The Looking Glass, 5.10a-5.10d

The Looking Glass, 5.10a-5.10d

Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 34.05299°N / 116.17062°W
Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter


    Through the Looking Glass, 5.10a*
    Dow leading Through the Looking Glass, 5.10a*
    The Looking Glass
    Ski tracks on right: Through Looking Glass left, Fracture Dynamics right

    If you are looking for "remote" in Joshua Tree National Park, without even having to hike that far (1.6 miles), the Looking Glass is a great spot void of folks, views of any road, etc.  It offers what would be a classic 5.10- trad lead anywhere in the park with easier accessibility along with a two star (Miramontes guide) 5.10+ sport lead, side by side.  The trad lead is named Through the Looking Glass, 5.10a*, and the sport climb is named Fracture Dynamics, 5.10d**.   There are “ski tracks” which basically represent these two lines and even though Fracture is a mostly bolted line, at times you do use the right ski track to climb it with one or two supplemental gear placements along with six bolts.   Both routes are tall by Jtree standards (90’) and can share the same gear anchor on top.  Scramble down climbers right, back to the western col, to return to the base.  A third route (much shorter at 40’)  is on a different face 70 yards to climber's right, named Pain is an Emotion, 5.10b*.

    A good feature to combine these three routes with is either Key’s Point or Greenhorn Dome for a full day's worth of climbing.   The Looking Glass is pure north facing.  The approach involves quite a bit of boulder hopping.  From Outward Bound Slab, continue east on the desert floor along a climbers trail to the second major gully (a dedicated photo clearly shows this gully) on your left.  Scramble up through the boulders and cacti to the western col of Looking Glass above and descend down to the base at the west end of the north face (just east of the col).

    Route Descriptions, Left to Right as you face the North Wall

    Through the Looking Glass- 90’-5.10a*/ If this pitch were closer to the road and got cleaned up (north facing, chossy moss covered face) it would become ultra classic. Miramontes guide recommends “medium gear” when in reality you need a C4 #4 and/or #5 for the crux near the top. Up to that point takes finger size and smaller. You need medium gear to build a gear anchor. Can walk off the route to climber’s right to the col in the ridge line and back down. Dow

      Fracture Dynamics- 90’-5.10d**/ A six bolt sporty slab climb on chossy moss covered face. You follow an intermittent seam (right ski track) which offers up some of the moves. Sometimes you are out in space on chossy slab to the right of the track. Not worth two stars in my book but if doing Looking Glass, it would be stupid to pass it up.  Same gear anchor and walk off decent.  Dow

      Pain is an Emotion- 40'-5.10b*/