Doerte, Jeff, and Dave on the approach to Pineapple Pass and The Tooth.
Doerte, Jeff, and Dave on the approach to Pineapple Pass and The Tooth. Mostly talus, a great conditioning tool!
 

The Tooth 5,604'!

In the Snoqulamie Peaks! August 25, 2001 Trip Report.

 

 

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2000 Trip Reports!

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On a July 04 climb of Kaleetan Peak, Dan Cervelli had recommended we try the South Face of The Tooth, near Snoqualmie Pass. So we thought this cool, crisp, clear Saturday would be a good time. We all met at the Washington Alpine Club Guye Cabin early Saturday morning.

Mike and Doerte, along with David Mahfet and Jeff Caron left about 10 am from the Snow Lake Trailhead at the Alpental parking lot at 3,100’. Two easy miles brought us to the Source Lake Viewpoint junction. The trail to the right continues up to Snow Lake. We went left and soon had a view below of Source Lake.

We descended the talus and traversed below the large cliff until we gained a climber’s trail that took us into the small basin below The Tooth. The climbers trail eventually gave out and we were on the dreaded talus up to the notch on the ridge. Interestingly, a climbing book in the Guye Cabin from the Mountaineers, described how important crossing talus fields was to improving balance (the third essential to climbing). The rocks were mostly stable, but one moved occasionally. With this new information, we enjoyed challenge of the talus.

At the notch, we followed a short trail down and around to the class 3 that took us up to Pineapple Pass, 5,200’. There is also a route up to Pineapple Pass from Denny Creek on the west side of the ridge. The Pass is very tiny and barely held packs and our party of four.

Doerte on the final pitch of The Tooth. Doerte on the final pitch of The Tooth. This is the "direct" route. Nelson calls this pitch 5.6. The easier Catwalk is to the west.

We climbed as two teams of two, with Jeff leading. The route was 4 pitches, the first 100’ and 5.3, the second 60’ and 5.3, the third, 160’ of low fifth class. The final pitch offers a choice of the exposed catwalk, class 4, to the left or a face climb, rated 5.6. We took the face climb to the summit.

Mike, Doerte, Jeff, and Dave on the summit of The Tooth 5,604'! Mike, Doerte, Jeff, and Dave on the summit of The Tooth 5,604'!

It was amazing to be in the middle of the Snoqualmie Peaks! Kaleetan Peak, 6,259’, the largest of the Snoqualmie Peaks was seen behind Chair Peak, 6,238’. We could see the lookout on Granite Mountain. The air quality was finally perfect in all directions since the rain and cool weather of the week before had put out the fires near Icicle Creek and Lake Chelan. We had razor sharp views of Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Stuart and Mount Rainier.

From the summit of The Tooth! Kaleetan Peak, Bryant Peak, and the Chair! From the summit of The Tooth! Kaleetan Peak, Bryant Peak, and the Chair! Three great summits to try.

The Tooth was first climbed on September 01, 1928. C. L. Anderson and Herman P. Wunderling made the climb in 4 hours without using a rope. On September 02, 1928 Hans Otto Giese made the climb again, solo, also without a rope. They were much faster than our party of four!

We shared the summit with another party of two, and met two other parties of two, one party of three, and two solo free climbers on the route. Not really crowded considering it’s location near Seattle and it being a fine Saturday. All the climbers were extremely nice, helpful, and smart.

Dave rappeling down the final pitch off Pineapple Pass! Dave rappeling down the final pitch off Pineapple Pass.

Four rappels brought us back to Pineapple Pass and food and water. We hurried down, hoping to make the trailhead by dark. Stopping only for water, we hurried back down and across the talus to the trail. 10 hours, estimated 8 miles, 2,500’.

Doerte and I spent a second night in the Guye Cabin, eating a deluxe steak dinner with all the trimmings. We enjoyed the great library and the new 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The cabin is such a great place, we love to spend time there!

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