Looking Glass Maintenance


This weekend I went up to Looking Glass rock with Joe to perform some route maintenance to the Glass. We packed up all of the construction equipment the night before and got ready for a long day.

Quick time was made up to the crag with Joe’s new car. The BMW and Joe is a dangerous combination.
We loaded up the packs and made our way to the base of the climb. A balmy 90 degrees and 90% humidity made for great conditions. Joe lead the 1st pitch this time and linked into the 2nd. I carry the back and the tag line. Then the rain started.

I fixed the line to the top of the pitch and fixed the line and gears so we could get to work. Joe to 1st crack at trying to remove the existing bolts and re-use the holes. The bolts ended up being old Petzl drops-in, which end up being almost impossible to remove. Joe tried to use his extractor, the first bolt did not budge and it bent some washers.

We re-planned, Joe would run to Brevard Lowes, and get a higher-grade washer and spacers. I would stay on the wall and remove the rest of the bolts as well as I could. The 2nd bolt ended up snapping off after a quarter turn. The rest back out smoothly.

Mid-work, I was high enough on the wall to get cell phone service. I ended up getting a missed text message from Joe and called him. Apparently, as he was leaving the forest, he passed a MRAP and multiple police vehicles. The report was that the Forest had just been closed because a gun man was loose and was last seen at the sliding rock area, which was just down the hill from where I was at. Joe was going to figure out some other way to get back to the trailhead because they were not letting anyone back in.

I continue on with my work, rapped down, eat my lunch and was ready to make a judgement call to start drilling and replacing bolts. As I reached the ledge and began to get the drill ready, I hear “NEVKO”. “I reply “joe?” . Joe had found his way back and sprinted back to the cliff.

He jugged up and we tried the new extract tool, but the drops-in weren’t moving and then the extraction bolt snapped under the torque. We were able to back the threads out, and then proceed down the plan of patching the holes. We would not be able to reuse them.

The next 1-2 hrs went fast as we did work and got down from the wall backed up and hiked out in the dark. We drove up to Ashville, stopped for beers and meet Kimberly’s brothers. I got to stay the night at Joe’s parents’ house. Joe’s mom made an excellent and tasty breakfast.

From here we start the drive back to Charlotte but made a quick detour to DuPont state forest for a quick swim at the triple falls.

Deepwater Trip.

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