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Routes in The Tooth

Incisor T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Ortho Bullets S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Root Canal T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Snaggle Tooth T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Tooth Decay T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Tooth Extraction T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Tooth Fairy T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Tooth or Consequences T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
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Type: Trad, 450 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: FA Lee Davis & Bill Hackett, FFA by Paul Horak and Glen Banks ca 1976
Page Views: 6,350 total · 48/month
Shared By: Aaron Hobson on Jan 13, 2008
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Placement of bolts/fixed anchors is prohibited in Wilderness Study Areas Details


This is the most direct of the climbs on the Tooth. It follows the most obvious weaknesses up the face, the most prominent being the beautiful crack that slices down the large slab half-way up the route. Some of the cracks have some vegetation and dirt in them, but for the most part the climbing is clean. The route offers good variety too, throwing everything except steep face-climbing at you.

Pitch 1, 80ft: Starts with a short lay-back and continues up a grass-filled crack until it pinches down to a seam. Clip a good bolt here and begin traversing to the right on delicate slabs (5.8+). Build a belay where you turn the corner at an old button-head (backed up, of course). One can easily link up the next pitch, but the corner creates a fair bit of drag. Also it's a nice spot to watch your second. Two alternate starts: A thin seam to the right of the main start gains the belay directly and is rated 5.8R on the old topos (it felt more like 5.10R to a group I climbed with last year). The second more direct route starts farther to the right and climbs a small crack and slab past two bolts to reach the belay. This is the most direct start, but the moves past the bolts feel like 5.11 slab when I tried them, and the two bolts are rusty old 1/4".

Pitch 2, 60ft: From the belay climb right and then up a steep hand-crack (5.9). Continue up past some small trees to a spacious ledge with a good-sized oak tree on it (and chain rappel anchors).

Pitch 3, 160ft: Head straight up a hand crack (5.7) to a second large ledge with a stunted tree on it. To the left is a pair of bolts leading to the bottom of a long, graceful crack which climbs for 100ft to a large break in a head-wall. This is the best climbing on the route (5.9+, or 5.10 in the Dennis Jackson guidebook): delicate slab moves (height dependent) gain the bottom of the crack which starts off as shallow finger-locks. The crack grows steadily in depth, allowing better finger-jams, until eventually it is large enough for tight-hands. The break in the head-wall is hand-fist jams with an awkward exit to a belay ledge. Note: the old topos break this into two pitches, belaying at the second ledge with a tree. One alternative is to extend Pitch 2 to this tree to reduce rope drag on crux moves.

Pitch 4, 160ft: Climb the 5.7 crack directly above and past a bushy oak, or take the 5.9 slab climbing to the left passing two bolts. Both options lead to a stance below a sotol bush with some tattered old bail gear and a piton/bolt. Continue up going left around the sotol to gain a clean, steep finger crack (5.9). Finish up a short off-width/squeeze chimney. This pitch is also broken into two in the old topos.


The first two pitches are shared with Tooth or Consequences and Tooth Extraction and start from a slab near the left side of the west face. The crack on the 3rd pitch is visible from quite far away, and is every bit as good as it looks.

3 double-rope rappels to descend. Single rope rappels are possible but do not have as established rappel anchors (only tattered slings and old bolts).


Standard rack. 1st pitch has a single bolt in good shape at the top of the crack/seam. The crux pitch has a two-bolt anchor before the start of the finger crack. One of the bolts is new, the other is an old 1/4". Camelot #2 can be placed fairly early on in the crack itself, followed later by a rusty piton with ample gear placements near it. The last pitch has two pitons below the sotol bush, and a rusty 1/4" hidden behind the bush. Rappel anchors are in good shape and have chains, provided you have two ropes to rap down on.
Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN
The Dennis Jackson guide gives the third pitch a 5.10 rating, so perhaps I am sand-bagging the rating on this a bit. However, I didn't think that pitch was much more difficult than many other parts of the climb, so I tended to agree with what can be found in the old Rosul-Dunning topos. One other note: the final finger crack isn't obvious from underneath the sotol buch. There are two grass filled cracks just to the right of it that don't look inviting. an alternate finish shown in the Rosul-Dunning is to meander right and then take a left-slanting crack to the left (5.8). We did this finish and would not recommend it. The face climbing to the the right is delicate and not all that well protected. The diagonal crack is filled with grasses and felt awkward, having occasional hand/fist jams interspersed with balancy lay-back type moves. We only went this way because I couldn't see the clean finger-crack above the sotol but I could see the two grass-filled seems next to it and there was no way I was going to throw myself at those seems. Jan 13, 2008
Karl R. Kiser
Karl R. Kiser  
FA Lee Davis & Bill Hackett

FFA by Paul Horak and Glen Banks ca 1976 Apr 2, 2008
Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN
Finally climbed the "real" last pitch. There are three old pitons in the grass filled crack leading up to the Sotol Yucca. A 1/4" bolt is hidden behind the Yucca. Climbing past the yucca without grabbing onto it looks very difficult. I recommend long pants and shirt, and simply heaving yourself up onto the plant. Probably not too good for the plant, but unless this area becomes high-traffic, I don't imagine much damage occurring. The finger crack above the Sotol is quality. Dec 24, 2008
Ben Nadler
Boulder, CO
Ben Nadler   Boulder, CO
A few Notes:

P.1 creates a lot of drag if trying to link P1 & P2

p.4 Ditto on the shirt and pants for the cactus. It's yuc(ca) climbing through the green poky thing. The beached whale move worked for me and I don't consider it cheating. Above that the crack is a little dirty. Smiling will get you grit in your teeth but it's unavoidable since the crack is great leading up to the OW finish.

Definitely 2 rope raps. Tried it and barely managed with a single 70m but it meant rapping off single bolts (thankfully new) Mar 19, 2009
  5.10a/b PG13
  5.10a/b PG13
Some info on P2 and the "hand crack". You leave the P1 belay by turning the corner to your right, and following an easy ramp/crack up and right to the base of a 22' left-facing corner. There is indeed a crack along the corner that gradates from about .25 to 2 inches. This short section, in my opinion, is quite technical but well-protected. I suggest really jamming your right toe in the crack and relying primarily on that point of contact. The left face is essentially featureless and good only for smears. Apr 17, 2011
Bill M
Fort Collins, CO
Bill M   Fort Collins, CO
On the approach, you hang a left when the road peters out on the second ridge. We went up the first ridge, passed by a mine shaft and quickly realized we were beginning an approach out of Lord of the Rings. If you are not a well worn trail with cairns you are screwing up. Nov 14, 2011
Nathan Fry
Intervale, NH
Nathan Fry   Intervale, NH
Stellar climb. I think the Rosul-Dunning topo is a very accurate representation of the route, although I got off-route in the 5.9 alt face climb below the sotol and ended up on Tooth or Consequences ... not recommended. By the time I fixed the mistake, I was sufficiently frustrated to body hump all over that sotol, totally violating its personal dignity. That'll teach it to poke me.

Also, the 5.10 alt start is definitely stout. I couldn't quite reach the second bolt. Inspecting it on rappel, it's definitely a little sketchy - an old buttonhead that is partially worked out of the hole, the hanger spinning 360 degrees. The good news is that, once you get far enough to clip it, the positive features are also beginning to resurface. The bad news ... if you fell and that relic pulled, the ledge-out potential is high. Sweet. Needless to say, I ended up backing off and taking the traditional 5.8 start to the left.

Finally, ditto on Bill's post. When the road stops at the top of a hill, you will also see a trampled down dirt area where people have camped ... it's very evident. Turn 90 degrees left (east, towards the Organ ridgeline), and you'll see that sizeable cairn that marks the trail. The trail is well worn and easy to follow. Nov 20, 2011
Forrest Wilcox
Las Cruces, NM
Forrest Wilcox   Las Cruces, NM
out of all the climbs in the organs this one is a must do Sep 4, 2012
Brian Prince
morro bay, ca
Brian Prince   morro bay, ca
Great climbing and rock. Definitely do the 5.9 friction on the last pitch. It's only hard for a few moves past the second bolt. No harder than the climbing getting into the p3 splitter. Very good and way better looking than that dirty crack with a big bush in it. You can see both bolts and where you want to go so I'm not sure how you could get off route, but who knows. I definitely cranked off the bolt to get past the sotol bush higher up this ptich.

The trail ends under some big trees at the base of the rock. go left and scramble up some blocks to get to the base of the route. The approach is pretty long but straightforward. Stop at the first good pullouts. It's not worth driving any further.

Really good route but It kind of sucks that the tooth isn't a worthy summit. Used the description here and it was spot on. Thanks. Sep 24, 2012
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
This climb appears to have been cleaned up/modernized recently:
  • The bolts on the 5.10+ var. start were replaced with modern bolts.
  • 2 additional 2-bolt anchors were installed (just right of the tree before the slab traverse, where Extraction goes right; and at a stance 1/2-way up the last pitch). These allow for a rappel descent with a single 60 or 70m rope using only nice bolted anchors. Not trees, not single bolts, nothing sketchy, though there may be little to spare on some rappels with a 60m rope.
  • Some of the old 1/4" bolts and a bunch of tat were removed. There is now only a single modern bolt protecting the p3 slab traverse, for instance.

This climb goes in 3 pitches with a 60m rope if you deal with the drag on p1 and go up to the anchor where Consequences splits (combining p1 & p2 above); on the next lead go to the anchor above the amazing splitter crack; then a final pitch from there.

This climb is great. The slab-to-splitter crack pitch is a real gem! Feb 22, 2015

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