Located near Brevard, Looking Glass has a huge range of climbing opportunities. Aid climbers will find grade IV and V lines reminiscent of Yosemite on the North Side; free trad climbers flock to the famous "eyebrows" of the Nose Area and Sun Wall.
Route development on Looking Glass granite began in the mid-60s, with signature routes like The Nose. The area was little-known except among the locals in the early days; pioneers of the day included Steve Longenecker, Jim McEver and especially Bob Mitchell. The mid-70s brought another wave of first ascents and more notice from outside the area; over the next decade or so, routes were put up by climbers like Jeep Gaskin, Bob Rotert, Monty Reagan, Whitney Heuermann, Diff Ritchie and Chis Caldwell.
Climbing at Looking Glass is best during the fall and winter months. The North Side and Hidden Wall sections are shady enough for summer climbing. Because it's located in the Pisgah National Forest, camping is plentiful in the area.
Looking Glass is located near Brevard, NC. Take US 276 northeast from Brevard into Pisgah National Forest, then continue about five miles to the intersection with FR 475; take a left here. After a few miles on 475, the road turns to gravel and splits. Take the right fork and look for a parking lot with the sign for Slickrock Falls Trail. This is parking for the South Side area of Looking Glass; for the Nose Area and Sun Wall, continue almost two miles further to the Sunwall Trail parking lot. Parking for the North Side and Hidden Wall is in a pullout roughly a quarter-mile past the Sunwall Trail.
Pitch 1: Climb low angled ground past numerous eyebrows to a ledge. 5.5, 90'Pitch 2: Climb up to and then along the right angling ramp that is obvious from a distance. 5.8, 100'Pitch 3: From the belay climb straight up the slab. Crux is early on. 5.8, 100'Pitch 4: Climb straight up from the belay or alternately (what I did to bypass a slower party) traverse left onto easier slab. This route is winding and requires a lot more rope, but is significantly easier than the direct version.This route wa...[more]Browse More Classics in NC
By saxfiend Administrator From: Decatur, GA Dec 18, 2006
That's a very handy link, reddirtgirl -- and from a LG pioneer, no less!
By Ryan Williams Administrator From: London (sort of) Oct 27, 2011
I realize that LG is popular, but I've always wondered why more people don't spend days or weeks at a time climbing here. It is perfect, really. Free camping in the Natl Forest, 20 minutes from Brevard where you can get excellent food and beer. Go to Looking Glass Outfitters for beta and partners, Pescado's for burritos and wireless, and the Square Root for beer.
You can make your way to the Tourist Trail (Looking Glass Trail) by topping out most routes from the Nose area all the way over to the South Face. The Nose tops out near the terminus of the trail and others may take a little more wandering to find the trail. If you're planning on walking off...dont! The tourist trail takes you to a different parking area from the Nose or South Face and would end up being another 5 or so mile hike to get back to your car.