met about 30 feet above my head, so the rap must be about 130 feet. Jun 12, 2012
A couple friends and I added a summit register to the top of Looking Glass. If you want to check it out before you rap, it's in a Nalgene under the cairn at the very tip-top of the arch. Jan 21, 2012
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
 
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
 
Fun, easy route with a REALLY fun rappel. Rappel anchor looked bomber; good webbing with several bolts.

I created a printable PDF beta sheet for the route (including a map). Mar 6, 2011
Really fun and fast climb! Here are a few notes:
-We found one more bolt than listed per pitch (on the first pitch they are usually found on a flat spot/ledge before or after when you would actually want them).
-Bring a 1/2 cam for a mantle just before the first belay (bolt in pretty far below you) There is a nice jug but it felt loose.
-Link pitches 2& 3 with a 70 m rope easily.
-1 70 m rope will get down the rap (just enough rope)
-The crack below the arch leading to the rappel hole would be an INCREDIBLE line!!! But way out of my league.
-The rap sling seemed good. But I wonder why a chain doesn't get left. It would last a lot longer and would NEVER be seen by anyone not up there.
-The rap itself was worth the 3 hour drive. VERY COOL!
-If you look around on the summit you will spot some very random bolts...??? The ledge on the south ridge has a VERY strange line of bolts...??? Who drilled these things and why I wonder. Mar 6, 2011
Swingin Johnson  
  5.5
What a great day (feel weird calling it a climb). Get your party hoisted up to the first belay and off you go! Some exposed (left/right) friction moves on the second pitch but it's mostly Class 4. Short 15' rap off the south end of the arch to the 'window' - we had 4 people there and it was crowded (and cold in the winter shade). 2x60m ropes to get down from there. All around fun! Mar 4, 2011
Zach Allen  
 
Great route to take beginners on! Spacious, comfy ledges at every belay. Great summit and views, well protected with bolts where you need them. Could possibly place two finger-sized cams on the entire route, but not necessary.
One double rope rap to the ground.

There are several sets of unnecessary bolt anchors on the summit and around the arch, maybe a dozen odd bolts that could be pulled and patched. Was someone practice drilling, or what? Nov 8, 2010
Nathan Tomlin
Boulder, CO
 
Nathan Tomlin   Boulder, CO
 
The two webpages mentioned above with info on the climb rated it a 5.7. However, I thought it was easier and the same as Wilson Arch Regular Route, which was rated a 5.3, so I'm splitting the difference and calling both a 5.5. Aug 17, 2010