Climbing Looking Glass Rock
Facing off with a giant takes courage and skill
After visiting Little Fern Falls earlier this summer in the Pisgah National Forest I came across a park sign with safety tips about climbing Looking Glass Rock. I had heard story about climbing enthusiasts traveling from all around the United States to scale the rock, so I decided I had to see it for myself.
I pulled into the parking area and started up the path full of twisting staircases to the foot of Looking Glass Rock. As I emerged from the forest I was greeted by hollers of "Rope!" Then a long colorful line would cascade down the face of the rock from high above the bold face.
I watched in anticipation as several climber descended downward toward me while I snapped away with my camera. It was wild to watch these athletes who had nerves of steel as they slowly repelled down the rock one careful step after another.
I wondered, "Who are these people? Navy Seals? Special Forces? Fire Fighters? Olympians?"
Once they reached the bottom I introduced myself and asked, "So are you all in special forces?"
The first climber laughed and said, "No, I'm an accountant and Mark up there is a pharmaceutical salesman."
I stood for a while embarrassed by the question I had just asked, as if I was a wide eyed child meeting a cowboy for the first time."
"Oh, now don't I feel stupid," I grinned.
"No, a lot of people think anyone with the onions to climb a rock face must be a hero. But in reality we are just out for a bit of an adrenaline rush and... truth be known, slightly crazy." He laughed while wrapping up his gear.
After I returned home later that night I looked up a variety of clubs and guides that can take you climbing.
These guides can take you and your friends out for the climbing experience of a lifetime. Personally, I think the most climbing I will do is the stairs and trails throughout the Southern United States.