Take Highway 191 south of Moab for approximately 25 miles. You are looking for a graded road on your right known as Hatch Wash road. They were grading it when we were there in 2006, so it is fairly well maintained. Turn right and travel west a few kilometers looking to turn left onto a deep sand road that angles to the southeast corner of Looking Glass Rock. A rancher uses this road for access to some horses more southeast. Right before you dead end into his fence, turn right and follow the fence to the base of Looking Glass. Cross the fence on a large rock and circumvent the dome to the south. Turn the corner right (facing the huge window) and the route starts right here (photo). If you want to get a look at that keyhole (photo) for the rap, follow the inside ramp of Looking Glass towards the window. As you arrive in the amphitheater, look up and you will see the key hole and if you have real good vision, you might even see the anchors from below.
If you step back from the southern most point, you should be able to make out a line of bolts on top of the Looking Glass Rock’s southern ramp. Start up the inside left corner and you will find a bolt on top of the first level spot you come to. You will want to utilize a long runner in this draw.
Continue up several bolts to your first station, it is a pretty full on 50 meters as I recall. The next pitch is actually the crux. Mid way up and between bolts on some run out, you will find the smearing somewhat tricky if the surface has collected quite a bit of sand from recent sand storms.
Trusting your smearing capabilities on this stuff is somewhat unnerving considering that a fall to the right would put you off the rock entirely, thus you would have to re-ascend the rope.
You will find a few minor features to catch your shoes on to the right. It is pretty uneventful to the next station after this section. The third pitch goes left up and on top of the next ramp over (west). Don’t stay on the ramp of the first two pitches.
I ran this third pitch completely out. By doing so, I just had to do a sit down belay once I reached 60 meters. I felt this last pitch was just a scramble section. There are several summit cairns, but the largest one contained a summit register in 2006. The 360 degree views are awesome and if the wind is not tormenting you, this is a great summit to picnic on.
The descent is the highlight of Looking Glass Rock. The keyhole in which to rappel is not incredibly obvious from the summit, but not hard to find either. Carefully work your way down southwest from the summit. On the edge of the dome you will find several stations. One station is set up to lower climbers into position above the keyhole where another station awaits a free air rappel. We did not find it necessary to use this station, but less confident climbers might. Down climb into a small slot above the keyhole. In 2006, a bomber rappel station was in place here. You will need two ropes;
I used two 60 meter ropes. I lowered my partner and then rapped the route. Some wind gusts can cause you to swirl. So if you have a tendency to get dizzy, make sure to keep your eyes on the horizon, a little trick I learned cliff diving in Jamaica. Once down on the ground, take time to explore the large window at the north end of the Looking Glass Rock amphitheater.
I do not recommend that you climb Looking Glass Rock during windy or wet conditions. This is an aesthetic looking piece, not unlike many objectives
in Canyon Rims Recreation Area
2- 60 meter ropes!!!! 8-10 Draws, some long slings. Climbing shoes. Sandstone colored chalk. Helmet. The rap station was bomber in 2006.
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