Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Great weather and dry rock between two rain storms.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • I did this trip last week and the approach this time was quite a bit more difficult as the snow continues to melt and snow/rock transitions become more numerous and fragile.  I can imagine conditions will worsen for a while before they start to improve.  The transition off the snow tongue to rock on Pineapple Pass was still solid and the snow on the other side still manageable, but these could get considerably more difficult depending on how things melt out.

    We got lucky that despite rain the previous night the rock on the climb was dried out.  Partly cloudy skies with cool temperatures and very pleasant throughout the day.

    We were surprised to find that the westbound onramp to I-90 at Exit 52 was closed as part of the construction.  Drove to Exit 53 and was able to get on there.  Traffic was fine on a Wednesday evening, but there are warnings that it could be bad especially Sundays.

A slow approach and descent due to the challenging conditions.  The snow itself where it was solid was in good shape and fairly slushy; we did not use crampons but they might have helped in one icier open section amid the trees.  The climb itself went smoothly and we were joined by one free soloist on the way up, a party of two who did P4 to the left of us as we rapped down, and then we met another party of two going up P2 as we rapped down, and we waited for them for a bit since the P1 rap station is rather cramped.  No view of Rainier, but the closeby peaks were all visible, and the temperature cool and just right throughout the day.  An enjoyable outing with a great group.