Author Topic: Once More Through the Looking Glass  (Read 4587 times)

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Offline cclarke

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Once More Through the Looking Glass
« on: November 16, 2009, 10:38:38 am »
As consolation for missing Yosemite this year, I took another short trip to Looking Glass Rock in North Carolina.  Here?s how it went in words and photographs.

I bid adieu to the peafowl (and family) at 5 am:



Nine hours of driving later, I reach the wrong parking lot:



A few minutes later, I am at the correct parking area:



The north face aid routes are on the left skyline and further around out of sight.  I switch from these:



To these and get ready to go:



So much stuff for one guy:



At least I will have some female companionship:



And the really good stuff:



By the time I carry all that stuff to the wall in two trips.  It is already getting late.



I abandon plans of starting right away on Remember Appomattox (A2+) and climb the first pitch of Invisible Airwaves (C1) to the most awesome bivy ledge.  It?s about 10? x10? and perfectly flat.  I set up the newly refurbished camo-ledge in the dark and settle in for the evening while listening to a great radio station from Asheville.  I haven?t seen anyone at the crag.



Morning sun doesn?t quite reach the spectacular corner on the second pitch of Invisible Airwaves this time of year or perhaps ever:



After a leisurely coffee to let the temperatures rise a bit (it was below freezing overnight), I finally get my circus organized below Remember Appomattox.  I notice my watch reads 11:00 am!  WTF, where did the time go?  A little discouraged, I launch into the climbing and slowly but steadily make my way up to, and then through, the A2+ crux with a series of shallowly placed beaks.  The next section follows a 30? long left traverse under an expando flake on small Aliens and Lowe Balls to a nice fat bolt.  The belay station is about 30? directly right so I start moving in that direction, again using the smallest aliens for pro.  I decide to leave no protection on the traverse so I can just lower out from the bolt when cleaning.  This plan gets a little scary as I approach the belay but, eventually, I can crawl onto a ledge and slide along to the end.  Whew, glad that?s over. 

Cleaning the traverse is a pain but nothing unmanageable.  The lower out goes perfectly and soon I have hauled the gear.  I am slow, I guess, and it is already about 4 pm, according to my watch, when I have everything at the top of pitch one.  I assume it will get dark by 5:30 so I set up camp.

Scenes from the day two bivy:







I have a few Dale?s Ales, make dinner, and wait for the sun to set.  And wait, and wait, and wait some more.  My watch says it is 7 pm and it?s still light out!  I was pretty confused because I thought for sure it got dark the day before at 5:30.  Eventually, the radio announces it is 8:30 pm and I can see my watch is running two hours fast.  Oh well, time warp mystery solved.

Morning light:



Here?s where I am going at sunrise on day 3:




It?s steeper than it looks!  The sun is gone in about an hour but it was nice while it lasted.  Mostly the climbing is on fixed gear, including a bunch of machine heads sticking waaaaay out of the rock and some dubious heads.  Yikes.  The A2+ crux involves a few marginal beaks (the blue Tomahawks were totally the ticket for me) between fixed pieces that I really, really wouldn?t want to fall on.  There?s a nice hook move getting to a thank-god bolt midway through the pitch.  It wasn?t too hard but it was kind of scary.  This pitch took more like an hour and a half so maybe I am not completely hopeless at this aid stuff.

I had planned to finish the route via Blond Ambition (5.10, A3) but the upper portion of the route was really wet.  The other finishing options also looked quite wet.  I was a bit surprised because it hadn?t rained in days.  So I don?t know if this wetness is normal or not but I didn?t want to get wet in the cold so I bailed via a 200? free-hanging rappel after uneventfully cleaning the second pitch.

I got what I was looking for and didn?t feel like mucking about on the initial pitches of another route so, even though I had an additional day planned, I started the long drive home.

Good times:







Offline Caz

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 11:47:25 am »
Nice! Great TR...

ZAc
I do this for fun...

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 11:50:02 am »
noyce!

Offline thylaxene

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 02:19:46 pm »
You know it is a crime to wear socks with crocs? Well in Australia it is.... ;-)

Nice TR thanks mate.

Cheers.

Offline Kuntor

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2009, 06:16:18 pm »
Nice TR, cclarke! We must've just missed each other this weekend - I was out there along with Tito from the forum as well. I hope you brought your #6 camalot for the first pitch of RA!
Tried giving GM another go, but got waaaaayyy too intoxicated to jug the fixed lines the next morning for the finish, and wound up doing Invisible Airwaves instead. Was that you who put in the circlehead on the first pitch?

Offline Didder

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2009, 07:19:22 pm »
I drove out to Looking glass once years ago while on a trip to Ashville. I could not believe how there was just no one around. Of course the fact that it was snowing may have had something to do about it. What a cool chunk of stone in the middle of the forest. I kept wondering if any civil war shit went down out there. By the way, the year isn't over yet so you still have a chance to get to Yosemite.

Offline Mike.

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2009, 08:48:50 pm »
Good show, Chris. Looks high value!
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Tito

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2009, 04:40:10 am »
Nice pics of the Glass, they give an idea of what a spectacular place it really is.  I love watching the first rays of sunshine light up the north face in the morning with a good cup of coffee. 

Kuntor and Chris nice meeting you cats.  I was wondering where you guys where when I hiked out Sunday morning.  I should have known it had to do with the sangria.

Offline cclarke

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2009, 08:53:01 am »
thylaxene-

The crocs with socks is so wrong but I can't help myself.  My wife thinks I must be German or Austrian.

Kuntor-

I did the regular 1st pitch of IA and not the direct start this trip.  When I did the direct start in July, I don't think the 1st copperhead or the circlehead were there.  I managed it cleanly with a hook, a Lowe Ball, and a cam hook but it was scary.

I spaced and left the big cams on the ground and had to free climb the wideness on RA.  It wasn't too bad with the leg in the flake but I was glad to clip the bolt at the top.

Mike-

Thanks for the shoes!  They rock.


Offline lunchbox

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2009, 09:11:10 am »
Thanks for the TR cclarke, iit brings back such good memories!  Mr. and I cut our teeth here before we both moved west. 

Looking Glass will stay wet for many days following a good rain.  The forest on top holds a lot of water. 

We did the 3rd ascent of Falling Shards of Glass and last 30 feet of the summit pitch was covered in 4" of ice.  Mr. chopped ice looking for the finial bat hooks holes and eventually opted for lassoing a dead tree branch with our 8mm haul line with the hook rack on the end.  Then he jugged that shit above A3 gear in the dead of winter.  It could have been a scene in 007 movie.  So bad ass and a great route!


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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2009, 02:42:28 am »
buenisimas fotos!!

saludos

Offline Didder

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2009, 11:54:10 pm »
Love the warning label still on the wall hammer....

miravete

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 03:17:06 pm »
Pardon, that use has the swabs?

-------------------------------------

perdon, que uso tiene los estropajos?

gracias!!


Offline Tito

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2009, 03:41:50 pm »
Better question is why the portaledge on a huge ledge?

Offline cclarke

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2009, 08:32:39 am »
Miravete-

The sponges are for condensation or leaks if the rain fly is in use.

Tito-

I wanted to test the new bed on the portaledge.  The previous bed ripped while in use last summer.  Also, the ledge is more comfortable to me than a rock ledge.  Plus I didn't know if the bivy ledge was sheltered in a storm and the rain fly on the portaledge was the best shelter I had.

didder-

I should probably get a warning label tattooed on the back of my neck in case the one on the hammer wears off eventually.

miravete

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2009, 07:47:42 am »
Thank you very much ccalrke!!!!!!

skully

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2009, 01:34:30 pm »
"Warning-this monkey could hit you with this hammer. You have been warned".
Lol.
We're a SERIOUS bunch of critics, eh? Good on ya, bro.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2009, 07:46:08 pm »
hahahaa!

i have an engraver pen, maybe I should get back to engraving my gear and put a warning like that on it. hah!

Offline Mike.

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2009, 09:43:00 pm »
Hehe...I might use "This gear is a factory blem. Use at your own risk."
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Didder

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2009, 03:39:59 am »
Is that a jug of Vasoline and a soft porn mag sticking out of the haul bag?... man you know how to climb in style.

We are all just jealous cause you have the only recent trip report... which by the way gents someone get the hell out there and give us some entertainment for cryin' out loud...

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Once More Through the Looking Glass
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2009, 10:50:28 am »
I had to scroll back up to check for the porn mag.  fricking tease

hahaha




factory blem, yep, that ought to do it!