The Tooth/South Face

Getting its name from the eastbound lane of I-90 views, The Tooth is a classic rock climb on solid rock. It has a few low 5th class moves and an airy “catwalk” traverse on a four inch wide ledge that is a particular attraction. The climb is popular and can be very crowded. Time: trailhead to summit 5-6 hr. It's a great first alpine rock climb.

getting there

Take Exit 52 off of I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass, and turn northwest onto Alpental Road and follow it to the Alpental parking area (3,100 ft).

APPROACH

Hike up the Snow Lake Trail about 2 miles to a talus slope above Source Lake. Traverse above Source Lake on talus or snow, staying beneath a cliff band. Just beyond the cliff band, head up a steep slope, getting as high as possible before crossing a stream. Scramble into the basin under the east face of The Tooth. Ascend this basin to the second notch south of the South Face of The Tooth. Climb through the notch, then down to the north and back up to Pineapple Pass, the notch between the South Face and the pinnacle to its south.

In early season, an alternative approach is to hike from the parking lot up the valley on the left side of the creek, near Source Lake, ascending snow finger into the basin.

ASCENT ROUTE

At Pineapple Pass rope up and ascend directly up the South Face to a broad ledge about 50 feet below the summit. From here there are three options:  (1) ascend broken rock somewhat to the right of the center face, (2) climb directly to the notch below the summit by a thin left-facing flake, or  (3) go left on a narrow ledge, know as the Catwalk, and then scramble to the summit.

DESCENT ROUTE

Rappel the climbing route or choose the less-used north ridge route.

On the north route scramble about 30 feet north on the summit ridge, then descend a short gully chimney. Follow easy slabs down and north to a major gully. Work 50 feet up to the head of the gully at a narrow notch in the summit ridge. Cross the notch (probably should be belayed), then work north a short distance to an obvious descent gully leading to the north end of the west face. If descending via the north ridge, take ice axes to the summit  as there is sometimes snow on the north side.

TRIP PROFILE

SEGMENT TIME (HR) ELEVATION GAIN (FT)
Trailhead to Pineapple Pass 2-3 2,100
Pineapple Pass to Summit 3 500
Summit to Trailhead 3

EQUIPMENT

Standard rock gear with a few small to medium chocks. An ice axe for the approach in early season.

Information FOr leaders

Permit information

As of 2017, the Snoqualmie Ranger District considers Mountaineers trips and courses to be "nominal use". Leaders should print and copy this designation letter to show rangers they may see on trail or carry a digital copy on their phone.

Priority Climbs List

This is a very popular climbing route. Please check the PRIORITY CLIMBS LIST before listing trip to be sure your branch has priority for this route for the dates you plan to schedule it.


  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
  • Length: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,500 ft
  • 5,600 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207
  • USGS Snoqualmie Pass
Activities

Upcoming Activities

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
Englund SIG Climb
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Sat, May 27, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
3 participants 2 leaders
Registration opens May 15
Seattle Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
For Mottleler sig until May 30
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Fri, Jun 2, 2023
Prerequisites
4 participants 0 leaders
Registration closes Jun 1
Foothills Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
A one-day Basic Rock climb for students of the Seattle "Following Alpine Rock" course.
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Sun, Jun 11, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
2 participants on waitlist 1 leader on waitlist
Registration opens May 1
Seattle Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
Mentored basic climb for Luis Campos. Climb is reserved for Olympia basic alpine climbing students.
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Sat, Jun 17, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
3 participants
Registration opens May 15
Olympia Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
Long one day Basic climb of the Tooth
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Mon, Jun 19, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
2 participants on waitlist
Registration opens Jun 1
Kitsap Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
The classic!
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Wed, Jun 21, 2023
Prerequisites
3 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens May 30
Seattle Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
Mentored basic rock climb for Gene K. All questions and requests to join this climb
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Sat, Jun 24, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
6 participants on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration opens Jun 1
Tacoma Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
The Basic Rock climb is prioritized for Kitsap branch members. Priority will be given to
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Sun, Jun 25, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens May 25
Kitsap Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
Classic Rock climb for Barb Motteler SIG
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Thu, Jun 29, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants 1 leader
Registration opens May 30
Seattle Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
Mentored lead for Rodrigo Toso and Foothills Climbing
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Fri, Jun 30, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens Jun 15
Foothills Branch

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Climbing Trip
Rock climb for the Seattle Intensive Basic community
Difficulty: Basic Rock Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 3
Thu, Jul 13, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
3 participants 1 leader
Registration opens Jun 12
Seattle Branch
Trip Reports
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