12/27/10

January Sale Starts Today!

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! Check out these deals from Looking Glass Outfitters now through the end of January:

15% Off All Outerwear from Mountain Hardwear, The North Face, Montbell & Mammut
20% Off All Mountain Khakis
20% Off All Climbing Harnesses by Misty Mountain, Black Diamond & Arc'teryx
10% Off Cams by Metolius and Black Diamond
20% Off Evolv Approach Shoes & Technical Climbing Shoes


Climb Globally, Shop Locally

Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/25/10

Merry Christmas from LGO!




















Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/23/10

101 Uses for my Thermawrap Parka

This is my second winter with my beloved Montbell Thermawrap Parka, and I thought I would give you an idea of how I have used it:

1) Bouldering at Rumbling Bald
2) Touring waterfalls in Dupont State Forest in December
3) Ice Climbing on 215
4) Picnicing at Black Balsam
5) Hiking near Sam's Knob with 16 degree temps
6) Christmas shopping in Brevard
7) Snowboarding in my backyard winter '09/'10
8) Outerlayer for quick trip to Brevard Rock Gym
9) BBQ Party at the Jones' house
10) Attached to my harness "just in case" on The Odyssey
11) Laurel Knob Adopt-a-Crag
12) Walking the dog with the in-laws in Highlands
13) Shoveling snow in above mentioned winter
14) Making S'mores at the Red
15) Belaying in the Stephen King Library
16) Attending the NRG Rendezvous
17) Exploring Panthertown Valley
18) Perusing Pearl Street in Jackson, Wyoming

....well you get the idea. It is a pretty spiffy jacket!




Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

Nice Work Travis!

Check out this video of Travis Gray crushing at the North End Boulders of Looking Glass via Deadpoint Magazine.

Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/22/10

Doughton Park Ice Climbing

Via Carolina Climbers Coalition
Doughton Park Ice Climbing Closed for 2010 Ice Season

The National Park Service has imposed a temporary closure for the ice climbing at Doughton Park for the 2010 season. The Park Service is doing a guardrail construction project and needs to close the area for construction purposes. As more information is available we will post it.


Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/21/10

Winter Trail Running in Pisgah


Many of the trails in Pisgah National Forest still have snow and ice on them, but they are worth trekking nonetheless. The ethereal beauty of the forest in winter is maximized by the strange ice formations, white patches, long range views and amplified silence.

I headed up to the top of John's Rock recently and enjoyed the trails very nearly to myself. The more shaded areas of the trail are still a bit icy, crusty and sometimes slippery. But, with some sturdy footwear and careful stepping, you can certainly still get in a good hike or trailrun.

The views of Looking Glass from the top of Johns Rock are always worth the the uphill climb, although you definitely have to be doubly careful at the top thanks to patchy ice. It is pretty windy up there at times, so the dogs and I didn't stay long before continuing our loop over near Cat Gap and back to the Fish Hatchery.

If you are headed into Pisgah, be sure to pack layers and wear shoes built for the terrain. The temperatures on our run vacillated a good bit as we ran our loop. Gore-tex is your friend this time of year, so a GTX Mountain Masochist by Montrail is perfect for trailrunning, while the Scarpa Kailash will keep you supported and dry on the hike.

Happy Adventures!


Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/16/10

Hot Christmas Items


These items have been a big hit this Christmas. Great ideas for you procrastinators, but act quickly, as they won't last long!

Montbell Down Parkas & Thermawrap Jackets
Ice Screws & Ice Tools like the Black Diamond Cobra
Mountain Hardwear & Black Diamond Gloves

Happy Holidays!

Climb Globally, Shop Locally

Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/14/10

Hiking Panthertown Valley


Although the towns of Cashiers and Highlands, NC can get pretty quiet in the winter, Panthertown Valley is still a wonderful place to hike this time of year. Grab some hot drinks at Bucks Coffee in Cashiers and head out for a fun day in Panthertown. As you head into the main parking area, you will pass beautiful Christmas tree farms and jaw-dropping views of Laurel Knob and assorted rock outcroppings.

Saturday I made a loop by hiking:
Panthertown Valley Trail>Deep Gap Trail>Great Wall Trail> Big Green Trail>Mac's Gap>Granny Burrell Falls>Great Wall>Deep Gap>Panthertown Valley

It sounds more complicated than it really was, and the loop can be done in 2.5-3 hours. This loop walks near the base of the Big Green climbing area, but does not cross near the summit. The Granny Burrell Falls Trail was particularly fun, with lots of icy patches mixed in with the falls. With the leaves down, this loop gives you several views of area rock faces.

It is a good idea to wear bright clothing and keep your dog in check, as we did pass a hunter as he towed a buck to his truck. Still, the area is quite breathtaking. Enjoy!


Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/9/10

Outdoor Stocking Stuffers (& gifts under $20)

Who doesn't love a good stocking??

Montbell Chameece Glove $19.99
Light My Fire Spork $2.99
Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls $14.99
18 oz Klean Kanteen $16.99
Metolius Ultralight Curved Nut $10.99
Darn Tough Merino Wool Boot Sock $19.99
Pelican Micro Case $14.99
Yaktrax Walker $19.99
Espresso Lessons by Arno Ilgner $19.99
Black Diamond Oval Wire Gate Carabiner $5.99

Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com



Looking Glass Outfitters is a full service gear shop specializing in hiking, climbing and camping equipment located at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest and around the corner from Hendersonville, Brevard & Asheville.
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/8/10

Rumbling Bald Bouldering

Last Saturday's cool temps and mediocre forecast sent us packing crash pads and heading to Rumbling Bald. You usually find us climbing on ropes one way or another, but when the days are short and/ or particularly cold, we often dust off our lonely crash pad. We headed to the Cereal Boulders and had a good time until the rain forecast for 3:00 set in just after noon.

We headed out for another Hoffmann rarity- a Saturday afternoon spent watching football. Still, we were pretty surprised to see the Rumbling Bald parking lot completely full. My worries that a rain cloud had set in only on our area where squelched as we backed out of our spot and saw a stream of climbers and boulderers heading to their cars in our rear view mirror. This Rumbling Bald season promises to be busy rain or shine!



Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/6/10

December on the Parkway



Brrr! December in western North Carolina is off to a chilly start. Nevertheless, my friend Jenna and I headed up 215 to do a little exploring yesterday. Indeed, the Blue Ridge Parkway is currently closed south of 276. So, we accessed the Mountains to Sea Trail from 215. As we parked the car, the thermometer read about 24 degrees. Still, the sun was out, the dogs were eager, and off we went.

The big question right now is whether or not there is snow on The Parkway. We saw no snow on the road at all, but much of the higher elevations are dusted with an ethereal white covering. The pine trees on ridgelines are totally white and the trails look covered in sugar. It snowed gently while we hiked on icy, crusty paths, but it looked more like glitter than big, puffy flakes. The trails are not at all deep, but the ice is sometimes deceptive, making it a good time to pull out true hiking boots or treking poles for added support.

We also took a peak at the ice forming on 215, and it looks like mid week could yield some great ice climbing conditions. Hopefully, the wind will go away. By the time we got back to the car via Flat Laurel Creek Trail, the car thermometer read 16 degrees. If you are headed up on The Parkway, remember that it can be a good 15-20 degrees cooler than in Brevard and Asheville. Plus, the winds can make it seem a good bit colder and the sun quickly ducks behind ridgelines on these short days. So be sure to pack ample layers, water and snacks. Enjoy!



Cold Weather Hiking Gear

Pisgah Forest Map
Darn Tough Socks
Black Diamond Access Glove
Marmot Wool Beanie
Montbell Thermawrap Parka
The North Face Hydration Pack
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp



Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

12/2/10

The Shreaded Wheat Rack

If you only climb one trad route at Rumbling Bald, you should consider Shreaded Wheat. It is truly one of the most superb 5.11s in North Carolina.

Metolius TCUs
3 Blues
1 Yellow
1 Orange

Black Diamond C4 Cams

1 .3
1 .4
2 .5s
1 .75
1 #1
1 #2

Long Slings & Handful of Draws
ATC & Locking Biner
Nut Tool (for good measure)
Technical Climbing Shoes
1 Skinny Rope

Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

11/30/10

2010 Christmas List

The forecast over the next few days is pretty wet, which means it is an excellent time to make a Christmas List....

Gifts Under $200

Mammut Broad Peak Down Jacket
- Legendary Mammut quality meets snuggly goose down warmth in a jacket that begs to head on adventures. $198.99

Black Diamond 50 Caliber
- If you have ever struggled with loading your climbing rack or rope into a floppy backpack, the 50 Caliber is for you. With its rugged haul bag style bottom, it is easy to load and unload, and carries everything you need for trad climbing comfortably. $159.99

Gifts Under $150

LaSportiva Miura VS - We have talked about these shoes until we are blue in the face. They remain the most outstanding shoes we have slipped on for steep sport climbing and techy pockets. $149.99

Montbell 30 Degree Spiral Burrow Bag - Plush & Stretchy = cozy sleeping in the woods. $143.99

Gifts Under $100

The North Face Nimble Jacket
- A basic softshell jacket that offers everything you need at an unbeatable price. $78.99

Prana Tenaya Pant - It is surprisingly difficult to find a pair of women's climbing pants that are built smartly for climbing, yet still compliments a feminine shape. These pants are just the ticket for year round climbing. $63.99

Gifts Under $50

Mountain Hardwear Torsion Glove - This lightweight softshell glove is perfect for mid temperature ice climbing. $49.99

Metolius Rope Ranger
- Protect your hard working rope! $45.99

Spyderco Byrd Cara Cara - A good pocket knife is a life long work horse, with a million uses! $31.99

Too many great things to list!!

Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

11/26/10

The Breakfast of Champions Rack


You may look up at this Cereal Buttress route and think you have finally found what you are looking for: a 5.10 sport route in North Carolina. But, take a good look, because a little gear on this fun face climb could mean the difference in a laughable whip and a painful hike out.

The route begins at Frosted Flake, a Rumbling Bald classic, but ventures up and right instead of following the hand crack. You will be rewarded by fun, crimpy face holds, and that NC rarity- shiny bolts. But, buyer beware, as clipping the second bolt is often considered the crux. If you blow this move and have only clipped the first bolt, you will swing nastily into a leg-gnawing, jagged crack/ flake.

To make this fun route safer, practice your double rope skills and bring a few pieces of gear. By plugging the left rope into some gear up and left on Frosted Flake, you will ensure that a whip before clipping the second bolt will provide you with a clean fall.
Breakfast of Champions Rack
(don't read this if you are a NC hard (wo)man who insists on a proper onsight....)

2 Skinny Ropes like the Sterling Fusion Ion 9.5 plus a twin rope
#3 BD Camelot
#1 BD Camelot
#.75 BD Camelot

2 long slings
7 Quickdraws
Belay Device
2 Locking Biners
Good Edging Climbing Shoes



Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com


Looking Glass Outfitters is a full service gear shop specializing in hiking, climbing and camping equipment located at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest and around the corner from Hendersonville, Brevard & Asheville.
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

11/23/10

Early Winter Trailrunning


The temps have been all over the place in the last few weeks, but there is no question that Brevard foliage is now on the ground. Still, as I have headed out trailrunning, I have been reminded how much the views change on many of my favorite trails once the leaves drop. Ridgeline trails like Mine Mountain, North Slope and Coontree Gap now offer great views of multiple ridgelines that were previously obscured by summer's lushness.

As the cooler weather sets in, we have some great trail running and hiking pieces like softshell gloves, fleece pants, wool socks and lightweight jackets that will keep you comfortable in Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest over the next few months. Come on in and say hello before you hit the trail and check out the colorful hats as well!



Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

11/22/10

Last Bits of Fall

While Brevard and Pisgah Forest are looking very wintry in the last couple of weeks, Chimney Rock Gorge is still showing the last bits of fall's splendor. We have headed out to Rumbling Bald the last two Saturdays and enjoyed fantastic weather. Last Saturday, a crew of Brevard locals headed to RB after a leisurely morning and an obligatory stop at the gear shop. By the time we arrived at the relatively new parking lot, the ranger let us know we were the lucky recipients of the last parking spot!

This past Saturday, CCC president Anthony Love set his alarm early and headed to RB to offer climbers a shuttle to and from the Lake Lure visitor center. This was immensely appreciated by new and old Rumbling Bald climbers, as no doubt, far fewer cars were turned away due to lack of parking. Many thanks to Anthony and crew for offering this service! Hopefully we will all become diligent at carpooling when we head to this incredible winter climbing destination!

Last week, I climbed with the Eilands on a quest for quantity in the Screamweaver area. We were pretty shocked to see next to no climbers as we headed up Zydygo, Finishing School Blues and its irritating cousin on the left, Black Planet, Static Klingon, Boldfingers and Screamweaver. There is no lack of quality in these routes!

This past Saturday, Phil and I made it out a bit earlier and started at the popular Cereal Buttress. We headed up both pitches of Fruit Loops so Phil could snap some shots of Tom Caldwell on Shreaded Wheat (see below.) It's possible my fingers are the perfect size for this crack, so it is always a blast for me to climb. After hopping on Breakfast of Champions, we headed back to the Screamweaver area, where the roped climbs are less crowded, although the war cries of boulderers continually waft through.

I had to settle something with Static Klingon and give more of a try at Boldfingers. It could be a while before I want to lead that one, but it sure is classic! We headed out as the sun set and the parking lot quickly emptied. Head to Chimney Rock Gorge soon if you want to catch a little more of leaf season. It will be gone quickly!


Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

11/3/10

Halloween Sandstone



We headed to the RRG this past weekend again for a bit of a Halloween extravaganza. Jess was in the area for work with Mountain Khakis, which left Phil and the dogs convincing the Joneses to join us. This meant 3 people and 4 dogs packed up and did the 5+ hour slog to Slade in less than ideal conditions. Let's just say that by the end of the weekend, we unanimously decided it was time to change Vinca's diet and purchase a rocket box before our next joint trip.

Still, two days of sandstone climbing in perfect weather made it worthwhile. A dash of Lycra and some stellar wigs made certain climbs quite memorable. Jess briefly dressed up as a Kittler, before reducing her costume to just "Kitty," since Phil had a hard time looking at the mustache/ cat ears combo.

Phil did a great job of onsighting Rebar (in his Huber costume) and redpointing The Return of Chris Snyder. Jon casually sent Smoothie Nut, while Carly continued moving up the ranks by leading Sunny the Boxer next to Lucky Duck Soup. Jess also sent the R.o.C.S. and onsighted Riptide Ride. Fun times, although most of the locals probably hated us this weekend thanks to our high ratio of climbers to dogs. We did try hard to be respectful of the area, having heard assorted stories of recent climbers not doing so.

It is clear that The Red has become a truly international destination, since every area we have climbed at recently has had multiple parties from other countries. Now that it is getting chilly, we are likely to hunker down and stay close to home. It is the perfect season for NC climbing now- so come on down!

If you really want to see all the pics- which means a lot of Lycra, click the video below.


Climb Globally, Shop Locally

Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com video

10/25/10

Southeastern Sandstone Climbing



Sometimes it is difficult to pry yourself away from southeastern rock climbing because it offers so many stellar styles of climbing. We just finished 8 solid days of climbing in some of the best weather we can remember. Funny enough, when we got home, exhausted and in dire need of several rest days, it began raining hard! Check out some of the pics from the NRG. What's not to love about climbing sandstone at the New River Gorge?

Jay Young & Jessica Hoffmann on Wham Bam Thanks for the Jam - Beauty Mtn

Joe DiSciullo on Return to Power - Lower Meadow

Phil gets into the business on Trojans - Lower Meadow




Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

10/22/10

Rest Day a la Kaymoor Mine

After 3 days at the Red and one day climbing near the Meadow, our forearms were pretty well annihilated. So, despite the ridiculously nice weather, we took a day off from climbing. What is there to do in Fayetteville when resting your forearms? Well, plenty.

We had a wonderfully lazy morning, complete with coffee o'plenty and a little lounging by Laurel Creek, then headed to check out the Kaymoor Mine. I had never been, and the contrast between the ruins of a now defunct mine, built in 1899, and the natural splendor of the gorge in fall was striking. It is one thing to hear about coal mines, yet another thing altogether different to visit a closed mine, and envision the lives, blood, sweat, and natural resources that were once spent around the corner from many of our favorite climbs.

A visit to the mine is also a good way to get a quick cardio burn by scaling the several hundred stairs on your way out. Afterwards, we scarfed down delicacies at the Secret Sandwich Society and made the imperative cruise through Waterstone. Hopefully tomorrow we will be back to sending!


Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters 69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

10/21/10

A Little FA Taste


Since we got to the NRG in time to climb on my birthday, our friend Jay gave me a special birthday present. He took us to a bit of a secret crag off the Meadow River and let me have at a climb he had been eying. He dutifully bolted the route, scrubbed off moss and dirt and marked some of the key holds while Phil and I warmed up on other climbs, then allowed me the First Ascent. What a friend! After Phil, Jay and I (finally) sent it, we dubbed it a 5.11a and called it Final Bender, in honor of the crag name. It is super fun and heads up an arete before turning steep for a juggy pumpy finish. Have fun on it, if you can find it!


Climb Globally, Shop Locally
Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com