Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - The Tooth/South Face

A successful summit on a day of not-so-great weather with slippery rock conditions.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We followed the winter route from the upper Alpental parking lot. Snow was mostly firm, with a boot path all the way up, so snowshoes were not needed.  We experienced minimal post-holing, mostly a bit of slushy snow at the beginning of the way down descending from the notch. We were able to glissade a part of the way down.

    The rock was still wet and slippery from the morning rain on the first pitches when we started, so we had to climb it in mountaineering boots. The scramble section on the third pitch still had a patch of snow to walk across. The final section, though, was already drying out by the time we got to it.


We started around 7am from the upper parking lot. A large WAC group had camped overnight for an early start, and a few leaders were reportedly already up, and setting up the ropes. The booth path was in place and the snow was firm, so approach was straightforward. We arrived at the base of the wall in a little under 2 hours. The WAC group had not yet assembled, and as we were ready to go, we went up first.

As noted above, on the first pitches, the rock was wet, we climbed in boots. Thanks to the wind up top, the last part was drier. Not many gear options along the way, as the thin flakes did not inspire confidence. Used mostly small cams and micro-cams from 0.2 to 1 inch, small nuts, and a black tricam. As the route is blocky and zigzags in sections, used almost exclusively doubles, and extended all placements. About 6-8 placements per pitch. Skipped pro on the scramble to avoid rope drag.

We have rappelled in 2 steps, joining two ropes with a stone knot, and with 2 climbers rappelling on the separate strands. The WAC group was climbing as we were rappelling, which made things a bit more complicated, but it worked out. Rap stations had what looked like last season's gear, so donated  a rap ring and a sling to the rap station at the top of the 2nd pitch. The WAC group also put in their own.

Most of the day was cloudy, but it did not rain. Sun started to shine through the clouds as we were heading down for the parking lot. We were back at the lot by around 4pm.