I first tried to climb The Tooth in November 2007 with two other students from Whitman–Ryan Leary and Phil Collins. However, the late fall weather didn’t cooperate and we turned around at Pineapple Pass to slog through the rain back to the trail head. We then visited a delicious Teriyaki place in Cle Elum, so all wasn’t lost!
This time I returned with Ryan in beautiful, sunny, 80 degree weather to even the score.
We parked in the Alpental parking lot and quickly marched up the Snow Lake trail. We reached the fork in the trail and continued straight towards Source Lake. We soon left the trail and traversed the talus slope above the lake (hint: cut off from the trail sooner than you think so you don’t gain unnecessary elevation). We hiked over to the most eastern gully and found the pretty well worn path that led up the gully and into Great Scott Basin. We took advantage of some left over snow and cruised up to the notch on the ridge just (climber’s) left of Pineapple Pass proper. From the notch we scrambled around the back side of the small pinnacle to the base of the climb.
We climb the standard route on the south face as described on SummitPost. We pitched it out in 2 pitches with a short simul-climb over the 4th class ramp system in the middle of the face. The first pitch begins at a crack up a ramp that is gained by shimmying around a large chock stone to the left of the start. From this crack, Ryan led out the full 60m pitch. After finding our way through the ramps, we pitched out the last section on nice vertical granite, staying to the right to stay in the prominent crack.
Ascent Time: 4 hours
We did 4 raps off the summit and then rapped from Pineapple pass to save time. From the base of the Pineapple Pass gully, we just retraced our steps back to the car.
Descent Time: 3 hours
Grade II, 5.4, Pro to 3 inches