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Tooth Extraction 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 500', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: FA 15 Apr. 1973 5.7 A3 Leland Davis, Reed Cundiff, Cliff Naveaux & Mark Losleben, FFA: Edmund Ward & Karl Kiser, ca. 1979
Page Views: 3,058
Submitted By: George Perkins on Feb 11, 2008  with updates from Karl Kiser

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Tooth Extraction

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


This climb seeks out the obvious left-facing dihedral on the right side of the clean face on the Tooth. The climbing is more physical and burlier than that of the other routes, but is high quality nonetheless.

Pitch 1. Climb the thin crack below the triangular roof, clip bolt, and traverse right to a 1-bolt (+your own gear) belay at the corner of the roof. (5.8) This pitch is the same as the start of Tooth Fairy and Tooth or Consequences, and a couple of other variations exist too (a 5.8+ R thin-crack start below the belay, or a 5.10+ face that reaches the same belay from the right side). It's possible to extend this pitch to the 3-bolt anchor at 160' but with a bad rope drag.

Pitch 2. Follow the rail to the right, then follow a thin-hands crack up and left. Cruise past a 3-bolt belay for Tooth or Consequences to a 2-bolt anchor by the next small tree (this is where Tooth Fairy moves left across the slab) (5.9-).

Pitch 3. Up the right angling crack filled with yuccas and grass to reach a big roof. Clip a fixed pin in the crack below this roof, traverse right across a slab with a bolt and belay in a stance below a steep corner. (5.9-)

Pitch 4. Go up the dihedral above the belay. Lieback or face climb past the crux bulge to reach a knob. Continue up this corner past another small roof to a belay with 2 bolts and a fixed pin. Note that this belay is actually above the second roof, so a little higher than where shown in both guides. Quality (5.10)

Pitch 5. About 40' of liebacking up the left-trending hand-crack in the corner off the belay to reach a ledge (5.9). Traverse left on this ledge for 15', and follow a 5.8 offwidth from here to the top and the bolted anchor shared by the 3 main Tooth routes. [Rosul/Dunning says you can stay in the corner instead of traversing left, and that it is "5.9 ugly" with a giant sharp-looking bush looming ahead]

Descent: Rappel Tooth Fairy with 5 rappels with (1) 60 or 70m rope (best), or 3 rappels with double 50m ropes.


This climb seeks out the obvious left-facing dihedral that is located to the right of the clean south-facing slab of the Tooth. The climb begins at the common location shared with Tooth Fairy and TrC, below the triangular roof.


Recommended 1-2 sets cams, with doubles in the hand sizes. 1 set nuts.

Photos of Tooth Extraction Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the top of our fifth pitch. Good exposur...
View from the top of our fifth pitch. Good exposur...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up the physical dihedral pitch, pitch 5, ...
Starting up the physical dihedral pitch, pitch 5, ...

Comments on Tooth Extraction Add Comment
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By Karl Kiser
Mar 14, 2008
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

The FFA was by Edmund Ward and Karl Kiser (ca. 1979).
By Karl Kiser
Apr 2, 2008
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

FA with aid by Reed Cundiff, Cliff Naveau, Lee Davis and Mark Losleben.
By Reed Cundiff
Sep 25, 2009

I believe the only aid on the climb were the bongs I put in on the final left facing dihedral. I wasn't up to doing a left facing lie-back/undercling/jam putting in pins for protection (am very right handed). The route down then was just to walk down. There was no rappel route down the face.
By P Seibert
Nov 19, 2009

On the first accent of this route Reed Cundiff pulled off a loose block and hit himself in the head. Thus the name tooth extraction
By Reed Cundiff
Nov 28, 2011

My favorite first cousin Paul Seibert is either incorrect or I really hit myself hard on the head. It could be either or both.
By Nathan Fry
From: Intervale, NH
Mar 12, 2012
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Just finished the Tooth Trio today with Tooth Extraction. What a stellar climb! Other than the grass- and agave-filled Death Blossom Crack, all the pitches were classic (and even skirting the Death Blossom adds some spice to the climb, because if you fall above the agave, it's going right up your rear!). My constructive thoughts on the climb:
1) The grass filled crack takes a #4 Camalot right below the agave and makes the move onto the slab around the plant totally safe.
2) Wear long sleeves - my partner did an "agave undercling" to get past the spikes that would have been painful without arm pro!
3) Half ropes are helpful on the Death Blossom Crack pitch - the rope drag gets nasty when you do the hard right traverse to the base of the dihedral.
4) There are two old bolts at the top of the 5.10 dihedral pitch. Backed up with a cam or two, they are fine for anchors.
5) The "5.9 ugly" pitch is actually not bad. You can bypass the grass after the nice moves at the very top of the dihedral and come into the final anchor from above.

That's my input. To underscore, the last two dihedral pitches are super classic and would warrant fighting several Death Blossoms to reach. It would be great to see more people on this climb. My thanks to the first ascentionists for putting up another super classic on the Tooth!
By Andrea Campanella
From: Idyllwild
Mar 12, 2012
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Awesome climb. I agree with Nate that people should climb it. I found the last pitch with the left face lieback undercling very hard, but dihedral are not my specialty. On the second rappel make sure your ropes pass to the left of the bush/belay of pitch#3 of tooth fairy or you can have a jammed rope....
By Aaron Miller
From: Santa Fe, NM
Jan 21, 2013

Great Climb! The 3rd pitch Yucca bypass is not a huge deal, though it looks funky coming up to it. Double ropes not needed.

In my opinion, avoid the hanging belay with crusty old bolts between the last two pitches by climbing the entire dihedral in one pitch. When you reach the traverse ledge, you can make a good anchor and it is a very comfortable spot. This means you will climb the entire crux section in one long, amazing pitch, about 150' or so. Then the last pitch you will have the much needed purple or green camalot for the delicate arete moves before the offwidth. The short section of wide climbing is not hard, and you can place a good #4 at the start of it. But the hand sized gear in the back of the crack is in loose blocks == "not bomber".
By Mannie Lopez
From: Santa fe, NM
Apr 3, 2017

UPDATE: The knob on pitch 4 broke this weekend while I was stepping off of it. This will probably make this move significantly harder/committing. Hope you all still enjoy this quality route!

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