Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
JasonG

[TR] The Molar Tooth - Issue 119? 8/18/2007

Recommended Posts

Trip: The Molar Tooth - Issue 119?

 

Date: 8/18/2007

 

Trip Report:

After seeing the topo for the Molar Tooth in Beckey years ago, I always wondered why it wasn't climbed more often. After all, why wouldn't you want to climb a moderate 5-6 pitch route with "generally solid" rock? So yesterday Doug and I went in to investigate . . .

 

After camping at the Cutthroat Lake TH we got a fairly early start and began the approach. Beckey says to leave the trail around 5200', we went higher and I think that probably was a mistake. We had to traverse some brushy avalanche paths, but all in all it wasn't too bad- 2.25 hours to the base of the route.

The_Molar_Tooth_001.jpg

The Molar Tooth from below on the approach.

 

The start of Issue 119 is not hard to find- it's a big gully just right of the massive and intimidating Northeast Chimney. Right off the bat we realized that this wasn't going to be a high quality route. It was pretty loose, but at least it was dirty and run-out! At one point, a block that I thought I had tested well, suddenly cut loose from under both my feet - Yikes! Anticipating the looseness, we had set the belay out of the line of fire so Doug was fine, as was the rope (luckily I hung on, otherwise it wouldn't have been pretty). More carefully, I continued to pick my way upwards. The climbing was never very hard (seemed easier than the 5.7 listed in the topo), but took much care because you were basically climbing on the least loose thing you could find.

 

After this first pitch we climbed some loose fourth class terrain up and right a bit. At this point we weren't sure where the route was supposed to go. Beckey says to follow some "water streaks" for three pitches to the top. We didn't see anything that we thought matched this description, so we basically followed weaknesses (mid-fifth?) up to the north ridge. It continued to be dirty, loose, and run-out. From the ridge, one easy mid-fifth pitch gets you to the summit. This pitch (and actually the entire north ridge) seemed to be a bit more solid, but it might just be because of what we were comparing it to . .

 

The descent down the north ridge was uneventful. Two 30 meter raps and one shorter one brought us to the scramble leading towards Cutthroat Pass:

The_Molar_Tooth_017.jpg

 

The hike out was probably the best part of the climb - nice views all around. So for those interested in the Molar Tooth, my advice would be to avoid Issue 119. The north ridge didn't look too bad, but it is a long way to walk for two pitches of climbing. The Northeast Chimney is an amazing looking feature, but I am probably not up for the "hard, sustained climbing" Fred says is on it. Hopefully it is more solid than Issue 119!

 

Gear Notes:

Standard rack to 3", although we mostly used smaller pieces.

 

Approach Notes:

Red Fred has a pretty good description. We left the Cutthroat Pass Trail a bit too high and had to traverse some brushy avalanche paths. Finishing the climb by traversing the north ridge to Cutthroat Pass is so scenic you might just forget the looseness of what you just climbed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went up to try it a couple years ago and chickened out, er, got rained off. Scott Johnson says it has a bad reputation with folks around Mazama.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the report. wonder what "issue 119" means...

 

i've wanted to climb that NE chimney for years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no melt to put any ice in it, so you'd basically be doing the summer-time moves with more snow and verglas thrown in the mix, in cold temps.

 

The Linear Accelerator route and other Molar Tooth routes are discussed in May 1994 issue of Climbing magazine.

 

Alex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks for the report. wonder what "issue 119" means...

 

i've wanted to climb that NE chimney for years.

 

If I remember, 119 had something to do with rules regulating health care. You can probably get more information on this climb by contacting its pioneer. I'm pretty sure he still lives in Tacoma and climbs at Edgeworks. The north ridge is a nice way to summit from Cutthroat Pass and involves one pitch of 5.7 on solid rock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks for the report. wonder what "issue 119" means...

 

i've wanted to climb that NE chimney for years.

 

I had the pleasure of climbing at exit 38 on saturday with Fletcher Taylor.

 

He tells me that "back in 1992 there was a referendum [issue 119] for a terminally ill person to elect ... voluntary euthanasia. It almost passed. From a distance the climb looked like a form of voluntary euthanasia. A climb up a virtually featureless wall. It ended up being fairly easy. The name was both a joke an awareness campaign to at least address the difficult philosophical question. The idea had its merits, but the language of the law-to-be was terminally flawed, allowing doctors opinion to be too heavily weighted....."

 

Fletcher and I did the first ascent of the Linear Accelerator on the Molar Tooth in 1992.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks! deserves awareness. and, one less unanswered question in my cluttered little mind...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 8/19/2007 at 5:17 PM, JasonG said:

The north ridge didn't look too bad, but it is a long way to walk for two pitches of climbing.

Rolf and I climbed the NR yesterday as the culmination (or maybe "last climb" would be a better term) of a week in the WA Pass/Methow area, and yeah, it is definitely  a long-ass walk for two pitches of roped climbing, but gotta say the views are spectacular and the climbing itself was nice enough.  Plus I was too wasted in mind and body to do anything more challenging by then anyway.  As usual, the walk out felt way longer than the walk in.

 

Edited by tanstaafl
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×