First Multi-Pitch Alpine Rock Climb

Yesterday, my Mountaineers SIG (small instructional group) climbed to the summit of The Tooth, a granite peak near Alpental, just south of Source Lake.

This was my first multi-pitch alpine rock climb. The approach was harder than I thought, but the actual climbing was easier. Granted, it was only 5.4, but it is way more nerve-wracking when you’re several pitches up than on a crag or climbing wall.

The approach took us from the trailhead at about 3100 feet elevation to the base of The Tooth at 5300 feet. From there, it was four pitches up to 5604 feet. The first and second were long vertical rock climbing pitches with two or three pieces of protection. The third was a scrambling portion, and the last pitch was another short but steep rock climb with two fixed pieces and another placed piece of protection. We descended using four rappels and a short down-climb where we had scrambled up earlier.

I’m sore, but happy. This was an incredible day.





About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
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