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Invisible Airwaves 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b A2

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 240', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b A2 [details]
FA: Whitney Heuerman, Jeff Burton (1984)
Season: Year round
Page Views: 7,981
Submitted By: Fox Mountain Guides on Jun 4, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (39)
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A guy we met while on the route. Came back the nex...

Description 

Great free climbing followed by some classic nailing. The free crux is the thin traverse under the detached block. Careful with your pro here!

Start up the shallow blocky dihedral to the left of "Waste Not Want Not." There is a 5.12a direct start that goes up the obvious dehidral. Traverse right on thin horizontal (crux) to good ledge. Rest, then blast the lay back to a great ledge. Start nailing from here.

Location 

North Face of Looking Glass Rock; starts left of Waste Not Want Not.

Protection 

Single set of cams, extra .5- #1. Nuts. Twin ropes useful. Beaks and Bugaboos for the nailing. A two bolt anchor is fixed at all belays.


Photos of Invisible Airwaves Slideshow Add Photo
Matt Thorum through the only hook move on P3 rivet ladders. Yours truly belaying
BETA PHOTO: Matt Thorum through the only hook move on P3 rivet...
Almost blew the onsight
Almost blew the onsight
Solo aid guy out of reach hehehe
Solo aid guy out of reach hehehe
Jonathan Dull Warming up in the Etriers on the first pitch of Invisible!!
Jonathan Dull Warming up in the Etriers on the fir...
IA
IA
after layback
BETA PHOTO: after layback
Looking down at Matt on the P3 Head/Hook/Rivet/Bolt ladder
Looking down at Matt on the P3 Head/Hook/Rivet/Bol...
The victory corner for finishing the crux
The victory corner for finishing the crux
Invisible Airwaves, Looking Glass, NC <br /> <br />
Invisible Airwaves, Looking Glass, NC
Invisible Airwaves, Looking Glass, NC <br />
Invisible Airwaves, Looking Glass, NC
P-1
P-1
One of the many hand placed Tomahawks! This one on a dead head
One of the many hand placed Tomahawks! This one on...
the perfect p2 corner.
BETA PHOTO: the perfect p2 corner.
Invisible Airwaves
Invisible Airwaves
Having fun on Invisible Airwaves
Having fun on Invisible Airwaves
Jugging back up after doing the P3-P2 rope swing.
Jugging back up after doing the P3-P2 rope swing.

Comments on Invisible Airwaves Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 23, 2014
By Rob Dillon
Jun 4, 2009

I decided to aid the corner on my clean gear before I started nailing, and got to the anchors without having to pull up the hammer. This was in about 1994. Some fixed heads were involved near the top, but otherwise I was able to get up it with my less-than-state-of-the-art rack of that era. So folks with consideration for the resource might hold off on the bashing before following the exhortation to start nailing right off the ledge. It's still the only place I've ever got to stand on a 0 RP...how cool is that?
By TomCaldwell
From: Clemson, S.C.
May 31, 2010

The block at the P1 crux is not attached to the wall. Remember that if you decide to place gear in the horizontal seam. You could pry that thing off onto your belayer.
By Mike Holley
From: Boone, NC
Oct 18, 2011

Superb first pitch! The initial traverse under the large flake is somewhat weird but just muscle through it and its over in jiffy. The first move on the vertical crack (protected by fixed cams) is a bit slick on the feet so don't forget about 'em or they may just go, but the rest is smooth sailing till you reach the most beautiful belay ledge of all time!!

Second Pitch is Radical in every sense! First Aid climb ever so I had a blast! Did it with nothing but small cams, small black diamond nuts, two cam hooks and a little creativity. We may have made it a wee bit harder on ourselves because of our lack of gear but it sent either way! It is pretty easy going till you get about ten feet below the bolt on the face and thats where things get "intellectual demanding", but then after the bolt its a go. Took us 2.5 hours to send the second pitch, as I said it was our first aid!

No Time for the third, but We are definitely going back to finish this classic! I heard the rope swing is a must do!
By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From: London (sort of)
Oct 27, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A2

I'm not sure what to say about the big flake. I can't imagine that a small cam would pry it off, but it is kind of scary. It was only a tad bit harder than a few awkward sections midway up the crack but I probably wasn't using my feet very well. P2 looks cool as hell, and I'd love to aid it someday.
By Chase Petursburg
From: Littleton, CO
Dec 10, 2011

I don't usially aid climb, but I made an exception for this. The one issue was that a few holds in the crux were gone, but it was fun. Pitch 3 isn't that fun, though.
By csproul
From: Davis, CA
Aug 13, 2012

"Crux" traverse is hardest move but is over very quickly. The initial power lieback up the crack above is kind of cruxy too. I cleaned P2 and can't imagine how it would go completely clean unless there was some fixed heads just below the bolt(which there were not). It is a very thin seam before the bolt that wouldn't take cam hooks. He ended up leapfrogging the two tomahawks that we had. to get to the bolt and the one fixed head above the bolt. I'd love to see how folks get through this section without hammering. I led P3 which was entirely foxed gear with 2-3 hook moves. No need to belay off of the top of p2. Belay in comfort down on the nice ledge for both P2 and P3. Awesome route and the best belay ledge in NC!
By Scott O
From: California
Aug 13, 2012

All but one of the fixed heads on P2 are gone. I ended up placing 3 peckers high up. Definitely no reason to hammer until the move before the first bolt, and I'm sure a better aid climber could have seen something I didn't.
By Monkey-sa
Aug 27, 2012

The first pitch is a punch in the face every time I try to warm up on it. But, I just cant get enough, its a must do.
By Blake Cash
Oct 16, 2013

Funny...the "traverse" is not hard at all, although committing, not hard. It's the moves off of the ledge right after that are the hardest and mildly awkward.
By Derek DeBruin
Mar 5, 2014

As of 3/3/14, I would be very doubtful that P2 goes clean any more. We headed up without a hammer but I'm sad to report that all of the fixed heads (only 2 remained) are now ripped. The final section between the bolts will likely require either bashies or knifeblades since the fixed gear is now gone. Everything else went on cam hooks and hand placed beaks, though.
By michael s...
From: Asheville, NC
May 20, 2014

I was on this twice in Feb and I don't think its gonna go clean without the fixed gear. As far as the gear ripping, I made it to the bolt and reached up for a "fixed" bashie and it fell into my hand with no resistance.
By AdamO Taylor
Sep 15, 2014

I was just wondering what people thought about the possibility of P2 being "free climbed"? Is it possible? Are there holds? I used to climb at LG quite a bit and always thought this pitch would be really cool. I've never been above P1, don't really aid climb, and don't live close, just curious.
By michael s...
From: Asheville, NC
Oct 23, 2014

Once you get above the bolt on the second pitch everything is pretty bleak. I'm not gonna say it would be impossible to freeclimb, but pretty damn rough. Like 5.14 or something. (Not that I have the greatest idea what a 5.14 crack climb is like)