Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - The Tooth/Southwest Face

Great weather, uncrowded route on a familiar peak, and fun exploration

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • A lot of variation on the route, all with some section of tricky or difficult moves matching 5.7 rating. Some vegetation and moss.

Took advantage of an open weekend with good forecast to set up a climb close to home, on a familiar peak, but a route that is infrequently climbed.

Team of 4 met up at Alpental at 6 AM. Being an intermediate climb, pre-climb briefing was, well, brief. Hiked up an easy pace, arriving at Pineapple Pass by 8:30 and was base of SW face just pass the scramble up to the South Face by 8:45. Sparse trip reports all point to the left most of the three dihedral as the first pitch aiming for the tree 40m above. Scrambled up the ramp and then serious climbing started as climbers moved to right out of dihedral onto face to look for holds and protections. Tricky move just under the tree festooned with rappel slings. We were surprised to find a bolted route veering off the left with full chain anchors. And a lone chain bolted to the rock 10 feet or so to the left of the tree.

Pitch 2 started by surmounting the block above the tree, then up toward a corner with an imposing wall on the left. Leader also explored starting above the chain to the left, but it did not look as good as the route above the tree. Direct ascent up the wall looked to be above 5.7, but it was navigated by a lot of traversing and zigzagging up instead. Full 60m as the climbers topped out and no good pro placement. Luckily, we found a piton...

Pitch 3 variation includes 5.9 routes to the right of overhanging roof, but we chose to traverse right on very exposed slabs and steps to join up at top of pitch 3 on the South Face route. Another full 60m pitch with horrible rope drag.

Ignored the catwalk and muscled our way up the face for pitch 4 to the summit. All on top just past 1PM.


Found a group of 4 on top who came up the S Face. It was quiet all morning, suggesting that everyone chose to stay away from the S Face route for the weekend. Two more pairs showed up, but that was it for the S Face route.