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Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown routes on the tooth. These two cracks are ...
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By Aaron Hobson
From: Clinton, TN
Jan 23, 2008
Each time I've been up to the tooth these two cracks have grabbed my eye. Compared to the Tooth's main attractions, I can understand why they're not mentioned: Who wants to spend most the day hiking up to this face only to do a single pitch climb? But they look good so the last time I went up there with my wife, we jumped on the right-hand crack, that being the one I judged to be easier. It turned out to be stiffer than it looked, at least for someone with my limited steep-crack climbing skills. The start is a committing move with bad fall potential to gain a small ledge. At the ledge were a pair of bolts (one old, one new). A few more face moves gains the crack, which is wide and mellow for a ways, before steepening into an awkward hand/fist/OW. I bailed at the steepest section after taking a nice fall when my insecure fist jam popped. I think the route is probably a 5.10 crack climb, and with a little more confidence, I'll be back to try it again, and hopefully the one to the left as well. Good clean rock and a great setting. If anyone out there knows anything more about these climbs I'd be interested to hear from you.
By Karl Kiser
Mar 15, 2008
Mark Motes and I put these up in the mid 1980s. The start is common. It would be a good idea to put a direct start to the left route. The right route was put up first (ca easy to mid 5.10). The left route is a bit harder. The ideas was to see if a route would go up the huge left facing dihedral above the rap bolts (needs two ropes). The rock waits...
By Mark Dalen
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jan 6, 2012
Not sure which lines you're looking at but the huge shallow dihedral dead center of the photograph was led by Paul Horak (c) 1976. He took a huge whipper from the top (60' maybe), wound up with cactus spines in his forehead. Then one of us must have gone back up & finished it because my notes show a two-pitch crack route called The Incisor. Either way a good cleaning would help tremendously as it was the dirt under his feet at the crux that caused Paul to fall....
By Karl Kiser
Jan 9, 2012
Paul Horak may have climbed the crack in the 70s but when Motes and I climbed the crack (see Aaron's comment) and placed bolts there was no evidence of other ascents. We placed the first bolt above the roof (now two with added new 3/8" bolt) and the rap bolts up and left of the central dihedral (2 rope rap). Mark, are you sure Incisor was not a climb on south face of the Tooth? I know there are crack climbs around the corner to the right but I have not climbed them. Indeed, the crack in the dihedral fills with dirt as the face drains into the weakness.
By Mark Dalen
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jan 11, 2012
It sure looks like the line we did, Karl. But as I say my memory is fuzzy. Can't say for sure we even finished it or how we got off ... we left no fixed gear that I can remember. I just remember Paul dangling below me off a red Titon (a short first pitch had led to this hanging stance). But I'll defer to your judgment as it is undoubtedly fresher than mine. My logbook gives Incisor a 5.9/5.10 rating. Either way, like Aaron says about that other line, it was much harder than it looked....
By Karl Kiser
Jan 12, 2012
Dalen, it appears we are both correct. PH states that he took his longest fall ever here and you finished the pitch. Your party must have done two shorter pitches rather than one 50m pitch. I cannot say where your rap station was but we placed a bolted belay where the next pitch "should" go up. Perhaps Motes can add comments. It is safe to say that the crack has been cleaned once each decade. The next party should be prepared.
By Mark Dalen
From: Albuquerque, NM
Feb 10, 2012
Karl, who knows if that was even the first? Maybe some German with a shillelagh back in the 50s ... for the record we got off by wandering up the ramp about 50' & finding a tree to rap off of ...
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Unknown routes on the tooth. These two cracks are off to the right of the main face. Anyone climbed them recently?

Submitted By: Aaron Hobson on Jan 23, 2008
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