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Twin Owls
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Alignment of the Misaligned T,TR 
Anaconda T 
Arm and Hammer 
Autumn Mist 
Black Lichen Streak TR 
Bloop T 
Bolt Boulder 
Bowels of the Owls, The T 
Caught in the Slaughterhouse T 
Cavity, The 
Central Chimney T 
Conan's Gonads (Conad's) T 
Condones T 
Coyote T,S 
Crack of Fear T 
East Ridge T 
Fist Fight T 
Hungry Man 
Jamesia Jam T 
King Cobra 
One of Life's Little Problems T 
Organ Pipes T 
Parachute Pants T 
Peaches and Cream T 
Pin Route T 
Prow, The T 
Rather Fight Than Switch T 
Senseless Meaning T,TR 
Sunset Arete T,TR 
Thimbleberry Jam T 
Thin Crack T,TR 
Tiger's Tooth T 
Tighter Squeeze T 
Tilted Mitten T 
TR Flake-Right side start of W. Owl Direct T 
True American Pinch 
Twister T 
West Chimney T 
West Owl Direct (aka Silly Putty) T 
Wolf's Tooth T 
Unsorted Routes:

Wolf's Tooth 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Tink Wilson & George Lamb, 1958 (from Rossiter)?
Page Views: 13,341
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (82)
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View down the chimney of the Wolf Tooth.

Season raptor closures MORE INFO >>>


Wolf's Tooth ascends a spectacular, 130 foot high pillar that is detached from the main body of the East Owl. Hike up a the Gem Lake trail, and take the cut-off which leads to the east side of Twin Owls (Hen and Chicken, Bowls of the Owls). As you near the rock, the pillar should become obvious in the center of the cliff as the front of a prominent prow. Wolf's Tooth is the chimney on the west side (the East side is Tiger's Tooth, considerably harder and more serious at 5.9+). However, I cannot recommend highly enough beginning this climb with the route Conad's, a long, vertical hand and fist crack on the Lower Owls that leads right to the pillar's base (described elsewhere).

P1 - Ascend the strenuous wide crack/chimney, with adequate protection, and belay just below the top of the pillar.

P2 - Take a flared 5.7 groove/chimney above the belay, or climb a thin 5.9 crack just right (recommended) and step into the groove. Follow as it gets easier and easier to the summit.


Standard rack to a #4 Camalot.

Photos of Wolf's Tooth Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber's perspective, with the Tiger's Tooth on t...
Climber's perspective, with the Tiger's Tooth on t...
Rock Climbing Photo: The sweetest link-up, Co-nads to Wolf's Tooth....
BETA PHOTO: The sweetest link-up, Co-nads to Wolf's Tooth....
Rock Climbing Photo: The OW start of Wolf's Tooth. Totally Sweet!
The OW start of Wolf's Tooth. Totally Sweet!
Rock Climbing Photo: Near the top and winning the battle.
Near the top and winning the battle.
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper part of Wolf's Tooth.
BETA PHOTO: Upper part of Wolf's Tooth.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kelly Parnigoni belaying John Parnigoni as he wend...
Kelly Parnigoni belaying John Parnigoni as he wend...
Rock Climbing Photo: John Parnigoni sending Wolf's Tooth in fine, seemi...
John Parnigoni sending Wolf's Tooth in fine, seemi...
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Ever popular.
Ever popular.

Comments on Wolf's Tooth Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 3, 2017
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 1, 2001

Do not expect a casual 5.8 on this one. I did it for the second time recently and the first pitch feels to me as hard as Conads! It certainly is a bit scary ...
By Erik Corkran
May 29, 2001

This is a great route. I just did it for the 2nd (and 3rd, kinda') time this weekend and loved it. I used a #5 camalot in the wide section (but some of it is too narrow for that, more like #4.5). Seems like you could put some "normal" pro in the left wall, but after carrying that cam up there, I was sticking it somewhere. As for the "and 3rd" time, partner was tired after the chimney, and suggested I could rap and do it again if I was bored. Sounded like a good idea so that's what I did (also retrieved the forgotten nut tool).
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 11, 2001

I've been feeling recently that this is my favorite 5.8 on the Ridge, rather than Pear Buttress. As George indicates, it's a very physical climb, but unlike many chimney climbs, it offers excellent protection the whole way. Last time leading it, I didn't place the #4--as Eric indicates, another crack begins at the wide section and continues the length of the climb. You can also jam this crack in places, for some variety. However, I'd definitely recommend bringing a big piece if it's your first time on it. At any rate, the climbing is excellent and the position can't be beat.
By Kurt Johnson
From: Estes Park, CO
Dec 18, 2001

I'd have to agree with George, it felt a lot harder to me than any 5.8 I've ever done. Charles, however, is trying to convince me that I climbed it wrong and wants me to try it again.
By Bill Wright
May 6, 2002

Yes, this climb seems to be 5.9 in my view and a bit spicey getting to the chimney itself. Tiger's Tooth on the other side is MUCH harder and I think more like 10a/b (but it will feel MUCH harder than any 10a sport climb, hand crack, finger crack, etc. as is the custom with offwidths.)
By Bill Wright
May 7, 2002

Yes, I guess I am inflating the grades, but I'm trying to bring them more in line with hundreds of other 5.8's. I think this pitch is certainly a grade harder than Pear Buttress (another 5.8 at Lumpy). Grades on routes are arrived at my consensus, usually, but sometimes people are very attached to the traditional ratings - which are frequently way off and serve little purpose.
By Erik Corkran
May 7, 2002

Well since this is one of my favorite routes around and I have done a "few" wide cracks and chimneys, I wanted to give my opinion.

I feel like this is 5.8+. It is strenuous and may have numerous 5.8 moves, hence the '+'. I don't think that it has any move with technical difficulty of 5.9. The bottom is sustained crack, but the dihedral helps a bit. Offwidth is awkward but there are numerous ways to do it, and doesn't involve anything I would equate with 5.9 offwidth, like having to get both feet tucked into the crack in that weird 5.9 offwidth fashion (ok that was vague sorry but figure people who climb many offwidths know what I mean).

I will admit it feels harder than some other 5.8s at Lumpy. It is much more strenuous, though probably no more technically difficult than The Frame (8+ offwidth on Lens Rock). Also, it is much easier than Sicilian Defense, on the Book End, or The Snake (5.9 ow) on Turkey Tail in the S. Platte (i.e. another granite offwidth). For the closest comparison I would use Tiger's Tooth, 9+ and right next door. As a side note, I think 9+ is fair for Tiger's Tooth. Again it is extremely strenuous (of course more or less depending on technique, luck/skill of finding holds, etc), but I don't think the technical difficulty exceeds 5.9.
By Crusty
May 7, 2002

I'm glad this is hard for 5.8 because someday I want to do the Crack of Fear which I hear is hard for 5.10. I'd hate to see the "Tooth" climbs upgraded since their grades accurately reflect their difficulty in relation to other cracks on the Twin Owls. It's just a burly place to climb and we should respect that.
By Anonymous Coward
May 30, 2002

A 10hex, a 11hex, a 4 Camalot and a few stoppers, 5.8 +. Lumpy's Bastille Crack, SK.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 31, 2002

...It surprises me that everyone thinks the crux is the wide crack. I actually thought the first few moves in the first 20' (before you get to the wide crack) were the crux. Slippery and insecure, and hard to get pro in. Borderline 5.9, at least as an onsight lead, IMHO.
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 30, 2002
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I agree with George Bell and Bill Wright - this definitely feels like Lumpy 5.9 in the initial 30 feet. Traditionalists who decry grade inflation should be demanding that this route be graded 5.7; after all, that's what it was rated in Walter Fricke's 1971 guide. To me, ratings should reflect reality and not tradition. Wolf's Tooth is on a par with Conad's in difficulty, and is much harder than Melvin's Wheel, Pear Buttress or Cackle Crack. In fact, it's harder than several Lumpy 5.9's, such as Backflip or Mainliner. Ratings should be consistent across an entire area, and not be harder on one rock (Twin Owls) than elsewhere.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 30, 2002

Geez, it's rated 5.8+; keeping in mind that it is also an offwidth/chimney, it shouldn't be surprising that it feels pretty hard/strenuous for 5.8. I have pretty poor offwidth technique, but it feels easier, and *much* more secure than most of the 9s and even a few 8s I've done at Lumpy. I've done the Conads-Wolf's Tooth link 3 or 4 times and every time, Conads has felt significantly harder. Of course, some people think Conads is a hard 5.9, but they probably haven't done Tiger's Tooth (9+) or Gollum's Arch (10a). The grades on these steep hand to offwidth size climbs on the Twin Owls seem pretty consistent to me.
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 30, 2002
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Wolf's Tooth is NOT rated 5.8+ in any guidebook that I have seen: Walter Fricke (1971) - 5.7 Salaun and Kimball (1980) - 5.8- Rossiter (1996) - 5.8 Gillett (2001) - 5.8
By Scott Conner
From: Lyons, CO
Sep 8, 2003

Finally climbed this last Saturday. After reading the comments here, I was expecting a battle and got one. I thought the crux was about 3 or 4 moves, 25 ft. up, just below a great rest. Felt hard for 5.8 to me, even for OW.

Combining this with Conad's and the 5.9 finish, this is definitely one of the best 5.8/5.9 outings I've done at Lumpy. This is a great feature to climb on and the protection is very good. Large cams are useful for the first 20 or so feet, then small to medium gear can be plugged into the main wall.

By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 9, 2003

Well, it appears the 5.8 rating of this climb is correct as that is the average rating of all these comments. I think that is great info - just what these comments are useful for! They also give you an idea that the spread in ratings on this climb is larger than normal, perhaps depending on how much you've climbed in Yosemite or Vedauwoo.
By Brent Roaten
From: Anchorage, AK
Sep 26, 2003

Did this route last weekend and was somewhat surprised at the difficulty considering the 5.8 rating. The route is certainly stiff for the grade if comparing it routes in Eldo or elsewhere in Boulder but is probably not much harder than Huston's crack (5.8+) on Cobb Rock. The 5.9 finish is much easier than the 5.8 below! The route is excellent (3 stars) but might not be a good choice for the new 5.8 leader although the gear is excellent.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 17, 2004

I followed this route 4 summers ago, about this time of year. I was new to climbing at the time. I flailed.

However, it still stands as one of the best routes I have ever climbed/followed/whatever. I am a semi/quasi-reformed endurance athelete--this route reminded me of how I feel after a long bike ride/run.

I guess this climb biased my opinion about climbing; If I am not all-body tired after a climb, then I don't feel like I have done anything.
By Steve McCorkel
Oct 5, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

There is a nice 100 foot rap in situ for the first pitch.
By Cale Csizmadi
From: Colorado Springs
Apr 21, 2005

Great climb and a good workout.
By Greg Platt
May 18, 2005

This is a 5.7 route!! It was the first time I led it in 1974 and I really do not think that it has changed that much... I have noticed that many of the old routes have been upgraded. I do not think that they have gotten harder....
By Greg Sievers
From: Bozeman, MT
Nov 21, 2005
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

It might sound sick, but I've climbed this route about 17 times. Living locally, I give my visiting friends the choice of Lumpy routes. Many WANT to do Conad's & Wolf's Tooth, or can only climb for 1/2 day and want the ultimate Lumpy *classics*. I find them solidly graded and quite equal, albeit technically different. However, I would never send out a 5.8 leader on to it. It might be 5.8 climbing if you hit the sequences perfectly: y'all just better have your 5.9 head screwed on tight. :)
By chrisp
From: boulder
Sep 9, 2007

This is an awesome route. I love a chimney with a view. You only need up to a #4 Camalot and even that felt semi-unnecesary since there was ample protection in the incipient cracks on the left side of the chimney.

Definitely pretty physical, but thats what makes OWs OWs. This climb had lots of opportunities for rests.

There is a great belay seat at to belay from just below the summit of the pilar.

I dodged right of this belay and climbed a short finger crack- kind of curious if this is the 5.9 finger crack. I didn't see anything else abovet the belay that looked worthwhile climbing.

You could probably rap the first pitch of the route with a 70m- I noticed some pieces of rope at the top of the pinnacle that looked rappable.
By jeff walz
From: Historic SodoSopa
Jul 16, 2008

Pretty sure Wolf's Tooth is closed until July 31 for raptor nesting.
I would imagine you had the whole place to yourself.
Were the bans lifted early?
By Eli Helmuth
From: Ciales, PR
Jul 16, 2008

The closed signs were still in place yesterday 7/15 for the Twins Owls. Only 17 more days to go!

Anoconda is still waiting a 3rd ascent? 13c (Lester, Caldwell)
Autumn Mist is still awaiting an onsight 12d/13a?
Coyote is rebolted and awaiting suitors 12b/c?
Crack of Fear wants your blood 5.10d to 5.12 (depending on your OW skills?)
Wolf's Tooth is also referring to blood loss- not smiles?
Silly Putty 12a- a forgotten John Bachar testpiece up the center on the most inspired line. Rarely an onsight on this one...The first 60' are an amazing 10a flake to a slung horn anchor.

The lld/12a no-name corner off this same anchor is a Joshua Tree *** quality and style corner is often top-roped, rarely redpointed, but never onsighted?

Early mornings and evenings are best for sticky conditions at this Lumpy test-piece crag with "just" a 25 minute approach. Check-out the cave below the central chimney for some serious air conditioning between burns.
By Roy Leggett
Sep 14, 2008

FYI regarding the above, Steve Su onsight lead the right side flake of West Owl Direct, Beth made the 3rd ascent of Anaconda, and I heard Tommy O-boxed Autumn Mist.
I absolutely love this crag and all of the routes so I always keep my ear to the ground on the climbing there.
By tongmengjia
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 3, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I followed Conad's today, then led Wolf's Tooth. I found Conad's to be harder and more sustained. I've got maybe a dozen 5.8 leads under my belt, and I thought 5.8 was a fair rating for this climb. The first 40' or so seemed like the crux to me. After it widened into the chimney I was able to keep at least a foot and a knee on at all times, and just worm my way up. Pro was good the whole way.
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Aug 23, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A #2 Bigbro is perfect for the crux. It also makes good foot hold for those lacking OW skills. :)
By Ped
Aug 8, 2012

I've loved this climb for years. We climbed it Sunday and found graffiti along the base. Tres sad especially considering the picturesque nature of the line. I take this transgression personally. I've had great memories here. It's similar to pissing on someone's church. Still a beautiful climb though.
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Aug 17, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is quite a strenuous climb and a full value one at that. I believe it's safe to say this is the most difficult 5.8 I have climbed. We did Conads and then this.... I thought this was more difficult than Conads. Personally, I had the most trouble with the shoulder-wide slot below the chimney portion. For the last pitch, we stepped right into the 5.9 crack, and I thought this was a better option than the 5.7 and keeps the grade very consistent throughout the route. Excellent route and hats off to the FA.
By Blake C
From: Superior, CO
Sep 8, 2012
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Fun climb, difficult at 5.8+, but it is probably a realistic rating. The spray paint at the base will piss you off, some stupid white hearts (damn, teenage girls).
By Russ Keane
Sep 26, 2016

Exciting and adventurous climb!! Hard for the grade, due to the slippery and not-obvious hand crack section for the first 40 feet, followed by a gnarly physical grunt-fest worming your way up the chimney as the wind howls through the tunnel and you wonder what in the hell your next move will be as your body is torqued into the most unlikely shape and you are so tired.... All of this makes for one hell of a sandbagged 5.8!
By Talis
From: Fort Collins, CO
Sep 3, 2017

This route is hard. I overestimated my offwidth ability on this one and ended up having to bail right at the base of the chimney section. If anyone gets on this soon and would want to return the gear I left, I would be very appreciative.

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