A Little Hawksbill Fun

From a few weeks ago. Here is Peter Eiland hashing out Solace of Open Spaces, then onsighting The Diving Board. We had great weather and zero crowds for a great day in Linville Gorge.


Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you have a happy and safe holiday! Stop in the shop for 30% off outerwear and apparel through Sunday.

Photo by Mountaintree Studios


Rumbling Bald Parking Access Alert

Chimney Rock Park has mandated new parking rules for Rumbling Bald. Parking is restricted to gravel and paved parking surfaces only. Please comply with their wishes. Even with a new parking area, the popularity of the Bald is continuing to cause parking issues.
Please get an early start and carpool at the community center in Lake Lure. For more information please click the below link. Even better, join the CCC if you can.



5 Things we Love about Darn Tough Socks

1. Despite oodles of socks and brands bursting out of our sock drawers, we are constantly picking Darn Tough out of the pack because they are just right.

2. They are made in USA. What a rarity!!

3. Wool regulates your foot temperature like no other material. The sheep know what they are doing when it comes to staying comfortable in summer and warm in winter.

4. Even though we abuse them, they keep looking just as great and feeling just as cushy. They don't unravel or get threadbare like the rest of the sock flock.

5. They are again featured in Backpacker Magazine's Gear Guide, so you don't have to just take our word for it. These socks are the best!

Looking Glass Outfitters is a full service gear shop open 7 Days a week at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest and around the corner from Hendersonville, Brevard & Asheville.

Happy Exploring..........


Montbell Burrow Stretch Bag - yummy!

The funny thing about Montbell, is once you try it, you are hooked. We have definitely found this to be true with our Thermawrap Parkas, which were our first true intro to the brand. Since Looking Glass Outfitters is one of a very small handful of Montbell dealers in North Carolina, we have quickly discovered that the brand has a loyal following, and with good reasoning.

Like a Snow Peak Stove, Montbell products immediately shine thanks to superior craftsmanship and design topped with reasonable prices. On a recent trip to Indian Creek, I took my new Spiral Down Hugger Sleeping Bag, eager to test out the bag's stretch system and award-winning design. I like to sleep with my legs in a bit of a pretzel fashion, so the stretch was a hugely important feature when picking out this bag. Phil was also motivated by the way I always borrowed his bag since my other bag is only rated at 40 degrees, making it perfect about 4-6 months of the year.

While the nights at Indian Creek were not as cold as we had envisioned, I was generally eager to pop into my bag at night once the sun went down and the temps began their rapid decline. The pillowy down is such a treat compared to synthetic bags that tend to be a bit more utilitarian. On a good night, I felt like I was surrounded by my down comforter at home. When it did dip below freezing, the neck waffle was a helpful feature to trap in heat around my head.

The other noticeable difference between a down bag and a synthetic sleeping bag is the ability of down to regulate temperatures better. The natural fiber of down simply seems to be superior for keeping you comfortable whether temps dip or not. Still, on the warmer nights, I unzipped the bottom zipper of the bag to let my feet breathe.

I don't feel like I tested the stretching ability of the bag to the max since I have plenty of room in it, but I was able to contort into a pretzel and do a few basic yoga moves in the morning to stretch out my back. I must confess, I am eager to take my Spiral Down Hugger out on colder nights, when it will really excel. This bag costs a pretty penny, but I am totally confident this piece will be in my gear arsenal for years to come. Come feel these Montbell sleeping bags for yourself, and you will likely be hooked as well!


Indian Creek Crack Climbing

Having mumbled repeatedly about my lack of crack jamming skills, Indian Creek has long been high on my list of top climbing destinations. Despite the repeated tales of being smacked down and humbled by Indian Creek's splitter cracks, I felt a strong pull to lace up my most comfy trad shoes and give desert sandstone crack climbing a try.

Phil and I spent a week throwing ourselves at every classic we could jam our hands and feet into after flying into Grand Junction, Colorado. Despite many gobies, scratches, knicks and cramps, we made our way up classics like 3am Crack, Super Crack, Chocolate Corner and Mr. Peanut.

Hands down, my favorite climb was Deseret Moon, a 140 foot crack that slurped down every number two we shamelessly borrowed from friends and every ounce of gumption we could muster.

We stumbled into Moab for more supplies and a supposed rest day, but we grabbed our gear and headed to Wall Street in the afternoon. While Wall Street pales in comparison to Indian Creek in respects to scenery and quality of routes, it is a fun place to send a few routes, and the bumper belays pacify the most approach-adverse climbers.

Once we were completely spent, we took a spin aroung Arches National Park and headed back to Grand Junction for a true rest day tooling around the Grand Mesa. With one last day to spare, we headed to Rifle to rest the cams and clip some bolts.

It was a week well spent, and one that already has us dreaming about the next climbing trip. Check out Dan's blog for the best pics!


An itsy bitsy teeny weeny carabiner

It is hard not to want to pick up the FS Mini Wiregate Carabiner by Metolius. It's green and shiny, yes, but mostly it is amazing for its sheer lack of size. With a strength of 23 KN, this is not some silly keychain, though it would be perfect for keeping miscellaneous items on your Black Diamond Chaos. I climbed with a friend Sunday at Rumbling Bald who loved using them on each cam on her trad rack- definitely shaves off some unecessary weight.

Heavy gear is so 2001. You will be thanking us when you send your project feeling like a leaner, meaner you!

Available at Looking Glass Outfitters here