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Rat's Tooth 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
Page Views: 1,810
Submitted By: caughtinside on Jun 9, 2008

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There are two different variations to the Rat's Tooth. I have done the center variation, described below. The squeeze chimney on the right side of the Rat's Tooth is Touch and Go.

Center: Thin fingercrack to start, with thin feet. I liebacked up to where the crack widens to get gear, and moved up as the crack eased in difficulty. Do a funky move to exit the pinched shut chimney and walk left to the chains. Last 40 feet of the climb are shared with Touch and Go.

Left Variation: Looks wide (4-5") much of the way. I haven't done it. Guidebook says it is 5.9

NOTE: The Carville guide (1996) says the center is 5.9. The 1986 Jenkewitz-Meytras guide says it is .10a, which I found to be more accurate.


Just left of Touch and Go and One Hand Clapping, on the left side of Black Wall. The distinctive Rat's Tooth is hard to miss.


Center variation: standard rack to #3 camalot

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A good angle of the whole line.

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By BruceB
From: Reno, NV
Sep 28, 2011
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

I'm a 5.10- leader and found this quite challenging. Getting in pro in the initial bottom section lieback is very pumpy.
I found the center section tricky to get good jams. It was rattly fingers for me, small hands would probably get good hand jams.
The escape from the top chimney is kind of awkward and a bit exposed.

Technical in places, strenuous in others, make this a great climb. But probably not ideal for the budding 5.10a leader
By Colonel Mustard
Oct 31, 2011

I agree with you, Bruce, the center route is burly for sure. I got it first go but it was committing with pumpy lie backing and insecure feet. I cleaned my own gear and it felt much easier, but that's knowing the route, being warmed up, and not worrying about placing gear in a taxing section. The onsight on this is definitely not a gimme and is a climb I'd place somewhere in the ten range.
By 213blc
Jun 22, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The climb can be easily toproped via a directional BD .4-.5 just past the final pullover onto the slab section. The rope is easily flipped into position by walking up towards OHC and gettin your flip on. Have fun!
By Patrick Mulligan
Jul 10, 2012
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I actually thought the lower section while strenuous was more straight forward than the flaring chimney deal before you hit the jugs in the middle of the vertical section. This was the first lead I did when I moved to Tahoe a decade ago and I remember thinking after the onsight (we did it as the first pitch to the link up Empty Overgo) that the grades in Tahoe were a lot stiffer than the grades in Vegas.
By Logan Swartz
From: Davis, CA
Jun 27, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I agree with Patrick. The lower section was strenuous and I had to take a lot and sew it up but it was straightforward. I thought the crux was the flaring bulging chimney move after the ledge just after the finger crack. I could have been just really tired from the finger crack though.
By Tahoe Matt
From: Truckee
Aug 31, 2015

Come on guys. It's Donner. Let's agree to disagree. Oldschool 5.9. It just prepares everyone for what's out there.
By Rude Boy
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 13, 2015

Pro Tip! - after you exit the funkiness and get onto the slab where the anchor is, back clean your last piece in the crack (that is if you didn't be a hardman and run it out). When you walk to the anchor the rope will push that piece deep into the crack and you won't get it back. There are Booty Pirates a plenty out there just waiting for you to do this so they can booty your goods!

This climb is fun with quite a variety of technique for a short pitch.
By Khick
Oct 2, 2015

Looks like some one added anchors at the top before pulling onto the slab.
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