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Tooth Decay 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: 13 Nov. 1971 5.8 A3 Leland Davis & Mark Milligan
Page Views: 990
Submitted By: Aaron Hobson on Mar 5, 2006  with updates from Karl Kiser

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BETA PHOTO: Tooth Decay turns the left lip of the big roof.

Placement of bolts/fixed anchors is prohibited in Wilderness Study Areas MORE INFO >>>


This route provides a more exciting direct start to the longer climbs on the Tooth. It can be done in two pitches or a single long pitch (rope drag may be an issue). The climb starts with some fun laybacking up a grass-choked flake. At the top of the flake are three bolts separting you from an overlapping roof and easier ground. Getting from the 2nd to the 3rd bolt is very delicate and the move from the 3rd bolt to the overlapping roof is the crux. Once the crack is grained there is a two bolt belay once you turn the corner and establish yourself in the wide hands-OW crack. From here keep climbing up the crack until you can break right onto the face (before the next roof overlap) and face climb up to a bushy ledge that is shared with nearly all other routes that ascend beyond.


This climb starts on a low angle slab/ledge on the left hand side of the cliff. there is another line of bolts on the face to the left of this route which is unfinished project in the 5.12 range.


Small-mid size cams for the initial lay-back and large cams for the crack above. The 2nd bolt is a button-head and rusty. The third bolt is a rusty 1/4 inch, and the belay consists of two rusty 1/4 inch bolts. As always caution is advised when clipping these old bolts.

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By Aaron Hobson
From: Clinton, TN
Mar 7, 2006

I am still breaking into the 5.11 grades and can't say for sure how this climb rates. I can say that the crux move baffled me. At the third bolt I was within a few feet of grabbing the lip, but I just couldn't manage to gain the reach. Eventually I ended up using the draw to do a dynamic lunge for the lip. I know, terrible style, but I was able to reach the anchors at least.
By Karl Kiser
May 9, 2006
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Agreement on the ratings in the Organ Mountains is difficult to find. Many people would probably rate this 5.11.

Regardless, a first trip to the Tooth should go up the first two pitches of Tooth Fairy and decide on Tooth or Consequeces, Tooth Fairy or Tooth Extraction to finish. Descent is three double rope raps down the face.
By Karl Kiser
Dec 10, 2012
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

The aid first scent was Lee Davis and Mark Milligan.
By Crimper E6
From: cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
May 29, 2017

i replaced the 3rd bolt on the 1st pitch with 10mm ss fixe (crux is here)
Also, new anchors at the end of the 1st pitch. Instead of the hanging belay after turning the corner,(shit old bolts) continue to mother of all ledges. Then consider trying my new link up to tooth fairy!

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