20230916_114559 rotated.jpeg

Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - The Tooth/The Tooth Fairy

A fun, bolted alpine route with a bouldery crux move.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • In general the approach was pretty straight forward.  We ran into several groups that got lost, accidentally continuing up the Source Lake Trail instead of heading down/across the talus field. There is a faint climbers trail heading directly downhill before entering the trees.  Generally further up in the talus field we followed the faint trails and then stayed left of the scree/more central before hooking up towards Pineapple Pass.

    The climbing route had a few hollow sounding rocks through out it, especially pitch 2 and the start of pitch 5, but in general it was not as chossy as we initially expected.  Every anchor station had rap rings or chains plus there is an extra rap station at the top of pitch 1 approximately 20 feet climbers right near a tree.

Approach Distance: ~3.7 miles
Elevation Gain: ~3600 feet
Map: https://caltopo.com/m/J63G0

Angela and I left Bellingham around 4:45 AM Saturday and headed down to the Snow Lake Trailhead making ok time on the drive.  We loaded up our packs and started up the Snow Lake Trail at ~7:20 AM and a decent pace.  At around 2.4 miles in we ran into several groups who were lost on the approach and attempting to follow a GPX track.  Neither of us had climbed in this area, but saw  a faint trail trail heading directly downhill towards Source Lake, generally in the direction we needed to travel, so we continued down it and towards the Tooth.  We followed several off and on trails and slowly gained elevation.  At around 3 miles the trails mostly disappear as we started climbing up the scree and talus.  In general, we tried to stay left/central until we got closer to the pass which seemed to work well. 

20230916_161823 copy.jpg
Approximate path through the talus

We went over and circled down past the South Face route and made it to the base of the climb around 10:05 AM.  There was one party there about to start up the route, so we set out or rope, got our gear ready, and took a quick break to not rush them. We roped up around 10:25 AM and started heading up right when two additional parties of three arrived.   

We split up the pitches evenly with Angela leading pitches 1, 3, and 6 and myself leading pitches 2, 4, and 5. In general we cruised through the pitches except for the crux pitch (pitch 5).  The bouldery/reachy crux move gave us both some difficulty.  After several tries I ended up pulling on gear to help get past one move to help keep us moving forward on our time schedule. The 7th scramble pitch we unroped for due to its lower difficulty and to reduce the likelihood of the rope knocking rocks down on the other parties.  We reached the summit around 12:30 PM and had lunch on the summit.  There were a decent number of bugs, but thankfully they mostly left us alone.

20230916_114559 rotated.jpeg
Angela near the top of pitch 4


There were a few teams climbing up the South Face route and the third and last team on the Tooth Fairy route was nearing the top so we decided to just rappel back down the route.  We started scrambling back to the top of pitch 6 around 1:15 PM.  There was a little bit of a bottleneck getting started with the rappel since the first team up started heading down around the same time as us and we also wanted to make sure the third team was up and out of the way which took a little longer than expected.  The rappel was pretty uneventful until we reached the top of pitch 1.  The third team had just started rappelling and accidentally kicked a few smaller rocks down from above which flew relatively close to us.  I yelled back and was able to get their attention and ensure they knew we were there.   We decided to use the main anchor between pitches 1 and 2 instead of the extra one and reached the bottom around 3:10 PM.

 We headed back out following a similar path as we came in. Throughout the hike we saw plenty of pika getting ready for the winter which was neat. 

20230916_163452 edited.jpeg

We made decent time reaching the car at 6:10 PM.   Soon after we headed over to the Summit Pancake House and had a big meal to celebrate the climb.


Rock Gear:

  • 2 x double alpine draws
  • 6 x single alpine draws
  • 8 x quick draws
  • Various anchor materials, carabiners, etc.

Below are a few great sources for info on the route: