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.
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?
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!
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.
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...
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.
beward of snakes at the start of looking glass rock!