Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - The Tooth/South Face

Beautiful weekday climb of the Tooth.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The maintained trail is snow-free. Once you initially head off-trail, there are some small snowfields to cross over streams. These snowfields are melting rapidly from below due to rushing streams into Source Lake, so use caution when crossing or avoid the snow entirely.

    The Pineapple Pass basin still has plenty of lingering snow, so the same considerations apply as it melts out. The snow was well-behaved for us, except near snow-rock interfaces where the snow was often deeply undercut and could collapse.


    The gulley you ascend to scramble the backside to the base of the climb was pretty wet, and lingering snow blocked off the "normal" trail on climbers left, so we had to go up the right-hand side which was slippery and loose. Beyond there, the rest of the approach and the climb itself are completely snow-free.


The delay of Snow Lake trail maintenance opened an opportunity to climb the Tooth, the mentored climb I was hoping to do last June (oh June 2022, how I won't miss you). 

We started from Alpental at 5:15 and it felt great hiking up in the morning shade. The forecast said highs of 71F which meant it was DEFINITELY going to be 80+, so the early start was a blessing.  

We reached the base of the gulley that leads to Pineapple Pass at 7:30 with minimal issues. The snow fields were a little sketchy but in the shade and cool temps of the morning they were secure. I suspect that won't be the case in a few weeks (of course, then it will be moot unless they delay the maintenance again!).

We ascended the gulley on climber's right, which was a little sketchy due to a tongue of steep hard snow blocking on the better terrain on climber's left. By 8:00 we were the only party at the base of the climb. 

The rock was dry and the climbing was good (but as anticipated the 70F forecast was wrong--it was HOT). The first person reached the summit around 10:20 and the by 10:45 we were all on the summit enjoying snacks and the views.

We did a double rope rappel of pitches 3&4 and came upon a guided trip heading up. There were some other climbers on the spire across from the Tooth tooling around waiting for us to get down as well (another great reason to start early!). We did two single-rope rappels to the base of Pineapple Pass and changed back into hiker mode around 12:30. 

The snow was softer on the return since it was in full sun but we thankfully didn't experience any postholing and the return hike when smoothly. We reached the cars at 3:30 and caught a celebratory dinner in North Bend.


TH to Base of Climb 2hr 45min

Base to Summit: 2hr 30min

Chill on Summit: 30min

Summit to Base: 1hr 30min

Base to Cars: 3 hr

Car-to-Car: 10hr 15min