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Looking Glass Rock
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Regular Route S 

Regular Route 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c PG13

Type:  Sport, 3 pitches, 400'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13 [details]
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Page Views: 26,971
Submitted By: Nathan Tomlin on Aug 17, 2010

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The swing

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 MORE INFO >>>


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!


Climbs up the eastern ramp.

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


  • 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.

Photos of Regular Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A fun airy rappel off Looking Glass Rock!
A fun airy rappel off Looking Glass Rock!
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking glass rap
Looking glass rap
Rock Climbing Photo: 185ft free
185ft free
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt on the Regular Route (which took us ~15 min t...
Matt on the Regular Route (which took us ~15 min t...
Rock Climbing Photo: The airy rap. October 2012
The airy rap. October 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of the route... super easy fun route. Gr...
The start of the route... super easy fun route. Gr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brenda on rappel.
Brenda on rappel.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful area, have done the climb both with no r...
Beautiful area, have done the climb both with no r...
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting the repel setup
Getting the repel setup
Rock Climbing Photo: another view of the arch/amphitheater
another view of the arch/amphitheater
Rock Climbing Photo: Jason at the 1st belay station, with another climb...
Jason at the 1st belay station, with another climb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Night rap
Night rap
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping with snow coming. Also, 2nd one from a dif...
Rapping with snow coming. Also, 2nd one from a dif...
Rock Climbing Photo: gearin up near the start
gearin up near the start
Rock Climbing Photo: Rope Swing.
Rope Swing.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jenna and I on top of Looking Glass Rock. Photo by...
Jenna and I on top of Looking Glass Rock. Photo by...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jenna doing the open-air rappel. Photo by Brian Ai...
Jenna doing the open-air rappel. Photo by Brian Ai...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jason and Victor
Jason and Victor
Rock Climbing Photo: Jason and Victor prepare to rappel.
Jason and Victor prepare to rappel.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brenda looking up the route from the 1st belay sta...
Brenda looking up the route from the 1st belay sta...
Rock Climbing Photo: Me rappelling. Fun!
Me rappelling. Fun!
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the route. The start is just to the lef...
Looking up the route. The start is just to the lef...
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt near the start
Matt near the start
Rock Climbing Photo: beward of snakes at the start of looking glass roc...
BETA PHOTO: beward of snakes at the start of looking glass roc...

Show All 33 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Regular Route Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 5, 2017
By Nathan Tomlin
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 17, 2010

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.
By Zach Allen
Nov 8, 2010

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?
By Swingin Johnson
Mar 4, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

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!
By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From: PG, Utah
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.
By Tristan Higbee
From: Ogden, UT
Mar 6, 2011

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).
By Adam Roy
Jan 21, 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.
By Stan Jones
From: Benbrook, TX
Jun 12, 2012
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

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.
By Brian Aitken
Aug 1, 2012
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c 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.
By Josh Schutz
From: Estes Park and Telluride, Colo
Apr 26, 2013

Be really careful about the rattlesnakes. We came across 6 in the rocks right at the start of the first pitch.
By ErinnB
From: Lone tree CO
Aug 9, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

The rope swing was a lot of fun. I highly recommend it!!
By Brandon Ashby
From: Kamas, UT
Aug 13, 2013

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...
By Nathan Tomlin
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 17, 2013

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.

Rock Climbing Photo: beward of snakes at the start of looking glass roc...
beward of snakes at the start of looking glass rock!
By Patrick Kane
Sep 8, 2014

Take the rattlesnake warning seriously: there were two there in just the small approach from the car.
By cstebbins024
From: Laramie, WY
Oct 10, 2014

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!
By Brandon Mathis
From: Durango
Dec 24, 2014

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.
By Brian marsh
From: carbondale, CO
Feb 19, 2015

i left 2 stuck ropes hanging from the rap on 2/18. id be forever grateful to someone if they were returned.
By Jim Fox
From: Westminster, CO
Mar 27, 2015

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.
Rock Climbing Photo: gopher snake
gopher snake

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...
By Roy Suggett
Mar 27, 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!
By James Garrett
Sep 18, 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!
By curt86iroc
From: Golden, CO
Oct 4, 2015
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c 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.
By Eli B.
Apr 3, 2016
rating: Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c

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.
By Evan Wisheropp
Apr 11, 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!
By Adam Lendi
From: Denver, CO
Apr 20, 2016
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

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.
By Kyle Goupil
From: SLC, UT
May 8, 2016
rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c

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.
By Will Bradford
From: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
May 13, 2016

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…)
By Daniel H. Bryant
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 8, 2016

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.
By John Peterson
Oct 15, 2016

Whoever chiseled a foothold on the crux slab move has made this route completely trivial. Industrial tourism at work!
By Derek Michael
May 9, 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.
By Karissa Sampson
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 5, 2017
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a 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.

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