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Trip Report    

The Tooth/South Face

Rapidly changing snow condition

  • Sat, Jun 8, 2024
  • The Tooth/South Face
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Mostly clear trail with patches of snow up to Snow Lake turnoff.  Once  in the basin, snow condition is changing rapidly.   Snow banks that looked passable in the morning were not there on the way back.  Accessible water source in the upper basin near a large exposed boulder on skier's left where melting snow is cascading over the rock and pooling at the bottom.

We left the trailhead around 6:20 a.m. and reached the turnoff from the trail into lower basin in about 1 hr. A boot path across the basin was visible but we evaluated each crossing to make sure snow was still holding.  We crossed the seasonal creek coming off the upper basin slightly higher than the spot where summer trail goes, looking for a safe transition off then back on to snow.  Snow slope up to the notch was definitely steep and requires an ice axe, but crux of the climb was going up snow finger to step onto the notch.  It was about 2 feet wide when we went up in the morning, but even narrower on return, requiring downclimbing facing in.  One participant did not feel comfortable with climbing up the finger and opted to downclimb into a moat on climber's left and scramble up on wet rock with aid of a handline. Snow on backside getting to the Pineapple Pass was steep but bootable and felt stable enough another few days. 

Climbing on the rock itself was relatively uneventful except that it took a long time as there was one slow party ahead and another party behind that leapfrogged our last rope team. 

On return, majority desired to rap down from the base of the rock onto snow in order to avoid having to downclimb snow finger, which in the hindsight was a mistake because it took forever to set up 2-60m rope rap and get everyone down.  Once back down to the upper basin, some practiced glisading and self arrest as we made our way down.  Return trip was mostly uneventful.