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Hanging Teeth... the right most of the 5 open books. I did this route two years ago, and at the time I thought I was off route and missed the traverse on the Surprise. Hey, it's the 5 open books, you follow the book, right?
Climb up the big and mostly clean corner. In the back, there isn't a true crack, but a bottoming shallow crack with the usual grunge n' munge in the back, and it's generally too big for normal sized gear. The biggest thing I had was a #4 camalot which didn't come close to fitting anywhere on the first pitch. There isn't any weirdness back there either, where you could fiddle a good nut or sling a chockstone. Just march on up that layback, with good, positive grip on the outer edge of the crack. The first 100 feet of the climb is protected by a slung tree and a rusty 1/4" bolt.
Cruise on up to the rooflet which you lieback out right and then pull, still on layback. There is a crack right at the lip of the roof, you can reach around and place a small piece before you commit to the move, pull it, get a good look at the piece and confirm your suspicions that it was junk. A few more feet of climbing leads to the belay tree.
The following pitches are less than memorable after that first mega pitch. Whereas the first pitch is clean, aesthetic climbing with sparse gear, the following pitches conclude with some more corner liebacking before getting into some rotten and loose climbing. At least you get gear!
Top out into the typical 5 Open Books scree funnel and try not to send anything on to your second or the (nonexistent) parties below. Enjoy!
The rightmost of the 5 open books. The trail drawing in the supertopo led us astray and made me think this was The Surprise. Confirm it's the Hanging Teeth by walking right... no more open books. If you have the supertopo, it's also easy to walk left a short ways and locate the Caverns, easily distinguishable by the toothy block start below the low tree.
A standard rack won't cut it unless you run it out. The supertopo suggests 2 5-8" pieces. However, the climbing is secure. Well, secure as a lieback ever is anyway.
By Bryan G
From: San Jose
Mar 11, 2011
Delinquent Checkup Variation (5.8) ***
This variation offers 15 feet of the wildest climbing you will find anywhere. It is the must-do finish for anyone who owns a cam big enough to protect it.
From the hanging tree belay at the top of pitch 2, you'll notice a striking offwidth crack that splits the steep left hand wall of the dihedral. The crack begins as a horizontal and then curves upwards as it reaches the corner. This variation traverses out the crack and finishes up the low angle arete past a couple 1/4" bolts. Take the biggest cam you own, and it had better be at least a #6 Camalot (which is almost tipped out, so bigger is better). This is absolutely mandatory for the traverse or you'd risk a devastating swing into the corner. Another slightly smaller cam (#4 or #5 Camalot) will protect the crack as it curves upwards, and some finger size gear will supplement the two manky bolts on the 5.5-5.6 slab.
From: Oakland, CA
Aug 15, 2011
I thought that we were jumping on the caverns and didn't realize what we were doing until the chim section of P2. Besides the dirt and leaves on P1 and loose blocks all over P4 I would rate this much higher. The lie back to finish 1 and all of 2 and 3 are great. Oh and move quickly to not get swarmed by ants.